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Page 45 - Life on Bird Islands

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/8/1 (322 reads)

would be asleep and I would just lock the door, go out and do the job. You had to do it. You always had the life line from the lighthouse to the house to hold onto. Oh gosh, yes, you'd have to do that. The wind would be that bad. (And the children on days like that?) Well, they didn't get outside on days like that. Or we had a little harness for them, and we used to tie them to the ring bolt at the light? house or the house. Give them some rope. You wouldn't just let them out, unless you could go with them. (Even when the weather wasn't bad?) Oh no. The island isn't that wide. And you know a child; if you had something else you had to do, you had to tie them. But they never minded. They nev? er knew any way of running around, I sup- pose-rthey were very contented. Oh, you'd have to have a lot of care. Like through the night, if you were there a- lone • well, if you had to tend to the light and they cried--they'd just have to cry till you get back. But you'd lock the door and see there was no fire on, just look around there was nothing to harm them, (Every two hours?) Every two hours. And you would worry • I wonder if they woke up or what they did--but still in all, you couldn't let your light stand, I used to stay out there till about 2 weeks before the children were born, and I'd go ashore and I'd have my baby. I had a sister at Little Bras d'Or. I never saw a doctor till after I'd have the baby. But I always had a doctor, yes. And when the baby was 10 days old, I went back out to the island with it. But that was one good thing out there--you never got a cold. You never got a cold out on the Bird Islands. (But if you did need a doctor?) We used to go across to Point Aconi and go up Bras d'Or Gut and there was a doctor at Little Bras d'Or, (And when you'd do that, both you and your husband would have to leave?) Sure we would. And all the children, (And have to be back that evening?) Oh, yes. And you know, I stayed out there 8 months one time and I never came ashore. I would just as soon stay there as have to take them all in the boat. (You had one child sick that you had to bring in in the wintertime.) Well, she was 8 months old. Only an infant. I don't know whether it was from the water or what--but she took something in the stomach, I guess. Diarrhea and throwing up. I knew she was sick. The drift ice was packed in so tight we couldn't get ashore. It was the 4th of April we finally got in. And we left the island at 8 o'clock in the morning. (Took everybody?) Oh, yes, one other child then. She was about 3. We left in a dory. And we rowed around drift ice, And we got into Englishtown at 5 o'clock in the evening. 8 o'clock in the morning till 5 in the evening. John was rowing. And his hands were blistered--I'm telling you--and I just held the baby. She was sick for about a week before we got in, but the drift ice was so bad we couldn't get in, and we had no way of getting in touch with anyone-- couldn't get a doctor or anything. What is it • ?5 miles to Bras d'Or? Went in weaving around drift ice. We got Dr. MacMillan to come down to see her. And he got as far as--well, he was calling right around; he was in South Hav? en that night--there were just step holes for the horse, just where another horse had stepped. And he didn't get to English- town till the next day, there was that much snow. Of course, she was too far gone then, by the time the doctor got there. But Dr. MacMillan came. But it was too late. It was hard to go back to the island, af? ter that: sure it was. (But you did go back.) I went back, yes. And I had two more children after that. (That's a lot of courage.) I don't know. I stayed there year 'round for 11 years, and there's lots of people ask me today how come I ever went there. And I say, well, I guess I didn't know any better. But really, it was NOW 210 YEARS OLD ROBIN, JONES 8c WHITMAN, LIMITED Cheticamp 224-2022 Inverness 224-3125 Better Health Centre WITH THREE LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU: In Sydney at 364 Charlotte Street: 562-1237 and K-Mart Plaza, Welton St: 539-7381 and 1n North Sydney Mall: 794-7085. We Offer a Large Range Health, Vegetarian, Spe? cial Diet & Diabetic Foods and Vitanrins. Health is HapDiness OPEN MONDAY THKOUGH FRIDAY ' Sears Clearance Centres are outlets where Sears clear sur? plus regular merchandise from Sears Catalogues at a dis? count. Their courteous staff are kept busy displaying a wide assortment of clothing and household goods • even sporting goods. A small amount of the items are Catalogue Returns, clearly marked damaged or worn. Sears CATALOGUE CLEARANCE Simnsnns-Searq Ltd No Phone Orders MALL Store Hours: Thurs & Fri Mon & tues 10-5:30; 10-9:30; Saturday "UT Weds, 3T307 (45)
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