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Thursday, March 12, 2015

reflections on my dads life

My dad Gerald grew up in Curriville N.B. Canada, just on the backside of a farming town Hopewell Cape.
He was one of three boys and two girls none of which we became very close to except his brother David.Dad and Uncle David were inseparable. Hardly a day went that these two didn't spend time together, they both bought and sold old cars as well as held down full time jobs to put the bread on the table.We always ate very well, with lots of treats.
David had lost full use of his leg as a boy pinned up against the barn door by a tractor.He walked with a noticeable limp, and wore a wooden built up shoe.Over the years of growing up I witnessed the love and friendship of two men who truly loved one another, as life pulled us all along its rocky shores.
I wonder today if this strong attraction set in motion another two friendships of the same nature, was it a circling back and moving him forward through a Universal life force of time and space.
Each summer we vacationed in Nova Scotia, with John Zink and his wife for a period of a few days, then we would be invited to stay with Marie and Lawrence.
John and Dolly lived in a wonderfully mysterious three story salt box on the LA Have River beside the bridge.Dad and John met as younger men working in Bridgewater as carpenters. It was a time of great friendship and change when he met John,he was the principle motivator behind the adoption of my one and only sister, a few years after they met.
John had a "bad", leg. He walked with a cane.Whenever we were going on a sightseeing tour of the area great care was given to his approach to getting comfortable in the car. I only once remember him being able to drive up to visit us in New Brunswick, as his leg was a trouble to him. I like staying there very much John had two granddaughters my age and we would go on adventures around the area. I remember a very strong moth balls smell in the house and closets our bedding came from. Magic!
Where you saw Marie you saw Lawrence and vise versa. Dad and Lawrence met at church and became friends right off. They liked cars. Lawrence had been in the war and told stories and had a wonderful old style English moustache. Marie kept the most wonderful gardens I ever saw. There were berries bushes ,veges, flowers; a real old style Dutch garden.
They had the sweetest little cottage on the South Shore, and with a wooden leg in it!! The one time I saw the leg was in the night and me walking to the bathroom across the hall from their room. They were the first people I ever heard making love in the night.Sweetly moaning themselves to sleep.
Dad would go on site seeing tours and we would all pile into the car with Lawrence in the front seat and the two women and us two girls, squished into the back!
Sometimes we would arrive and he would be away.He was a dynamite. He blew up the rocks of Nova Scotia so folks could get water in their wells.He was very popular and always had well paid work.I liked listening to him tell these tall tales of traveling to wells in the area and the response of people he worked for when he blew up their wells.We were never really sure if the dynamite and the leg had any relevance to his crippling situation.That was not made clear.I suspect it may have been in the war.They had three children we enjoyed seeing each year. Mom got along very well with anyone and would help cook and clean with these women. She had a way of tracking us and keeping us out of trouble.
When my Uncle David passed away I stayed home from the funeral, it was all to painful for me.He was like my dad away from dad.We had such a close time he played for me as I learned to sing, he taught me to swim, and I loved him like my life.I was his flower girl at his wedding, so I wanted to remember him as I saw him in my mind. I still think funerals are barbaric. But that's another story.

By Cathleen Steeves