Memories

I received this today.

I love stories of my mom especially ones I’ve never heard. So if you have one please share.


this one came from an old friend of hers.

She was a very good friend when we were attending George Bailey PS and Langstaff Secondary School. We spent most of our time laughing...she had such a bright smile! I remember when "Money" by Pink Floyd came out and we used to bop our heads and sing to it so often that it became a "brain-worm" and she was complaining that she couldn't get it out of her head, which then put it back into my head for a few days and I couldn’t get it out!

There were a couple of times that I was invited up to the cottage. One day, she suggested that we go fishing early the next morning. At about 10 pm she said that we had to head out to catch some worms. “Catch worms?” I was incredulous. “Don’t you just go to the store and buy them??” She looked at me and laughed. So off to the kitchen we trotted, and she mixed up some dry mustard with water in a cup. She grabbed an extra spoon, a can with water, an empty tin can and a flashlight. Outside she handed me a spoon and told me to dig up some dirt and put it in the empty can, and then with flashlight we searched the ground for worm holes. I had no idea what was happening really, I was just following orders at this point. As soon as we located a worm hole, Linda spooned some of the mustard mixture down the hole and there we crouched in the dark waiting, just staring at the spot where that little hole was in the circle of torchlight and low and behold, up came a wriggly worm. It lay on the ground thrashing it’s little body back and forth and over and over and Linda looked at me and said with urgency, “Grab it and drop it in the water to wash it off!” I looked at her with a stunned expression and she told me again to grab it and swish it in the water to wash off the mustard because it was burning. I reached out my hand and touched that writhing little body and jerked my hand back!

Ick! Ick-Ick-ICK!!I just couldn’t bring myself to touch it, much less grab it and Linda just laughed at me for being such a chicken. Well Linda was like a brave warrior and grabbed that worm in a flash, dunked it into the water, swished it around and dropped it into the can with the dirt. She was FEARLESS! Then she told me I had to do the next one. Nope, didn’t happen. I was in total awe of her that night as she captured worm after worm for our morning of fishing. And yes, the next morning she had to bait my hook for me too!


Many years later, my boyfriend (now husband) took me fishing and I told him the story of how Linda taught me how to catch worms, and that was the point where he looked at me and said, “So I have to put the worms on your hook for you?”


Another episode during that trip was when she took me out on the water with her little putt-putt boat. (Yes, I realize that “putt-putt” is not a real name, but the correct name just totally escapes me.) We bravely set off on our excursion and ended up at a set of locks, the name of which I never knew. I had seen locks before as Dad had taken us to watch them in action when I was small, but to actually be on a boat traveling through them was a very exciting prospect for me. Since Linda was captain of our little ship, she gave me the job of latching the rope onto the pole so we wouldn’t float away and crash into the other boats. Well, without any instruction, I tied the line to the pole…with a knot…a good one. Slowly the water began to drop and suddenly I realized that the knot was “up there” and we were “down here”. I reached up and madly began to untie my very tight knot and a fellow up above ran over to help as now I could no longer reach it. Linda was yelling at me and we were both freaking out but luckily the guy was able to undo the knot and he tossed the end down to me to hang onto. In a calm voice, Linda said, “You only wrap the rope around the pole. You don’t tie a knot!” Lesson learned!! We sure laughed about that later!


Linda and I were in Home Economics class and we struggled through sewing classes together. There were only so many supplies and they had to be shared with our other classmates. Seam rippers were one of the items in limited supplies and they were kept in the cupboard for all to use with the idea that we had to return them after each use. Every time I had to get up to get a seam ripper when I made a mistake, I always grabbed one for her we both made frequent mistakes. Every time she had to get up to get a seam ripper, she also grabbed one for me. I think you can see a theme here. I’m positive that we sewed and re-sewed our dresses at least a dozen times in the attempt to get it right. By the time I finished my garment, I’d replaced the zipper 13 times and I had holes all along the zipper seam. I believe that Linda’s was in much better shape than mine as she was a little bit more dedicated to only pluck the sewn threads and not the fibres that made up the cloth. We spent more time laughing at our mistakes in that class and saying things like, “Mine is worse than yours” to each other.


Many lunch periods were spent together along with Sandy (Kazilis) Langer and Pam Bockus, Cathy Bosa and Carmen Maier. For a few years, I hauled my big radio to school and plugged it in so we’d have music and we’d play cards. Basically we were your basic teenaged girls who screamed with laughter, talked about terrible teachers, homework and diets. Linda NEVER needed to worry about that and we were so jealous! We had so much fun together.


We spent years together…Grade 6 to the end of Grade 13. I know we giggled about boys and danced together with the rest of the girls in a circle at our school dances. We had parties every weekend in Grade 13 with each of us girls hosting a different night. I remember that your mom loved the colour purple back then. I remember how excited she was when she saw my new purple hipsters one day in high school!


I always missed her after high school. She settled down, married Steve and had children and I continued going to school at York U and U of T, and then went off traveling.


- Mom, I never met a person who didn't like you. You were likeable, you were awesome. Miss you.

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