Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 39 - Aunt Annie MacLeod, Wreck Cove

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/6/1 (316 reads)

was terrible. (Were they still warm, the potatoes?) Oh, yes. They had to be as warm as you could stand it. That was for sore throat. Another thing, you know: if you had wool off a black sheep, you're supposed to put it in some kind of grease or oil--and put that on. (What kind of grease do you think it was?) Oh, I suppose it was perhaps some? thing that was in from--oh well, we might have had something in cans, anyway-- ointment. (Not goose grease.) No, no. Ra- leighs used to be around, and Watkins; we always used to get stuff for the winter, and during the summer for that. (But it had to be black wool.) Yes, that's what they were saying. (Did you ever do anything for the children if they had fever?) No. Oh, and they had fever, too. (Did you ever put salt fish on their feet?) No. I heard about it. I never did. No, I never did it. But I heard of it. (Anything that you would do, maybe, for sore eyes?) No. (My God, people suffered in your house!) I wouldn't doubt it! (We often talk about, for different chores, how the men would get together. Like they'd go from house to house, and they'd block up the winter's wood. And maybe they'd get to? gether to bring in the wood. Well, did the women get together to help each other with the spring cleaning?) Not the spring clean? ing, no. But you know, like hooking mats and quilting, and the wool that was going away--some women would come and help you getting the wool ready to send away. And then sometimes when the wool would come (back), if you wanted spinning done--they'd usually bring their own spinning wheels. And you'd have a spinning frolic. Just like a wood frolic. Oh, people were good to help each other then. Oh, wonderful. Because you know, wood--there was a lot of work in wood. Oh my, yes. You know, going out and hauling the wood, bringing it in. They had to do that when the snow was good, you know. You couldn't wait till spring, because, getting soft. And then somebody had a sawmill, com? ing and cutting the wood. I guess they paid that man so much, but not much. Perhaps he'd run in a whole section. He went from house to house. (Bringing this mill.) Yeah. Cutting wood. And then they'd come, some would come, splitting wood. See, George used to cut their hair, for an awful lot of people. And so they gave him a day cutting wood, or a day something-- that's how they used to pay him. So that was a good way of doing it. Oh, but they were good help, anjrway. Here you're plant? ing potatoes, well you knew somebody was going to plant potatoes today--two or three would go there, and tomorrow go to some other place. And digging the potatoes was the same way.... (Aunt Annie took out a manuscript:) I'm just going to read this to you. "I was born at Wreck Cove, May 4th, 1899. My mother and father died when I was three weeks old, within a couple of days of each other. They left five children--four girls and one son. The oldest of the family, he was 14 years at the time. The grandparents were living at the time, but died within a year. The MacDermids, I mean. And there was a sister of my father's with them. And she never got married. My mother's sister, Kate Morrison --she wasn't married either--lived at Mor? rison's grandfather's place. They took me." My mother died when I was three weeks old. She went out, they were saying, cutting po? tatoes for planting. She was sitting on the doorsteps, and I guess she got pneumonia. And then, you know, if you had pneumonia, there was no cure for it. Well, hardly any? one lived if they had that. (Had she been Functional Stoneware and Custom Dinnerware Turnstone Pottery WHEELTHROWN Studio and Showroom on the Harbour 226-3004 Arichat, Isle Madame Jack Ouellette, Potter Bird Island Tours A 21/2 hour cruise from MOUNTAIN VIEW BY THE SEA Camping and Cabins 4 miles off Trans-Canada Highway (Route 105) at BIG BRAS D'OR, CAPE BRETON TOURS LEAVE 10 A.M. and 1:30 P.!/l. 7 DAYS A WEEK * (902)674-2384 (M:' Need a New Windshield? Your Local Auto Glass Company If we can save your windshield, your Insurance wll[pay tlie full cost. 186 Prince St. Across from Belle Isle Lincoln Mercury 564-4527 WELCOME TO THE FULLY LICENSED Harbour Restaurant A Good Selection of Seafood OPEN ALL YEAR 'ROUND Dining Room Overlooking Ctieticamp Harbour Cheticamp, Cape Breton * 224-2042 39
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