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> Issue 45 > Page 21 - Anne Morrell, Margaree Valley "Seasons of My Life"

Page 21 - Anne Morrell, Margaree Valley "Seasons of My Life"

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/6/1 (286 reads)

We had a division of expenses. I took care of the food, and all the kids' other needs. And (financially) did major house repair. And Garry took care of the vehicles, the machinery, and major land things, like re- seeding and liming, fertilizing a new field, that kind of stuff. Garry cut the wood (for the house). But after I built my studio, I would have to buy my own wood for the studio. (You were able to keep those things sepa? rate?) Pretty well. It's just that if I wanted something special in the food line, I had to buy it; And if I wanted to do something in the house, well, it was up to me to pay for it. So it just kind of natur? ally became a division that way. (You kept two accounts: your earnings and his earn? ings?) Yes. And I had my own savings. So if there was something really special I wanted to do, like the one year I had to buy a new cow--if I didn't have any money in my savings account, we wouldn't have had a cow. (Most marriages just dump everything to? gether.) Well, see, we each had our own priorities, and so it was up to ourselves to look after them. Like, I would never spend any money on a vehicle, a car or a tractor. That was his interest. Or if he saw an old motor he wanted to buy--it was his money, fine. And if I decided I wanted new kitchen cabinets, it was my money, fine. (Interesting. Something like that has bro? ken up many marriages. Or maybe you see it as saving yours.) Well, we never had any problems in our marriage. Maybe that's part of the reason why. I would have liked--I mean, I thought it would have been wonderful if some guy would take care of me and I didn't have to worry about mon? ey. But he wasn't like that. So, I always had to worry about getting money to do what I wanted to do. (So it wasn't you were deeply, deeply liberated--it was, that was the fellow you loved.) I guess, some of each. He had no guilt feelings a- bout (not) being the breadwinner. It was just, do your share and that's it. It's up to the little woman to do the rest! ("Spreading manure, renewing the ground,/ Using farming practices that are sound.") That was a statement on our kind of organ- ic philosophy of farming--that we try to do things naturally, the way they were al? ways done, rather than try to use chemi? cals . There were some old hayfields that Garry insisted we put chemical fertilizer on. Which I wasn't too keen on. But at that point, that was his project. But it wasn't land that we were growing anything other than hay. And we just did it one year to get it started. (It's you on the tractor.) Yeah. (You with the manure spreader.) Yeah. We used to take turns at that job. Actually, in the beginning, he looked after the cows and I looked after the horses and the sheep and the chickens. So, I had to spread the horse manure and the sheep manure, and he spread the cow manure. And we had to shov? el it all on by hand, at that point, too. And then we started doing it together, be? cause the spreader got kind of finicky, and one guy had to be on the spreader and the other guy on the tractor. Actually, I lost the job after awhile, too, because the spreader got so finicky that I was ac? cused of not operating it correctly. Now I'm back on the spreader. But now I have a friend that comes up with a front-end load? er and puts it in for me. Can do it all in a day, instead of 3 weeks of shovelling. I'd go out and do maybe 4 or 5 loads in a day. And that was it. My back couldn't take it after that. Shovel it onto the spreader. (And take it out with the trac? tor and spread it.) Come back and fill it up again. I didn't enjoy doing it. But some jobs had to be done, so you did them. And I always say, you can see (that) re? flected in the quilt. The jobs I didn't like doing, the squares are simpler than the ones that I enjoyed--there's more de? tail on them. ("Tilling the garden at least twice/ Makes the seed bed soft and nice."") ("Sawing logs at the mill,/ Some for the walls, some for the sill.") Down at our sawmill. Garry bought that, together with a guy who used to live down the road, be? cause he was building a house. And at that point, we had lots of building projects. And of course, Garry loved machinery. And the guy sawed up wood for his house, and then sold his share back to Garry. Garry just sawed up enough for our own uses, and the neighbours that wanted stuff sawn. We sawed all the wood for my studio together. I was the guy that threw the slabs into the truck and piled the lumber, and sent stuff back up to him. He was the sawyer. And if I couldn't help him at the mill, the kids would go down and help him. It (21)
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