... Of Surviving the Wilderness
The following story was written by my sister for a Toastmaster speech. In it she remembers being a child growing up on a farm in Northern Alberta back in the 1950's. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
The Farm House when we first moved in
Sunday Clothes - Lin, Dad, Jack (about 1954)
Recently I have read a lot about persons giving up their highly paid but stressful lives to live the "simple life." By popular definition, this means moving out of the city into a simple home that has been paid for in full and living within a very limited income. Purchases cease, except for necessities, and so do commitments to life outside the family.
I can relate very easily to that lifestyle. I lived it as a child. No doubt, the "simple life" was far easier on me than it was on my grandparents with whom I lived.
They had a farm in the midst of isolation. The year I left, electricity and a phone were installed and shortly thereafter my grandma won a television set and life changed forever.
But that was later.
We damned the tiny streams that flowed across the driveway and created lakes, which really pleased the adults.
Despite our grandmother's admonitions that we should not trespass, we loved to explore abandoned houses in hopes of finding some small treasure - a 20 year old calendar or a broken chair.
The "simple life" that I enjoyed so much came from the joys of freedom. Unless the weather was uncooperative, we were outdoors. We swam in the local dugouts, feasted on numerous types of berries in their seasons, rode our bikes down dirt back roads and hiked cow trails.