Imagine the change my mother and father witnessed!

@nazimaali spoke of how far we’ve come in technology over the past 40 years.  Then I look back on my mom and dad and all they’ve seen in their life.  My mom was born in northern Alberta in 1918 and my father was born in 1912 in Russia.  Yeah, they were of a far different era.  They have, alas, both moved on to the prairie in the sky.

Imagine in the 1920’s, a northern Alberta village where a large family, of eight children at the time (her family grew to 13 kids!!) and living in a one room homesteading cottage.  My mom told me how her mom used to burn birch wood and spread the ashes on the floor.  And how they used to ride horses to school in the winter and if they were first to arrive?  They had to start the fire in the school stove.  Then in the spring they used to walk across the creek on the backs of the thousands of fish.  But if you got sick!  My mom told me of when her sister broke her leg they had to hire a horse and buggy to ride 20 miles through muddy roads to a doctor.  I ain’t making this up!  Google the book “Ten Dollars and a Dream” and look for the Houle stories.  One of my mom’s uncles was a member of the Louis Riel rebellion in Manitoba too!

My dad’s father was an Imperial Guard for the Tsar in Kiev and they had to escape the red terror (I’ve written a script around this – well fictionalized anyway), so they came to Canada.  They ended up homesteading in Saskatchewan.  Dad told me stories of working on farms during the 20’s and 30’s, the steam combines and teams of horses.  But alas, unlike my mom’s family, there wasn’t much documentation on my dad’s history.  Just a few, sparse stories.  Breaks my heart that I just never had the wherewithal in my youth to capture my father’s history…

The last time I visited my dad was a few months before he passed away.  At his house where my mom and my sister took care of him.  He was 91 and Dementia was taking hold.  But I was so grateful for the few lucid moments.  We spoke of the time at his cabin, or his time in the army (he was stationed in Vancouver at Point Grey in WWII!!), but mostly his years being a barber (he started in WWII and didn’t retire until he was 82!) and how I used to hang out there.  Then we talked about all the changes that occurred since his steam combine days… so much change…

Mind you there was probably more change since my childhood in the late 60’s to now then from the 20’s to the 60’s.  Wow… so much changes…

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