I can remember what a great adventure it was to have a ride in a buggy being drawn by a horse. It was so exciting on a cool summer evening to ride behind my great aunt’s horse with the wind in my face, because it was wide open and the horse's hooves went clip clop--clip clop in a rhythm on the gravel road…
Many boys and girls still got a ride to school in winter on a big bob sleigh driven by horses with bells jingling as they trotted over the snow. Every little community had a little red brick school with all the grades from 1 to 8 in one room. Mine was at Holt. The schools all had two doors--one for the girls and one for the boys. In our school we were lucky enough to have a wood furnace with a huge register that everybody tried to crowd onto on cold days. We would stand on the register and see whose skirt would balloon out the farthest from the hot air blowing up from it.
Everybody played baseball in the summer--girls and boys together. I couldn’t run very fast around bases so they called me wooden legs. In winter, if you were lucky enough to have skates, we skated on ponds in farmers fields. The boys would build a big fire of rails from the rail fence to keep warm.
I should mention that I have 1 bad flaw in my personality, well maybe 2, but I attribute it first to my Irish heritage and secondly, to have been born under the Gemini sign. You guessed it--I have trouble making quick decisions. I see both sides of an issue and they both have merit.
Don and Marion were married on August 19, 1944. They spent their honeymoon at Deer Lodge in Haliburton.
Words from their 60th Wedding Anniversary
We have survived, also, because Don allowed me the freedom to continue my teaching career for several years--so I didn’t feel tied to the farm, which was a new experience and life style for me. Because of the farm, he was always there for the kids when I was too tired or too busy. He tolerated my 12 years volunteering at Sharon Temple and many more years of commitment to U.C.W. (United Church Women)
One of my biggest gripes is the endless chasing of farm dirt--potato sand, cattle straw, chicken pen shavings and machinery grease but, as my 3 widowed sisters-in-law remind me, it’s better than the alternative, and I agree.
Our greatest accomplishment and greatest joy has been our 5 wonderful kids... They learned to work hard on the farm, no choice there. The farm, also, provided a healthy environment for the family growing up, but was close enough to urban areas, so they could experience both worlds.
...Went through depression when money and possessions were scarce--many people no work--on relief… Saw war years when everyone had jobs or in armed forces… I remember when radios were new--when electricity was new...
Being married to a man who was married to the land wasn’t always easy, but as Marion’s writings attest, she wouldn’t have done it any other way. No matter what you believe in, I know Don and Marion are reunited somewhere in the Great Beyond where Marion is scribbling more words and Don is growing more potatoes. You can read more about Don's life in The Faces Of Our Farm: Part I
I would like to leave you with one last story Marion wrote. If you can spare a few more minutes, I think you will find yourself laughing along with Marion as she reveals a tangled web of sneaking around the farm one summer… Enjoy “A Matter of Conscience.” I know I did!