Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dollar Down Dollar a Week.

'Congratulations, you won $34.  Let me call you a limo.' by Baldwin, Mike

In the 50's what we call abuse today was prevalent. The idea was spare the rod spoil the child.
However no one complained cause every one had their turn lol
Kids were not wooses like they are today, always complaining.
Spanking was a way of life and I am not sure it was a bad thing.

No kid ever got damaged from a spanking and it wasn't like what they did to people in hospitals.
I got spanked and all my friends got spanked. We'd see big guys with beards get chased by their little Fathers with a stick but not one ever laid a hand to their parent. Kids were good kids in those days and we all grew up to be good family people.

My Dad was strict but he was also the life spirit in our house.
My Mom was meticulous about cleanliness as she was a surgical nurse before coming to Canada. During the war she saw lots of blood and in the camps the doctors made it her job to help them. If she did not give them the right instruments she'd get slapped, so she learned quickly, but her nature was against blood so when she'd see it she would get dizzy and almost faint. I'd always laugh and ask: Mom, what kind of nurse were you? and she'd give me a sour look lol

But her floors were clean enough to eat from and she would always complain if we did something to dirty them. She ironed and especially loved to hang her clothes outside in winter so they came in a little damp cause they were frozen, but so fresh smelling and the rest of the drying they did on hangers before being ironed. We did the same with the Carpet in winter. We'd take it out into the snow and throw snow on it and then broom it off on both sides and then bring it back in. The carpet would always look great. This was a great job for kids to do and I enjoyed it a lot. Who said cleaning sucks. lol
I never remember using chemicals on it. People get sick because of these chemicals. In our house we only used Parissienne Javel.

I was not exposed to dance or ballet or piano but I was exposed to other things. My Mom handled story telling, reading and writing. My Dad played the guitar and my Mom and would sing. We both had good singing voices.
She was very critical about the writing and it had to be perfect. How many times I'd be in tears because I didn't do a letter the way she wanted it.
But eventually I got smart and told her my hand writing was better than hers and she'd laugh cause then I would tell her to write the way she wanted me to. lol
Pressure always made you look for solutions to your problems and made you of stronger mind than people who have things done for them, problems solved for them.

I had my own bike which I had to keep spotless and I took great pride in it. My Mom would always check at night to make sure I slept but she slept in the early morning and I had plenty of time before school to take off on my bike and she never knew. Mornings were so nice especially in the fall.

My Dad was a hands on man, very athletic and liked to do everything himself. He loved cars and would tinker with them and I would be at his side. I loved the smell of oil and gas and grease. His cars had lots of chrome and white tires and I would love to help him polish cause driving a spiffy car was special. I asked him one day to teach me about motors but he refused and told me to keep my hands clean and be a lady.

I had animals like rabbits ducks kittens and dogs. He'd take me to the farm to see horses and tell me about how he worked on one for a year, to pay his sponsor for his boat ride across the ocean.
He had two huge draft horses to till the land with and he said they were the nicest animals but the farmer beat them and they feared him . If they saw him coming they'd go nuts. He said one day he brought them into the barn and didn't see the farmer coming but the horses did and they almost killed him trying to get away. The farmer was always drunk and not very nice.
The horses broke the supporting beam to the barn and it collapsed. He said it was a very thick beam.

After this episode my Dad went and complained to the farmers' brother, also a farmer and this one was a good guy, so he took him away to work for him and my Dad sighed a sigh of relief.
He said he was given a truck to drive and this guy was a well to do farmer as well as a good family man and he lent money to people because of hard times.

Every week he would make his rounds to see what he could collect back, a dollar here, a dollar there. People were honest and paid back what they could so his pocket was always full of money.lol
Then they would come home and he'd ask my Dad if he ever ate steak. My Dad said yes he did. The farmer said not like this one and then he'd take a huge thick steak and flip it a few times over a hot skillet and served it to him.
Those were lean times when steak was not that accessible so my Dad said he ate it with him with such delight. After this He always made steak at home with the same delight this farmer served him his first Canadian steak.
After that first year paying off the sposor was done, my Dad and his Dad carried two jobs to help save money. Every one worked.
My aunt and grand mother at a sewing factory and the guys in a garage and then later in huge companies like Canadian Vickers and Canada Air as machinists. European people were hired quickly because everyone knew they knew their jobs and were quite educated.

Before long they bought a lot and built a house. My Dad got married and then bought his own lot and began building his own house and I was born into this constructive time.

In between they grew gardens, pickled winter preserves. We'd go berry picking. He taught me about mushrooms. We'd go in the fall around 4:30 am into farmers woods to collect them.
The woods had rich black soil and I so enjoyed foraging with him through them. We'd come home with bags full which we had to dump right away and clean in salty water to get any little worm that might have crawled in, out.
My Mom would take over and wash them, cook them and then pickle them. They made their own shredded salted cabbage, and pickled guerkins as well as tomatoes and jams. We'd go apple picking and she made apple sauce and put that away for winter.We had rhubarb she also cooked and canned.
One time we went apple picking and my Dad found a wounded hawk. He brought it out of the woods and we saw one of the claws was frozen shut and it could in no way be opened. Seems it was shot by a hunter. So we took it home and my Mom laid out one room wall to wall with newspaper.
The bird ate a whole fresh turkey and behaved itself. We let it walk freely in the room. When he had to go, he'd lift his tail and shoot and we never knew how he did it, but he always found a tiny spot that was not covered with paper for the thing to fall on. So we had to clean it up quickly.
My Mom never got mad. Everyone was so impressed with this bird because he never missed a shot lol.
Well after three -four days and one turkey he was strong enough to let go and so we took him outside and he flew away but not before thanking us.
You think animals don't understand but they do. He flew in a circle came back and gave us a look to say thanks, before disappearing into the horizon.
Summers I spent swimming and helping to paint stairs, pulling weeds, reading. I had a great thirst for books for they were my window to the world.
These are things kids don't do today. Later on we built a second floor to our house and this I partook in. Our area was zoned for bungalows but then duplexes began to spring up so we had to upgrade so to speak.
My Dad gave me a job to clean the old bricks from the front of the house we took off and we used them for the side. The front got brand new white stones which were quite beautiful. Later he got another lot to build a country house and we spent every spare moment with hammer and nails. I learned what team work was like, with my Dad.
We'd work till noon and then went fishing and water skiing. Those days were my favorite days. I'd love to take the boat out. He got it second hand from a retired newspaper man. It had a siren and a 75 horsepower motor and you could even sleep in it. We tried it a few nights for the fun of it and slept in the middle of the river surrounded by bull frogs. It was great!
Then in the early dawn we'd catch fish for break fast and head on to my friends' camping ground to cook them.
My Dad loved camping so he got an axle from the junk yard and he welded himself a metal box frame. Before we knew it we had a fold out camping trailer. Then he got some canvas and sewed a tent to go over it. He got foam to make mattresses with. We had the best time with this trailer before we got the lot and he decided he liked the area enough to settle into a country house.

When we went home I used the trailer as my tree house in the back yard. It was my special place to go to play in.
Of course we had friends come over. My neighbor was always a princess and when we played dress up she would go into her dream land pretending. My dream was I was an amazon woman. I lived in a forest surrounded by danger and my friends were lions. Sorta like Tarzan, I had my own island and if anyone needed rescuing I was there to provide them secretly, with safety food and warmth. The trick was to never to be found out. lol

My aunt spent her money on clothes and parties and my Dad spent his, dollar down dollar a week on nails lol
Everything was a learning experience for my Mom and I and it was a good healthy life.



Diana said...

What wonderful memories. Things were much different back then as far as discipline goes, that's the truth!!
I laughed at what you said about your mother with the blood and being a nurse! How did she ever manage??
Love Di ♥

Russell said...

Very nice to read about your childhood. Sounds like you had a lot of fun and built up a great deal of character.

I can relate to the type of parents you had as they sounded very much like mine!

Take care.

George said...

Thanks for sharing these great memories with us. I sometimes wonder what kind of memories today's children will have, since their lives are so dominated by gadgets.

Akelamalu said...

Great memories. When I was a child the 'threat' of a spanking was enough to keep me on the straight and narrow and it worked with my two boys too.

Gattina said...

My childhood was completely different. Never ever I was hit not even a slap in my face. And I was not an easy child believe me !

A Lady's Life said...

Diana - war was scary. Most people were shell shocked esp kids. My Mom did as she was told . I guess once they left and came to a free country and they had a chance to calm down,she felt sick remembering all the blood and the burn't bodies on the roads with bubbles coming out of peoples noses. She was always petrified of uniforms and it was only when she got her alzheimers and began going back reliving her life, she was able to correct things, say what she wanted to say, because now she lost her fear. Funny.

A Lady's Life said...

Russell - My Dad was tough but then people were also tough with him as a child in the war. But he was a good man. If you needed help he'd give it.He worked hard and he tried to teach me all he could so I would know things. I had a terrific childhood.

A Lady's Life said...

George - I was not able to do with my kids what my Dad did with me. But the first boy traveled and saw a bit of the world and the second was all soccer. We traveled with that as well but we had no get down and dirty time and I am sad for that.

A Lady's Life said...

Akelamalu - threat of spanking also kept me in line as well. My Dad didn't have to spank me often lol I just resented it when I was blamed for nothing around my cousins. I told my Dad one day that it makes no sense because at his age I had a lot more responsibility and here he was still blaming me for not watching a kid who should know better cause I did at his age. lol

A Lady's Life said...

Gattina I believe you. Once we went to Holland and I had this little girl in front of me. Well she was the most obnoxious child, jumping all the time, sticking things under her chair which went into my feet and under my chair. She spilt all my food over my clothes and I told her to stop jumping. So she went and complained to the stewardess who came to talk with me and then she saw the problem. I was covered in food and coffee and I told her about what was under my feet too. I told her I needed to speak with this childs Mother so she pays for my dry cleaning. She was an extremely rude child and I thought to myself I would really spank her if she was mine. Her behavior was unacceptable. My kids were never so rude. Unlike my Dad I had the three strike rule. I would tell you three times not to do something and if you still did then you had to bend over and get a spanking on the bum. So I had good kids.I was very fair lol
Spanking once in a while is good for the soul.