Page 37 - From Breton Cove and Boston: Conversations with Josie Matheson Bredbury Part 2
ISSUE : Issue 57
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1991/6/1
wouldn't talk to us. See, he had a stroke. And he had lost his voice. And he wouldn't talk to us. But Mama'd take each one of us and put us up in his bed beside him. And we'd talk to him, you know, and we'd give him a kiss. And with his other hand he'd be patting us. Honest, it was--but we didn't know, you know, that he couldn't.... They kept things like that from children. And then Annie--my sister Annie--she was named after his mother. And we used to-- there wasn't a pocket on him that he didn't have a candy wrapped up in a little piece of paper! There'd be Josie, Annie, Roddy--you know, every pocket he had on, he had a piece of candy. Oh, God love him. And he'd always pick Annie up and put her on his lap. And then she'd get the first one. And I know hers was over his heart. The pocket over his heart. Then each one of us--we'd be all standing there waiting for our feed. Oh, God love him. He was wonderful.... There weren't that many games, really, that we did. In the wintertime, of course, we skated and--we were so busy in the sum? mertime, working, to the smallest of us-- we were all in the fields with them, work? ing. I remember so many times the youngest one would be maybe sitting up. And we'd be digging the potatoes. And all the small little potatoes were thrown into one lit? tle bundle over there, as you were dig? ging. And they'd sit the little one over there, maybe two of them. And they'd give them a bucket. And that's how they used to play, with that, back (in the bucket), and out again, you know, like babies do. And the (other children), they were picking up potatoes and putting them in the bags. So there was a job for everybody. And then when we'd be out ha''ing, the old? er ones were raking. If you weren't rak? ing, they had the fork and they'd take some of the hay. And everybody was out there in the fields. There was nobody left at the house.... And when we' d come home from the fields, we'd have to go and get the cows. Take the cows back up--back of the house there. There was a small fence there for them to be there for the night. So they wouldn't stray away. A bunch would go for them, bring them up. Then there was wood to be brought in, there was kindlings to be made. There was water--we didn't have a pump those days-- and there was water to be carried in from the well. There was always--kids were working as hard as the parents. Josie milking a cow. This cow is thought to be the "Maoli," the cow that got drunk in Josie's story told in Issue 56. (What about picking stones?) Oh, yeah-- those dumb things. I used to hate them. See, when they'd plow up and harrow off the (field), that would bring all the stones up. There'd be stones all over the field. So, they couldn't leave those stones there because the mower--would ruin the mower. So we used to put it in buckets and take and dump them in one place. That's why all those cairns around the farms--you know, the lumps of rocks. And then there was a drag made--square drag. And it attached to the horse. And then we'd fill that up. And then somebody'd take the horse near where it could be dumped. And the kids, we used to be doing that. Mama would be with us most of the time. There was something to do all the time, with the kids. So then, when we did play, it would be probably an hour before we'd go to bed. And we were in bed by 9 o'clock. You'd be so tired. (What would they have for refreshments while you were out in the field making hay?) Well, there was a drink that they used to make with oatmeal. There was a bucket, and a F. IVIacLEOD SIDING LTD. LICENSED AND BONDED UNDER DIRECT SELLERS ACT • Replacement Windows • Doors & Steel Entrances • Solid Vinyl Siding • Casements & Awning • Shutters (Custom Made in Our Plant) VINYL REPLACEMENT WINDOWS ALL TYPES ROOFING IMPROVEMENTS • Vertical & Horizontal Sliders • Store Fronts • Commercial Steel Siding Aluminum Siding FREE ESTIMATES "Your House Matters to You, So You Matter to Us" 564-6746 107ARGYLEST. SYDNEY SERVING CAPE BRETON ISLAND Gas Tank Replacements & Repairs For Personal Efficient Service: Call 564-6699 Sydney Radiator New Heaters & Radiators or Repairs . r% . We Service and Ship 121 Prince StreGt, Sydney Anywhere on cape Breton island 20 Years a Family Business 2 Years Warranty on All Parts * We Accept VISA & MASTERCARD 37
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