Wednesday, February 7, 2018

MY PARENTS

     My parents were married in February of 1938. They were married in Grandma's house in Portage la Prairie , Manitoba. They had a best man, brides maid and preacher as well as grandma and Grandpa. What a grand wedding! They talked about it often. Mom was 24 and Dad was 26.




     Up to that point my Mom had always lived at home. As so many young women did at that time she worked as a hired girl. Most households hired a girl as there were no luxuries or  appliances. All the work was done by hand. Mom talked fondly of a family that   she worked for for many years. She corresponded with these people for years. They were excellent people to work for and they treated her like family. I think she was paid $10.00 to $15.00 per month.

     As many young men of the depression did, Dad traveled and picked up odd jobs and lived with friends. Dad was 18 when he left his family. Dad worked in a sawmill for his uncle all winter and when the job was finished and Dad wanted to move on, Uncle had no money to pay him. Uncle pointed to a pile of lumber and said that was Dad's pay. What could an 18 year old kid do with a pile of lumber that no one wanted. Dad walked away and traveled further on.

   Dad moved on to the Okanagan valley in British Columbia. He had two sisters and some cousins living in the area. Dad picked fruit, worked in the bush, worked on a dairy farm and many other odd jobs. Much of the time he was idle and lived with other young people or his sisters. It was a frustrating time for young people who were not able to make a living for themselves.

   In 1935 Dad came back to the prairies and with one of his sisters bought a small farm. The farm had a small meager house. It was about 14' by 24' . It was very poorly built so was very cold. Dad farmed and picked up the odd job. In the winter he went to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba and worked for a man who put up ice to be delivered in the summer for coolers. Again the money was poor but he didn't have anything to do on his farm in the winter.

    So this is where Mom and Dad met.

    A few days after their wedding they got on the train and went out to Dad's farm. Now I can imagine my mother's feelings  as she  was leaving home for the first time and moving out to a shack far away from her parents! The shack had not been heated all winter so it must have taken some time to heat up. Fortunately, one of Dad's friends kept them until the old house was heated. They had brought their clothes and a few household items that they had been given for wedding presents or things that Mom had bought.

     So this was the start of their married life.

    Neither of them complained about the hardships of the great depression. They often talked of the fun they had on no money. Many young people at that time married later in life as they couldn't afford to live independently.

   I always admire how they managed to survive such hardships.

34 comments:

  1. Your parents married at about the same time as my grandparents and your post reminds me a lot of what i know in their stories. The thing that is really different is most families having a house girl. I don't think anyone but the very well off would have had a maid in Australia and New Zealand

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At ten bucks a month having a maid was affordable. There was just too much work in a house for one person.

      Delete
  2. Most of the people who grew up in the depression had some very interesting tales to tell. Life was very hard for them but they seemed to have a lot of fun too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were all in the same boat. Misery loves company.

      Delete
  3. Nice to read about the past and see the picture.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's quite a story Red. Thanks for sharing it. Your parents were very hardy people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were hardy but there were times of stress and strife.

      Delete
  5. You have great memories of your parentslives in the beginnings. My mom and dad had nothing much when they got married. Dad went straight into the air force and he took my mom away from everything and everyone she knew- rom Arkansas to New York. I have photographs and I see how young they were, and I have decided that sometimes love indeed conquers all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I as one who would sit quietly and listen to the stories. I remember some of them.

      Delete
  6. This is a beautiful piece of your life's history!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Often we take for granted the luxuries of our lives.Good story

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes , we're very spoiled these days.

      Delete
  8. A little late of age back then, very normal now. My father was my mom's 2nd husband so they were both fairly grown.

    My maternal grandparents however, I think he was 21...she was 15.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. During my parents time marriage was delayed as they could not support themselves.

      Delete
  9. It is admirable how they endured and didn't complain. They did the best they could with what they had.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were some complaints but not about the depression. their life was hard so sometimes there were blue times. They had good friends and neighbors.

      Delete
  10. A wonderful tribute to your parents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I've got over the rebelliousness of my teen years.

      Delete
  11. You come from very good stock!! The best generation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were very down to earth people.

      Delete
  12. I like to read or hear of times gone by and how our parents and grandparents coped with adversity. Sounds like your folks had an optimistic outlook on life. I'm not sure I would do as well at not complaining!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they did do some complaining as time went on. When you have responsibilities it gets tense. As young people they just floated along.

      Delete
  13. During those times people managed with so much less than we have today, and yet many of them were happier.
    Great story about your parents.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Our generation has been so fortunate to have lived during relatively good times.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a nice story. A look back at one's parents helps us appreciate them more. I like seeing those old photos, they are very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I enjoyed reading about your parents. And to think, there are kids out there today who think they have it rough!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Loved to learn about your parents and their journeys during those hard times. I'm sure glad they had kids, especially you! It seems like you are an old friend. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hard times indeed. I do remember the Okanagan Valley as we were on a camping trip to Vancouver Island. It was August and we bought bout and ate way to much fresh fruits from roadside stands. The results were not good but I won't got into the exact details...:(

    ReplyDelete
  19. Very interesting story story. Thanks for posting it. It was another world when compared to now. The people in those days really were made of stronger stock than today.

    ReplyDelete
  20. That is impressive. It's amazing how much harder our ancestors had it than we do. And we take so much for granted.

    ReplyDelete
  21. So interesting to hear about your parents! Often times we don't know enough...how did they meet? :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your parents must have been hardy, independent, strong willed, good humored people. You definitely come from good stock.

    ReplyDelete