“Those were the Days”
Today it’s wallpaper I’m thinking about
From the days of my youth and all
When I helped my mother on a bright sunny day
As she changed the look of the wall.
We’d mix up a pail of water and flour
The paste that we used those days
To hold the paper there to the wall
If it stayed up, we were amazed.
Sometimes bad words were emitted
Especially if Dad was about
Mom would get him to smooth the high spots
He was taller there was no doubt.
I’ll never forget the time or the day
When the ceiling Dad thought should be covered
I learned some acrobatics and some new words
That were different from all the others.
Well, the ceiling was wood tongue and groove
It just wouldn’t hold in place
With wallpaper falling down wrapping around
And sticky glue over our face.
And then when the final rumpled chunk
Was fed to the old box stove at hand
While I washed the ceiling free of paste
Not quite the way it was planned.
Cabbage roses design a big thing then
Or leaves, squares, flower or vines.
Most everyone’s parlor looked the same
It was a sign of the times.
Oh, I don’t know if every house looked the same,
It’s the way I remember it now
Overnight it could change to a whole new place
Cover the old to make it look new.
Rarely we peeled the underneath off
It was insulation, you know
It helped keep us warmer in wintertime
When it was forty below.
Years later when the reno
We even found newspa-
Back to the early nin-
So interesting and rare,
Oh, the tales they could
All those wall paper la-
Of family problems and
Different times, hard-
ships and illnesses
And troubles, there was
Things like hand pump
washboard and more
Saturday brush scrub-
bing the kitchen wood
We’d sing as we paste wax
and dance and shine
With Dad’s old wool
socks, it would look so
Stoking the fire, hauling
Canning the food, that
tasted so good.
Smells of the soup and
When we came from
When real school was
Three R’s and Golden
Lots of board games, fam-
ily happy time
That old kitchen table
and family of nine.
Kids doing homework by
lamplight and such.
Do today’s young folk do
Push button or compute lazy it seems
Do they even know how
to follow their dreams?
They should take a day to
go back in time.
Where am I going to go
with this rhyme?
Oh yes, it all started by
thinking of walls
One thing in my mem0-
ries aged recall.
It brings loved ones near
as I think through my
Reflection brings smiles
through my tears.
– Pat Hall
January 11, 2020
When I wrote this, as you older folks may remember, I missed a lot of stuff too. Outdoor chores on the farm, piglets or chicks behind the wood stove, nice kittens, puppies. Lots, right?
Perhaps the young Amish folk still have a taste of it, but grocery stores weren’t all that handy. Were people more content? Lots of neighbourly visits too, wood bees, threshing crews, huge family gardens (some), pulling mustard, coiling hay, stooking grain and lots of fun/singing, creating, imagining, wishing, hoping, dreaming. (Oh yeah, the five mile walk a day to school and back, miles!)
I just finished the book my sis Susan gave me for Christmas. I could have/should have added a couple of stories. So interesting, Petra, he was Mom’s and my doctor from 1954, Dr. Bailey, so interesting!
Hey, how nice to see those lengthening daylight hours. A promise.
Well, today it’s “Baby Ruth” chocolate bars hanging on the doorknob from Lydia. Yesterday, Daisy calls bearing gifts. Am I lucky or what! Thanks.
We sang happy anniversary to Lorna at Pauline’s UCW meeting on Tuesday, January 14. I forgot to ask how many years! We had eight members today. Betty Russell is our new president for this year; Pauline, secretary, and Lorna, treasurer. We had a fair lot of ground to cover, but we always have fun get togethers. Lynda Garness stepped down to vice president. I’m still the one who sends cards out for our group. Have I done it forever? We always finish with refreshments and good food. Sometimes I think there is more than ever since we’ve cut back. Ha!
Heard today that Dawn Size had passed away. She hadn’t been well for quite some time, had had a liver transplant. Sympathy to the Size family. Keith and Anne still live in the home in Sandfield where this family was raised.
When speaking to Judy this past week, she says Bob is doing OK. He is in Mindemoya hospital right now but will be going for therapy soon.
I have to say more about Nora Hall. She was a resident of the Manor for quite some time. A busy, caring part of Tehkummah Township for forever. She was active in the United Church, Sunday School superintendent for years, part of our UCW, president and secretary. A very active part of the origin of the Tehkummah Triangle Club. Both her and her husband Ozzie, and we called each other “Mrs. Hall” jokingly though we were not related in any way (unusual in this area, right?) A very community-spirited person, good neighbour. I was so pleased to have Carol Lee drop in Friday. She had the loveliest double photo framed of their grandchild (with the grandparents). She had recently got it. Carol is so kind and caring. I had a feeling I had already written up the cribbage scores but… Wednesday, January 15, 17.5 tables: high hand, Keith, 24; first, Gib and Florence, 948; second, Laura and Patrysha, 943; third, Cal and I, 919; low, Brad and Dorothy, 830; door, Margaret, Noreen and Doris.
Thursday euchre, seven and a half tables, Margaret McC and Jeanine were on KP duty, good lunch. High hand, Dorothy and Ken, 85; second, Brad and Bill, 76; third, Hank and Pat (me), 71; fourth, Donna and Eva and Bob and Hugh, 70; low, Donna and Eila, 43 (we had some confusion?); lone hands, Simon and Marg and Donna and Eva, tied with six and Brad and Bill; door prize, 50/50, Dave James (again?). Apparently, he’s on a winning streak in this new year!
I have heard today too when I’d have to go to Toronto for my tests.
Sympathy to the family of Irene James who passed away today, so I heard at euchre. She was a sweet lady with a good sense of humour. She had spent the last year or so at the Wiky nursing home.
You always need something to remind you of your wedding (18th) day and every time it snows? Congratulations Liz and Earl. I had every intention of going to the wedding and the reception. I’m sure it didn’t take the shine off, or perhaps like me, it kept a few from attending. Anyway, happiness always.
Calls from Helen, Lyle and Joan and Sherry did my “Bell” intervention.
I recently heard of the death of Rodney Simpson’s mother. Sympathy to the family. Thinking of you.
Uber driver Norma, right to my door and the church and my door again. Saves my gas! Thanks. Save my food too, after a nap I invited myself to the neighbours. A pyramid game with Skylar before supper, a Tiki game with Ray, Tara and Jacob. Good games, close. Jacob and I each won one. I was the winner all the way around!!