Thursday, September 8, 2011

In Her Own Words - 1913

     "Grandpa returned from St. Paul early that spring.  He was anxious to build a small house on his property so he could bring Grandma from St. Paul and his young children.  Grandpa's first house was like a double barn or granary.  It faced east and the door was in the middle.  On the south end was the kitchen and living room - it was one room.  On the north end of the building were the bedrooms divided by a curtain on a wire strung across the room.  There was a window on the north and west for the bedrooms and one on the south for the kitchen.

  I remember when Grandma came she didn't like it very much and didn't want to unpack her suitcase.  Mama convinced her that it wasn't too bad when the garden grew with all the fresh vegetables and the chickens began laying eggs.  We would have fresh eggs and milk with thick cream and butter and home-baked bread.  The days would go by fast enough before she would have to return to St. Paul.  Grandma didn't come though until after my Papa's sister, Cora and brother, Allan, were out of school.

     I don't know where everyone slept, but I remember I did sleep sometimes with my Aunt Cora.  That spring must have been awfully busy.  I can remember Mama and me going in the horse and buggy over to Grandpa's house with lunch for him while he worked on his house and I remember cleaning windows.  Because I wasn't tall enough to reach them from the outside, Mama got me something to stand on.  That spring Mr. and Mrs. Britton came from Ontario and joined their bachelor sons, Bill and Bob.  They lived across the road from Grandpa's where Grandpa's first house or sod hut was.  Mrs. Britton was older than Mama and she showed Mama how to cure meat and preserve eggs and dry vegetables for winter.  I liked Mrs. Britton and I often visited her.  She could sing and taught me a song about a dog named Rover.  Later on their three daughters joined them, Lottie, Mae and Jean.  They were grown-ups.  Lottie went to Moose Jaw to work in a hospital.  I think she was a practical nurse.  Mae helped her mother on the farm and Jean was a school teacher.  They had been educated in Ontario.  Mama was glad to have other women as her neighbors so close by.

 Grandma, Cora and Allan came in late June, 1913, and in August, Ethel came.  She was engaged to be married and wanted to see Papa, her brother, before she got married.  She was a lot of fun and while she was visiting us she learned how to ride a horse.  She went back to St. Paul with Grandma, Cora and Allan in September.  Grandpa stayed on the farm to help Papa.

     Papa wanted to build a barn for the stock and get rid of the old one with the straw roof and sod walls, so he brought lumber home with him when he hauled in the threshed wheat.  We didn't thresh our wheat on our farm the first few years.  We hauled the cut wheat straw to Papa's cousin Bert's farm to be threshed.  Later on we hired a threshing crew and Papa even worked for the man who owned the machinery."

Frank Hymers

Another chapter in the memoirs of Ethel Hymers Glewwe, and her childhood growing up in Saskatchewan, Canada - 1910-1918

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