Sunday, February 10, 2013


I apologize to (both) my faithful blog readers out there on my lack of posts lately. As some of you know Melissa and I have had our share of illnesses, family emergencies and other challenges this fall and winter and of course there is Carter to think about these days too. That said, being a dad is by far the best job I've ever had.

One of my cousins who lives in Toronto now mentioned that everyone he knew was complaining about the relatively deep snow that had blanketed the city over the past several days. He mentioned that he had wet pant legs and feet too but instead of making him angry it made him remember some of the good times he'd had growing up in the little village my family has called home for a very long time. As you may imagine this got me feeling nostalgic too. Relative to Toronto, my little home town gets quite a lot of winter as you might guess from viewing the photo below. Wet boots could and did very easily turn into wet pants and even sometimes wet shirts as we slogged through what seemed like feet of snow for months on end. When I review some of the photos we took, and particularly those taken back in the 1970's we DID slog through many feet of snow for months on end, at least relative to today.

It would be hard to separate the village's history from that of my family because they are basically one and the same. My aunt took the photo above from the driveway of my cousin's home. Prior to his tenancy my grandparents lived in the house when they retired from the farm and prior to that my grandfather's aunt or great aunt resided there. The stone building on the right was my great-grandfather's blacksmith shop. My grandmother was born in the house that comes with the shop and my aunt....the one who took the picture above....lives there now. And so it goes with nearly every house along the half mile main (and only) street. In addition to knowing the current inhabitants and the history of the house in question the chances remain good that I'm related in some way to to a current or former inhabitant. To this day the place retains a very high concentration of families who have roots that they can trace...often without the need to leave their house...for a century or more.

I speak from experience when I say that it's hard to leave a place like that but it's eye opening too and it's not all bad by a long shot. This will not be a surprise to most of you but I learned that most of the rest of the world does NOT work in ways similar to my home town. Some of the ideas that I grew up with and that still seem normal to everyone who lives there are honestly quite strange now that I view them as a (partial) outsider.  I've also learned that success at integrating into a new place is primarily based on one's own attitude. If you expect things to be the same as they were in the place where you left I promise you will be disappointed.

As I mentioned earlier all the talk of snow, sledding parties and skating has me feeling nostalgic for the best parts of my boyhood and the wintry part is pretty hard to replicate when I'm staring out the window at green grass and blooming flowers. But of course green grass and blooming plants mean spring and spring very much is my favourite time of year and always has been. Must run now to check the price of grass seed at our local farm supply store. When today's warm rain settles the ground and it dries out it will be time to start re-sowing the pastures. Hope both my readers are well !


Bif said...

Oh, we're well! And glad to hear from you :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe you have more readers than you think . . .

I grew up in central Ohio, in an era of very snowy winters. I remember going around for days with ice water inside my snow boots - it didn't bother me at all . . .

Jack said...

The snow fall the past few days was the biggest in a while here in Lindsay Ontario. wWarm and some rain today and now Monday night things are freezing up again, I envy you thinking about overseeding pastures in the first half of Feb!

Sylvia said...

This entry "speaks to me" right now. (As you know) Thank you for posting the picture and sharing about your family
History. Now get busy with more entries! ;-)

Owd Fred said...

Good to see you back Jason, my blogs too have been a bit sparing over the last six months.
We in UK are still suffering (I say that sparingly) from 10 months of wet weather, and now everyone is up in arms because they have found Horse meat in beef burgers, (been on the headlines of the news for 3 weeks now)
We too have some over-seeding to do in about a months time, last years came well and produced some excellent hay for our Shetland ponies, and we supply a stables with hay.
Keep us all up to date on your seeding.