The Kids' Shenanigans
When we were building the
horse stable, my brother, Garnet was there to help.
Wilmer was 2 years old and I was expecting Lois. Garnet
was up shingling the roof and the ladder was up against
the side of the barn. Wilmer climbed the ladder right up
to the edge of the roof. When we noticed him, everyone
was quiet. Garnet went to the ladder and helped Wilmer
get up on the roof, while Bob waited at the bottom just
in case. When Wilmer was safely back on the ground, he
was told not to do that again.
those days we would coil the hay in the field to let it
dry. To get it to the barn, one person would walk along
beside the wagon and fork it up onto the wagon, where
the person on the wagon was building the load. One
summer, when getting in the hay, Wilmer might have been
2 or 3, Lois was in the stroller, and I was on the
ground forking up the hay. As we moved from coil to
coil, Wilmer would walk and I would push the stroller.
Near the end of the day, Wilmer threw himself on
Wilmer and Lois kicking and
screaming - getting tired I think - and I said to him,
"Wilmer, who do you take after, your Mommy or your
Daddy?" He said, "I take after my Daddy." I think Bob
was ready to jump right down off the wagon.
Once, when Wilmer was
older, he stayed home to look after the kids while Bob
and I went shopping. When we came back, he had made a
whole pan of biscuits. The stove was not on so I got it
lit and we baked the biscuits. They were very good. I
was surprised at how good they were, so I asked Wilmer
how he had made them. He said that the recipe called for
‘cream’, (as in ‘cream the ingredients’) but did not say
how much. So he got a cup of cream from the cellar and
added it to the ingredients.
Shortly after we had hydro
at the farm, Wilmer sent Lois down to the cellar to
change a light bulb. When she asked how she would know
if the electricity was off, Wilmer said, "Stick your
finger in the socket." And she did!
did not come down our way until 1953, when the school
bus took the kids to Eganville. Before that, the kids
would walk through the bush to get to Mink Lake School.
When Lois started school, there were all boys for the
first year - no girls around of that age. In the winter,
Bob would go through the bush with the horses and sleigh
to make a trail, and if the weather was bad he would
meet the kids Wilmer and Lorraine
with the horses and sleigh.
The kids were toilet
trained in a commode chair. When the boys had to be
retrained to pee standing up, Lois taught them to go in
a pepsi bottle.
When Lois got her driver’s
license, she drove into Eganville, but stopped at the
grist mill and walked the rest of the way to O’Reilly’s
to get her license. There were no learner permits in
those days. He asked if she had a car and she said no.
So all she had to do was answer a few questions and she
got her license. When Bobby got his, he drove right into
One Sunday we were going
up to Grandpa Hein’s right after church. Lois had bought
him a pack of cigarettes for his birthday and had them
in her purse. During church, one of the younger kids
that she was helping to look after, took them out and
started waving them around. Of course, people would
think they belonged to Lois, a real no-no in those days.
One time Lois and I
decided to kill a chicken for supper. None of the lads
were around. I held it behind my back - couldn’t look,
and Lois tried to chop off the head with her eyes
closed. It took a few tries, but we had chicken for
Bobby was very fond of
dates and he would find them wherever I hid them. One
time, when I came into the kitchen and Bobby was
standing up on the counter. When he saw me he said,
"I’ve been checking the dates and some son of a bitch
has been in the dates." I did not know where he even
learned that word. I had to turn around and walk out of
the kitchen, so as not to laugh.
Once I went outside to get
a pail of water. The pump was right under a big Manitoba
maple tree. A drop of water came down and I thought it
was raining. Then another big splash came down and got
me on the head. I looked up in the tree and there was
Willie Gurlitz and Bobby with a pail of water.