Sunday, January 15, 2012

Indian Summer.

This was the best picture I could find.

The end of summer - Aug Sept Oct. we celebrate the gathering of the crops.
The colors of the landscape change as everything bursts into the final stages of life
in all its' glory.
All the leaves burn in yellows reds and orange as they fall softly to the ground. You tread on streets covered by a leafy carpet fit for a king.

This is the most beautiful time of the whole year. Indian summer.
In the city I would take my bike and head on out to the back river.
The roads were beautiful as we had maple trees on both sides of the street.
Once the bike was laid against some stones, I would jump from stone to stone searching for a good place to turn over smaller stones under which cray fish hid. The place was full of them.

Once I almost stepped on a black snake that looked like a long piece of wood. Thankfully it slithered away and I was stunned at how quickly it could disappear into a nearby bush. Who said you need legs to walk? lol

Recession lobster

I'd pick up each cray fish to examine how large they were. Some were small and others were a good 3 1/2 inches.

You then had a choice to either follow the river along the Rivieres des Prairies shore line or follow a winding road, Blvd Gouin, to Belmont Park. This was an amusement park Ernest Gaudreau and three shareholders opened up in 1923 full of fun rides, popcorn, cotton candy and the best roller coaster.There was always the smell of fries with lots of salt and vinegar. It smelled so good you couldn't resist buying some. Even the beaches had an RV that came every day filling the air with smells of hot dogs and those great smelling fries.People couldn't get enough and there was always a long line up.

Every kid loves the lights and the music from the rides. Mine was the carrousel because of all the horses. I was no different from any kid.I loved it.My Dad would take us there once a year and needless to say, we looked forward to it.

Sometimes I'd do a bad thing and follow the road to Belmont Park on my bike. It was a beautiful ride but the street had lots of cars and I should not have done that but kids are kids.
I was so sad when they finally closed it down. I envied the people who lived nearby and could watch the lights from the parc every night. Belmont
was replaced by a bigger and better La Ronde at Expo 67.

In the country,
My Dad used to get long logs and pile them high to make a huge bonfire for us to enjoy and every year it was quite a spectacle to behold.

We would sit around the fire with neighbors and family listening to it crackle all night, hoping it would last forever. We'd sit to watch the last embers die in the morning dew. The kids would bring their sleeping bags and the grown ups talked ate and laughed into the long hours of the night until they could no longer keep their eyes open. My Dad would bring out his guitar.
There is something hypnotic about fire.
You can sit and stare into it without ever getting bored.It burnt your face to rosy red and as we poked long sticks with marshmallows and hot dogs into it, it didn't take us long to turn into coal mine munchkins.
You loved the fire and it made you want to embrace it.

It was here, on one of these occasions, my girl cousin twisted her chair and fell right into it with her long blonde hair.
My Dad was quick to grasp her arm and jerk her out before the fire could
singe her hair or catch her clothing on fire.
She was so lucky. He was soooo quick.
But like I said are unpredictable.
She was no different than I was, wanting to sit very close to the fire.

The town would also put on its' own bonfire and had large metal barrels they filled with water to boil fresh corn from a local field. We had lots of corn fields but no one knew which were for the cows and which for the people lol
The corn was delicious, sweet with huge yellow kernels every farmer could be very proud of.Tents were put up for games to be played. The kids had the most fun while the adults walked around, watched the fire and ate the corn. If you wanted, you could buy tickets for a pig roast.
It was a nice way to say good bye till next year, to the summer.

After the leaves fell my Dad would collect them and put them into his garden which he then tilled for winter.He would collect other peoples bags too and they would wonder what it was he was doing until they saw. They never thought about doing this. It was at this time we also paid attention to the farmer who flew a plane over head, spraying the corn.

We all had wells to drink from and I noticed my Mom got sick with Parkenson's and the neighbor had died from a brain tumor. I thought would be interesting to read up on it and found many people who got Parkinsons lived in farming communities. My Dad and I had arguments because he said they had the best water and I was wasting my money but I always used bought water.
Who knows if the spring it came from was any better or worse than what we had.
I began paying attention even to things what dentists did, like putting in mercury fillings and forcing kids to take xrays so they could find tiny cavities to fill which probably they could fix just by brushing more. They still made holes for tiny cavities.
Putting so many fillings into teeth guarantees them more work when the fillings fall out and then the tooth has to be replaced sooner than later. You're talking big bucks.
When people complain, they don't like it, but people should complain and ask more questions.

Gods' healthy gifts however, are thrown away instead of recycled and used on your own property, keeping it enriched and beautiful.
Recycling is not a new

In the city, my Dad put up a fence in the front yard so kids wouldn't run on our grass.
So instead, they began to grab the fence and pull on it and still walk on our grass.
One day he brought a trailer full of cow manure and covered the front lawn.
Our yard stunk to high heaven lol
All the kids blocked their noses and began crossing the street passing our
It was fun to watch their expressions lol I still laugh remembering.
In this way, he got them used to walking across the street and they stopped pulling our fence down.
My Dad was a funny man.

My parents always had a good crop of vegetables and what they didn't can, bottle and freeze they gave away to neighbors and to me. I'd have my own stock of things I never had to buy in winter.
I sure miss that today every time I have to pay 9 dollars for 4 zuccini. That's high way robbery.We used to buy a bushel for 9 bucks. Then the bushels began to get smaller and smaller until they brown bagged it lol Then they would say a price for each piece and
Now they don't bother at all. They sell by weight.
I wouldn't mind, ok yes I do mind cause the prices are not good prices, but sometimes you come home and find the vegetables rotten inside.
Like potatoes for example.
You can't see inside what is going on.
4.99 a 10 lb bag and half you throw away. Some you try to cut and its very hard, not like a normal potato.
Then they wonder why people don't eat much fruit and vegetables. lol
Many times people don't buy everything so the products wilt. They pour more water on them to pump them up but as soon as they are brought home, they wilt faster.

Indian summer was also a time when my Mom would constantly tell me not to sit on the ground.
She said the cold ground is not good for your kidneys .
The Iroquois had a Creation story that went like this:

In the beginning, in the Sky World, a pregnant wife asked her husband to fetch the delicacies she craved, the bark of a root of the Great Tree in the middle of the Sky World. None were permitted to touch it.

Giving in to her whims he scraped away soil to bare the root of the Tree, to find a hole . The woman peered into it and fell through. The birds tried to catch her to break the fall she fell and great Sea Turtle received her on his back.

On the Sea Turtle's back, she planted bits of the roots and plants she had brought from the Sky World. As she planted and prayed, she created the Earth that we know as Turtle Island.

The woman then had a daughter, who became impregnated by the West Wind. While in the womb, the daughter's unborn twins began to quarrel about how they should emerge.

The left-handed twin refused to be born in the usual way. Instead, he forced himself out of his mother's left armpit, killing her. The newborn twins then buried their mother, who became Corn Mother, a source of corn, beans and squash, the Three Sisters of the Iroquois. From her heart grew sacred tobacco, used to send messages and thanks to the Sky World.

The two brothers continued to compete with each other as they created the animals and plants, and in the process, represented different ways of living.

The Right-Handed Twin created the beautiful hills, lakes, blossoms, gentle creatures while the Left-Handed Twin, the jagged cliffs and whirlpools, thorns and predators.

The Right-Handed Twin was always truthful, reasonable, goodhearted, and "straight-arrow" while the Left-Handed Twin lied, fought, rebelled and made "crooked" choices.

Because Right-Handed Twin created human beings, he is known as "Our Creator," and "The Master of Life." But Left-Handed Twin helped, and invented rituals of sorcery and healing. The world they built included both cooperation and competition, loving kindness and aggression.

After they finished their creations, the continued to compete - by gambling, playing lacross, and fighting with clubs.

One day, grasping a deer antler,the Right-handed Twin finally prevailed, and killed his brother, throwing the body of Left-Handed Twin over the edge of the earth. As a result,the Right-Handed Twin rules day and the Sky-World and Left-Handed Twin prevails over night and the lower world.

Grandmother Skywoman was furious that Right-Handed Twin murdered his brother, and accused him of wrongdoing. Angry, and believing that grandmother had always favored the Left- Handed Twin, he cut off her head and threw it up toward the sky, where it became the Moon. Then he threw her body into the ocean, where it became all the fish of the sea.

The Iroquois believe that both Left-Handed Twin and Right- Handed Twin are necessary for the world to be in balance. During festivals, day activities honor Right-Handed Twin, and night activities such as feasting, singing and dancing honor Left-Handed Twin. This tension and struggle for balance between the two brothers and principles of life is incorporated into Iroquois festivals and cycles of life.

Have a good one :)


George said...

Thanks for sharing these memories with us. Thanks, too, for the Iroquois Creation Story. It was very interesting.

SandyCarlson said...

It was nice to read your recollections.

Lydia Kang said...

What a great memoir of a post. Thank you. (And thank you for the Recession Lobster!)

Rob-bear said...

Great stories and memories, indeed.

And I love that Recession Lobster!

A Lady's Life said...

Thanks guys. Just putting it on paper. lol or rather electronic tape.

Gattina said...

I think it would be worthwhile to have your childhood memories printed. I had my cat blog printed from 2007 - 2009, it looks great as a book. At least it won't disappear in internet world !

A Lady's Life said...

Gattina - Thats a good idea but right now I am just remembering and putting things down Then I remember

I think every one has a story and these are all worth remembering.