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.

In 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 the ground           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!

Snowplows 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 O’Reilly’s.

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 supper!

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.