Monday Morning Musings

Posted on August 1, 2016 under Monday Morning Musings with 4 comments

Ivory at Livingstone's Cove 2016

Livingstone’s Cove at sunset


Simple things.

I suppose we  ( baby boomers )  are no different than previous generations. Most of us who had the good fortune and the pure luck of the draw to be born in small town Canada, have a somewhat romantic notion of our childhood. I say most because I know there are lots of people who would rather forget their childhood.

My brother, Tom is in from the West coast for a visit. We went for an early morning walk yesterday. We walked beside mist covered , verdant fields . The air was crisp with a freshness hard to describe. Not once did we utter words like Brexit, ISIS , Sika virus nor did we discuss the U.S. Presidential race. We didn’t even mention the fact that the Toronto Blue Jays now occupy top spot in the A.L. East ( at least they did when I composed this piece! ).

No. We discussed trapping muskrats, running ice cream stands, mowing grass at the cemetery and pumping gas. Many of us grew up in large families and our parents had zero disposable income. If we wanted the finer things in life, like a Joe Louie and a Coke, we had to be very enterprising. So Tom got up early in the morning when he was a young boy and traipsed down to the West River to check his traps. His first trap was acquired through a low interest loan of $2.00 from our dad, P.D. From these humble beginnings , he learned about hard work and entrepreneurship.

He operated the campground in the field ( the Salt Ponds ) beside what is now the Canadian Tire store at the mall…. and a very successful ice cream stand. Our younger sister, Teresa was his key staff person. He is not convinced that she would have the same fond memories of scooping out gallons of ice cream in a hot , sweaty shack, inhabited by flies!

I mowed the grass at the graveyard for Joe Mike for a buck an hour, with infrequent breaks for burials. I also pumped gas for the same princely hourly wage at a Gulf Station near the Oasis Campground.

How did you earn your first dollar? The person who sends me the most interesting story about a job in their youth gets a Week45 hat!

The long walk gave us time to reminisce. We both realized that time is life’s most valuable asset and having the luxury to enjoy time in retirement is very special.

I had the privilege of attending a memorial service for the late Berkley Cameron on the weekend. Several hundred of his friends from the teaching fraternity and old friends from the golf club along with many other acquaintances, gathered to remember Berkley. He was the youngest of 12 in an enormously talented family. And Berkley may have been the most talented of the works, according to an older brother who eulogized him. It was a warm, witty affair and a very fitting celebration of a life well lived.

Lastly, our granddaughter Ivory is travelling by train with Nana and will arrive in Montreal later today. We will miss having her around. She is young, energetic (!) exuberant and interesting. Every day was an adventure. Au revoir, Ivory!

Hope you’re enjoying the holiday today and have a great week.


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4 Responses to Monday Morning Musings

  1. gerard chisholm says:

    Your brother Tom I believe, also helped deliver the milk with Vince MacEachern back in the day. As did my brother and I.Good memories!!

  2. Ken MacIntosh says:

    I did a lot of lugging of buckets of water at Jimtown during the summers. There was one pump into a spring in front of MacKinnons cottage (of MacKinnon Pharmacy fame) and many cottage residents didn’t have good drinking water or in some cases any water so it had to be carried. One bucket in each hand gave you good balance and I could make it non stop to most cottages. I got .25 a bucket I think and usually I had to make two trips a day so candy purchases at the Mahoney’s Beach store were frequent. By the time school started up again in September I’m sure I had the longest arms in school.

  3. One of my first jobs was at14,cutting a14inch by22 inch deep path across main st. And collage the wires could be laid for the stop lights…went thru 7layers of road cover…bricks ,stone ,concrete,pavers,gravel etc.with jack hammer for 50 Cents per hour… would think I would want to get a higher education……..

  4. Week 45 says:

    Wow! Thanks, Joe!

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