Today, Anita Mae writes western romance. : )
She lives on the prairies and only has to go out her door to capture the scents and sounds of the Old West. Especially in hunting season.
Mamma's Memoirs Part 3
by Anita Mae Draper
Part 1 - Mamma's early years in Finland
Part 2 - Meeting and marrying Pappa and emigrating to Canada
These memoirs are taken from Mamma's hand-written booklet, Grandma Henrekson (Kakkonen) Memoirs--in English (1992).
Because Mamma's Memoirs contains mostly photos of Pappa and Mamma's life in Northern Ontario, I'm letting their eldest daughter, Taimi DisCala, whom we met in Part 2, tell you what it was like back then. First, however, I'll add a map to set the location.
Mary was born at home in Ryland on April 10, 1937 before Pappa was done at camp for the season. Before he came home, the neighbour ladies would come on skiis to help with the milking & children. Mimi (Miriam) was born 1 1/2 yrs later on Oct 30, 1938.
When we were growing up I started school when I was 5 yrs old. Mamma wanted to know
what I had learned each day & asked me, what did I read? So she & I learned together. The 1st book was John & Mary, so she repeated after me "My name is John, I go to school." Then, "My name is Mary, I go to school." She went on from there. That was 1938.
We had a wooden toilet made with 2 holes, one larger than the other for us children, & Pappa made wooden covers to fit! Lots of newspapers as we had no toilet paper. We put wallpaper on inside walls to look pretty. We had a commode indoors for nights & winter - Mamma cleaned it all - ready for next night.
teacher handed him from under the tre. He called each of us by name to come get a present or 2 with always, a bag of a few tangerines & candy. It was Pappas horses that brought Santa, but Santa was one of the neighbours! We got a ride home on the horse sleigh with our presents!!Then Christmas holidays!
On January 4th, 1943 Mamma went into labour & being Christmas, Pappa was still home. He went to the neighbours' across the track—Gieckos' family. They had a telephone as Mr. Giecko
worked on the railway. They had electricity from a windmill which provided lights, iron & gramaphone!! Pappa had Mr Giecko call Dr. Arkinstall & by the time the Dr. came, David was all already born. He took Mamma & baby back to Hearst Hospital with the snowmobile/ Bombardier & 2 days later they were back home. Pappa went back to camp and the ladies kept coming back to help when needed.
When the farm was progressing Pappa, left the camp with a team of horses & tended to the farm where they both milked the cows. I learned to milk when I was 7 yrs.old. They had help from the Canadian Government for foreign people to get started. When haying time came a few yrs later Mamma, left the field early with Mary, Mimi & David , & left me with the men to finish hay making for the day. Pappa told me to go home to help Mamma in case she needed help. I had a new bicycle by then and went home, but I couldn't find her anywhere! The youngsters were playing on the grass. They thought Mamma was in the stable as the cows were all in. I called…no Mamma although several pails of milk were done. I went inside to get the table set for men as they were coming in with Pappa. He told us to eat supper, which was already cooked, & went out to look for Mamma. He then came in with a bundle saying, “Look what I found?” There was baby Billy! We all finished supper& washed up. Pappa & I finished milking & let the cows out. That was July 24th, 1944. Then 2 yrs later, Pauli was born in Hearst Hospital in Oct.
Pappa would play the violin as Mamma cooked Sunday dinner. We always prayed before we
ate. Mamma told us to sing the poem, “Thank you for the world so sweet - Thank you for the food we eat - Thank you for the birds that sing - Thank you God for everything . AMEN.” Pappa would join in with Aaaaaa MMMMMeeeeeen!!
One day us kids were fooling around in the kitchen on chairs & I hit my head on the bottom of Pappas' violin!!!! The neck broke! I was frightened to death! What was I going to say? Pappa saw it & asked what happened. I confessed, "My head hit it." He took the violin & went out. We never heard him play again. Pappa never said a word to me.
In summer we took cows to pasture in the morning, & back after school to stay in the closed yard for the night. I had to milk 2 cows before going to school & feed Rex my Malamut/Husky, which was a real pal of mine, but had to be kept on a long cable run as Pappa wouldn't have him loose. Rex took us to school sometimes.
When Pappa had a bush camp with 6 men about 1 & 1/2 miles away across the highway for NEWAGO CO, he had a cook. Pappa came home one night & said the cook has only flour for 1 day! So Rex & I went to Talbots' store a mile away after school. It was winter & Mr. Talbot wrapped the 100 lb. bag of flour in oilcloth, & Rex pulled us another 1 + 1 1/2 miles away to Pappas' camp & I was treated to hot chocolate & fresh donuts !!! Yummmmmm!
Since I have some interesting photos from 50's and 60's which show places Aunt Taimi talked about here, I'll post one final part in this saga sometime in the next few weeks.
To be continued...
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