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The Memoirs of Annie Krause (Mathies)
LONG VERSION (28 pages)
[Married to a Krause]
By now I was ready for baptism which was followed by my engagement to Bill. The next year Papa allowed me to spend not more than $15 for a wedding dress. It proved to be a good choice since my daughter Kathleen & her friends played "dress up" with it for years to come.
On the way to Church [April 18, 1942] my sister noticed that I needed a half slip, so we stopped at her place while her husband Jake crawled through the basement window, holding it open so she could get in, since they had locked the door, & couldn't find the key. Art was only 2 at the time, so our parents stopped to get him his first pair of good shoes on their way. We all made it in time for the wedding, & as was the custom those days, we said our vows after walking down the aisle together & then changing rings.
A simple lunch of sandwiches & home baked sweets with coffee for the adults & milk for the children was served in the basement of the church, & after the gifts were opened & thank-you's given, away we went to dance and have a few drinks. I never saw anyone get drunk. Then there was work to be done & there wasn't any honeymoon for us untill [sic] years later when the children were old enough to come along to Niagara Falls.
The house we moved into was a cottage [at Point Pelee, near Ed DeLaurier] that stood off the ground on round logs dug into the sand and surrounded by bails of straw to keep out the winter cold. One large room served both as a kitchen & living area, heated by a Quebec heater & a large black cook stove with an oven & a water tank at the end. An ice box in the unheated front porch with wooden shutters had the ice box which Mr. Moody filled when summer came, whenever necessary, & lakeside Jersey delivered milk all the way from Leamington where Mr. Derksen's store had the necessary groceries Opa would buy & deliver for both Oma and us.
Before breakfast my husband would go out & check the muskrat traps & bring them back for me to skin since he had to fish. Tink White [Leon "Tink" White], a huge man showed me how it was done. He also boasted about how to catch a skunk. While they're entering a hole in a hollow tree, he just held the tail together by the hind legs as he pulled them out. He was so heavy that the guys who carried his coffin when he died, still talk about it to this day. We were always waiting for a chair to break when he sat down.
Anyway, one day as I was busy skinning a muskrat, after putting a slit in his tail & had him hanging from the ceiling of the furnace room in the basement of the new home my husband & I had happily worked together on, all of a sudden the mouth came up & I almost got bitten by a live one. Well that did it, I quit! He was supposed to be dead & I am an animal lover, and would have liked to be a vet.
So with the maple trees beginning to ready for tapping, the sap began to flow, & the large copper boiler, after steaming away all day turned out the best maple syrup you ever tasted.
I'd had many a sore throat while growing up but that was before OHIP, and we were too poor to go to the doctor, so when Dr. Llyon came out (they made house calls those days), to check on my condition as there had been a fever, followed by three days of not being able to walk. I stayed in bed while I was in the first months of pregnancy with my second boy named Billy or William Alexander, whose brother Eric Richard 2 yrs older with whom I almost died giving birth to, was quietly eating at the table in his high chair, I was diagnosed as having rheumatic fever & advised to have the tonsils removed after the birth. This was done in the basement of his office, the building still standing where Dr. Rusoille my present one now practices. Following a local while sitting in a chair, & a snip, snip, one on each side, home to care for the family I went.
But Billy wasn't gaining any weight. Dr. Llyon believed in mothers milk but I had none, so when I took the new baby & he weighed him it was evident that he hadn't gained. Not being a pediatrician but a surgeon I was referred to one in Windsor, & thank goodness the formula worked. But I have heard that when an expectant mother has measles early in the pregnancy there could be problems with the child so it could be that Billy was already on the road to his diabetes before he was even born. He never even cried at night that I recall. Eric on the other hand weighing in at 7 lbs. was so bald that Oma said couldn't be her grandson with his red wrinkled face, they must have switched him at the hospital. But he nursed like mad, always hungry, lots of canned baby food & after the brush she'd given to her son Willy, & I took it to Eric's bald plate & it came out in beautiful blond curls & that must have come from her side of the family.
The day we brought Eric home & placed him in his clothes basket on the couch where our dog Fritz always slept at night, he was so jealous (or hurt) & left for 3 whole days. Since hunting rabbits or deer required a retriever we now had 2 dogs & also a few stray cats & before getting the new dog, my mother who'd after her gallstone operation came to recuperate at our place & saw that Fritzie was staying indoors for night, asked for him to be put out, but was assured he always came & licked my face when he had to go. Not that night. He went over to her bedpost & established territory. I'm still laughing about that night, but Mother decided not to stay too long after that. It wasn't a joke.
One day as my husband came driving into the yard in the old tar truck with the hunting dog looking out of the window beside him, sure enough Fritzie ran out to be greeted & was instantly killed by the 2 front wheels. You can get so attached to an animal, I thought I'd never get over it.
It was just as hard when at the age of seven [actually not 7 until January] first Eric & then Billy started school. I had taught myself to drive in the old gear shift tar truck, but we were now living far away from the one-room school house, so Mrs. Grubb would stop to pick up the boys every day & Eunice Anders would take them to Sunday school at the Anglican Church where she played the organ. Her husband Frank has since died, but she's still living in the house that belonged to Dr. Llyon who is also gone. The place at Point Pelee was an even switch with this one when it became a National Park & she belongs to the "Friends of Point Pelee".
I'll go back in time, when living next to Ed DeLaurier, the rats from the barn & manure pile fond their way over & dug through the straw to our inside toilet at one end of the front porch. I never like to switch a light on at nights since that wakes me up, but after flushing twice & it looked like there was still something dark in the bowl, I pulled the string attached to the bulb in the ceiling & saw this rat scrambling to get out where just a minute before I'd been sitting. I screamed so loud, it woke up Bill who threw the rat out after it was killed. The first thing we did was wrap heavy duty plastic all around the straw. I think this decided my husband to build a house, and it still stands to this day on land high enough & sturdy enough; no water in the basement & with people at the present time enjoying the place I think of it as the closest you can come to living in the Garden of Eden while they're working at the Interpretative Centre.
We decided to be nearer to the fishery where my husband was very busy after the old wooden building was replaced by a cement block one after which a twine house was added as well. There were boats to be build [sic]. Bill drew up the blue prints for 2 large ones & after that followed a new dock as well as blue prints for trap nets instead of pound nets where the long round post used to be pounded in the lake to keep the nets in place. The new trap nets, to this day, not even the Omstead Brothers, were able to persuade Bill for the plan & is the sole property of Krause Fisheries.
The Department of Fisheries asked my husband to go and see if he could motivate the Newfoundlers [sic] to work in the fishing field, but they were so used to living on the "dole" they wouldn't even take a lunch & ate raw fish instead, so not wanting to waste his time even though with good pay, my husband felt he was needed back home. Meanwhile Kathy & I had spent a lovely summer in Sydney.
The boys weren't boys any longer. Billy who now wanted to be called William at 21and Eric at 23, both knowing after working at the fishery in the summers, that there was a better way to go, continued in their education, & finally also looking at girls instead of playing sports.
When they were really young, Billy at 4 had been dared, I believe, to hang onto Rudy's car as he drove up the hill from the back of our house & he accidentally let go, & it looked like the leg had been broken. By this time we had a car and in those days we went to Wheatley & got our beginners & drivers permits the same day by simply driving around the block, hardly any traffic, parallel parking, & that did it. So I rushed him to our Leamington Hospital which was founded by Dr. Llyon, and with his leg in a cast came home to be driving himself around via a wheelchair. Since it's too sandy on the beach he isn't in the picture we have of his brother, & father, with the sturgeon.
It wasn't long after our return from the Maritimes that we had a bad thunderstorm one night. Bill was always a sound sleeper, but I had developed a "mother's ear" & heard a thumping heading towards us from where Eric had been sleeping in the sun-porch where he could do as he pleased without disturbing his brother. As I opened the door to the living room, there was Eric dragging along on his behind with blood gushing out of one ankle, & a trail leading all the way back where he'd been sleeping. The Venetian blinds looked crooked and there was glass from a broken window.
William, having learned first-aid while life-guarding at the Point, quickly grabbed the main arteries with his strong thumb, & with his Dad & jumped into the car while Dad drove and Wm. continued to hand on, calling back for me to phone emergency to notify of their coming. Thank goodness the tank was full of gas but when they got there, they weren't prepared. Apparently my voice had been too hysterical to believe. Well my husband according to what I was told sure told them to hurry it up in no uncertain terms. Meanwhile back at home Kathleen was sleeping peacefully in the huge bed her Dad had made just for her in the bedroom with an outside door where cement steps went down to where all of the 23 cats ate & continued to multiply after being dropped off by the door. How could I not take in a stray? One named Joseph because he had a coat of many colours turned out to be Josephine. There was also a skunk who joined them when the warm skim milk with old bread crusts soaking was put out. Then a mother racoon [sic] was run over while crossing the road with her young ones. One was left & after being weaned from the baby bottle, he grew up & became a mother in Oma's garage. She sure didn't go for that & with an animals instinct brought her little ones back for me to see, stayed a while, and then went to join her kind in the park.
We had a huge stark apple tree way back behind our house as well as others such as Jonathans which I don't see in the fruit department anymore. One day it looked as though there was a wolf eating the rotting apples under the trees, So after the warden was called, we walked together towards where he was eating. He never even lifted his head. It was decided that he was a coyote & was old, deaf, & blind. Totally harmless. What a relief. By now we had a black cocker Spaniel & called him Smokey. Upon returning at night from town he'd be lying & waiting for us by the mailbox post, his eyes shinning in the dark & so happy to see us. I do think that man's best friend is a dog. Someone said the other day on T.V. quote: "Too bad that man isn't man's best friend." There would be no more war any more, eh? They all know in Florida that we are Canucks when we end our sentences with "eh". I believe Lake Wales was one of the places we felt truly welcomed.
The sound of a pheasant first thing in the morning was a better wake-up-call than any alarm clock made by man. The white tailed deer kept their distance & sometimes Pepper, our latest & last dog we had, got a bit too close for their comfort, so we have pictures of them, tails up jumping over the fallen trees of the park adjacent to us. Our daughter remembers Pepper, a thoroughbred Weimeraner [sic] whose papers had to be signed for, promising never to mate him with one of a different species.
By now, we being one of the last landowners at the Point, had to have a dog house with a fence around it, as our yard was not fenced in. On Sunday's we'd take him across the road, down to the lake where the fishery was, for a swim. Many of our friends come down & brought things corn-on-the-cob to be cooked on a kettle hanging over a bon-fire, & wieners, etc. were also contributed, as well as watermelons, hoe-grown. It sure was fun to eat outside, in the shade of the fishery on a table made from fish boxes that served as seats. Bill, my husband had to keep an eye on the place in case of vandalism, so we, along with our young kids spent many a Sunday afternoon, swimming & eating to keep him company.
Having 2 boys - now 12 & 10 years of old - I still wanted a girl, so about a year later, on March 8th, at 8 A.M. weighing in at 8 lbs., Kathleen Anne was born, and we referred to her as "sweet doll" I believe, that because she was treated so special, even allowing her anything she desired, her brothers resented it, & certainly didn't want to baby-sit her. When she was 5, Dr. Llyon advised me to have a hysterectomy. He then came out into the waiting room with 2 tumours, a huge one in one hand & the other a bit smaller, showed them to Bill & said he'd never seen those kind before, so they'd have to be sent away for 10 days before he'd know if they were benign.
It was during this time that my husband made a promise to God; if He would make me well, he on his part would build the Church I desired, since we'd been gathering at the Margaret D. Bennie School for services. The proof of the miracle stands today as faith Mennonite Church, where after becoming the Architect, Contractor, Plumber & Electrician, he worked together with so many volunteers that 4 years later, after long hrs. on the Lake, it was finished with our first minister George Janzen officiating at the opening & dedication services.
It was at age 13, we first became aware that our son Bill had diabetes. This was very traumatic especially for a teenager. He didn't want to eat at the table if there was company, untill [sic] one day, when he withdrew to his bedroom, Mother went to talk to him there. She must have been a good counselor, since he came & joined us. When he did become interested in girls, knowing he'd need a nurse for a wife, finally found one that Pepper didn't growl at & it was the right one for him.
Eric, after his operation on the Achilles heel, with the surgeon Dr. Lawrence never thinking he'd even play hockey again, proved him wrong, but was still quite thin looking after he says lightening struck his bed as he slept, causing his foot to go through the binds & shattering the window, but walked up the aisle of Faith Church with Lynda & were married on Dec. 3 .
By now, the Federal Park was determined that no private property should remain in the area, but my husband was not about to sell the Fishery or our home. We went to court & since McLean who had been the original owner from whom it was purchased testified to that fact, the government lost the case & appealed it. The second time, our witness had died & it was won on a technicality. There wasn't a fence around the property. Now that is impossible to do since in beach sand it would easily fall over by just pushing it back & forth by anyone beachcombing. So they laughed as were told they had enough money to go to the Supreme Court & we didn't. The time spent on this with the lawyer & in court, Bill decided, it was time to get back & fish & so we moved the business to Sturgeon Creek harbour & built another house there behind the fishery. By now Rudy was also in a new house beside the business & the boats in the harbour.
The water was quite low the first year, but to stop erosion, willow-trees were planted around the creek side, but the crawl space beneath the house did have a sump pump which came into full use when the water got high, One day we even had huge carp in the front yard, & my Dad saw his chance to spear them. Eleanor called my husband on the radio & inquired what I could do & she called back to say "just keep on pumping". By now we had a trailer attached to a hitch at the back of the car & with a small motor boat on top, strapped to the roof, we'd go camping during summer holidays, on week-ends taking Kathy & a friend along for company. This was very good for my husband to get away from the business once in a while & spend time relaxing & be with us.
Kathy was growing up and decided she wanted to be on her own. She quit school & after that she got married, had 2 great kids, but also many heartaches & abuse, so that was that.
One day while helping with the events after a bazaar at our church, I had an urgent call to come home as fast as possible, & take my husband to emergency at the hospital. He'd never been sick a day in his life, never even closing the top of his shirt in the Lake when it got cold. He'd been busy working at the bottom of the boat that evening, where fumes were coming up, & had a severe pain in his chest. After an examination at the hospital they were not able to determine the cause, so he came back and went back to work as usual the next day.
After this a trip to Texas with our trailer was planned. That is where my cousin Peter Dick lives. But once there, after a short visit, etc., once again we spent a day in emergency & again the doctors weren't able to come up with an answer to the problem. His whole belly was extended as hard as a rock. So home we went again, but when the time came to donate blood, for the Red Cross, he was turned down. This time, it was confirmed that it was leukemia by checking the bone marrow. It was chronic & tablets were given for it.
So the share of his business was sold to his brother, and since the cold weather was too much to endure, we decided to look for a place to spend the winters in warmer climate. With the trailer in tow, we headed for Arizona, then decided to go to Florida, ending up in Lake Wales, at a trailer park called "Saddlebag". We became good friends with our neighbours, the Zmudas, bought a lot plus a park model trailer burning propane, adding a Florida room, with lots of windows, plus an extra washroom with a shower. A ceiling fan above a round dining table & pullout couch was waiting as family from home came to visit. Also a patio with a sun deck over the picnic table, & finally an aluminum shed containing a washer & dryer, & lawnmower (a push one since our newly planted lawn was not too large). With the barbeque, my husband enjoyed using, being the first time he'd ever helped with the cooking.
He was in remission for 4 yrs. but then he began to lose weight, till one morning he said it was time to go to the hospital again. The nearest one was in Tampa where they experimented by exchanging his blood with donated for a while untill [sic] he decided it was time to call it quits. This was right after the xmas holidays, so all of our children come to see him. Eric & Lynda stayed untill [sic] his death [January 15, 1980], & went back with me to Leamington, to await the funeral, I didn't know he'd made so many friends who all came to pay their last respect.
I decided to sell the place at Saddlebags to Mr. Brown who offered to buy it with all the furniture we had added, so with just the sheets, blankets, pillows, & towels, I drove back in our old brown car I'd come back in, & after saying good-bye to our good neighbours, arrived back home in about 3 days. There was still the truck that we had with the Mitzubishi engine & running on diesel that had given me trouble with no such engine in the States who had garages to fix them. While I was driving back & forth to Tampa hospital, thank goodness there was a marine place listed in the yellow pages who fixed it temporarily untill [sic] after my place was sold, and son William drove it back with me where fortunately we just made it into Essex where the truck had been purchased. It was sold there also.
I decided to sell the house at Sturgeon Creek to my nephew Paul [Krause] & moved to Paglione Drive. There was a lot of volunteer work to be done - besides walking many hours back & forth delivering the newsletter not being picked up by our Church members, helping with meals on wheels, as well as social work for the Selkirk Community Centre, there was time left to help out at the Etcetera Shoppe 3 times a week for about 7 years.
Then one morning while getting of bed, I got quite dizzy and lay down again. After a while, I got up to go to the kitchen sink to start peeling potatoes since it was Sunday & expected Wm. & his family for lunch after Church. There was a queezy feeling in my stomach & with that lost complete control of my bowels. Upon calling my son, the words were slurred & I was told to relax & they'd be down.
Upon arrival at emergency, I was questioned & couldn't recall that I'd ever been in the hospital before & I still have trouble with short term memory. This was a frightening experience & Kathy decided it would be time to be tested at University Hospital in London where she & her children now lived. Here it was discovered that milk & its products were not for me. Ever since I've been on Enrich with fibre which has been changed to Ensure with fibre, 1 can 3 times a day.
We also decided it might be better not to live alone in my condition, so we found a [London] house 4 levels where everyone had their own space.
There was voluntary work needed at New Victoria's sick children's hospital once a week, & one day on my way there, Steven asked for a ride to a place unfamiliar to me in such a large city; so slowly, as I was looking for the street sign, the caution changed to red, and the car was struck on the side where I was sitting, causing my left knee to be fractured. Steve was O.K., but the car was considered totalled. I finally managed to get around on crutches & left University Hospital after a steel pin & a donated bone were inserted. It was a year before a drivers license was permitted, then the Nissan was bought.
I decided to move back to Leamington. It is better for a mother & daughter to live separately if possible, so I found an apartment on a first floor right across from a public school playground. People are running by for exercise, others walking their dogs, kids, with their bikes wearing helmuts [sic] & many parents, buggies often with 2 small children, slowly strolling by. During busy season, during the night trucks loaded with tomatoes can be heard driving over the cracked pavement they have caused. So I keep the bedroom door closed at night & open the rest. Sure I miss pruning hedges, planting flowers, mowing the lawn, etc., but I'm thankfull [sic] I'm able to drive the car, go to the Point for a walk on the boardwalk or Nature Trail, some times taking a shut-in along for company, or visiting where they're at when they don't feel well enough to go. I guess there must be a reason why I didn't die when my first child was born & I almost died after the car accident when the car was totalled followed four years later by a dizziness causing the fall & hip replacement.
Now I'm dealing with osteoporosis (a lack calcium) & osteoarthritis, a side affect according to the doctor. I'm surrounded by medication on the table beside me next to the electric chair & back massager with feet elevated, content to enjoy my 73 years. You don't really appreciate the good untill [sic] you've gone through the bad.
Thank you Lord for all of your blessings!
SHORT VERSION (24 pages)
I was 18 by now and after a year became engaged to be married.
For the first time in my life I was allowed to choose what I would wear, and the wedding gown should not cost more than $ 15.00. It took some time but it proved to be a good choice since my daughter and her friends played dress-up with it in the years to come.
My brother Art was just a little over 2 yrs at the time, and my parents had to stop in town and get him a pair of shoes on the way to Church.
I, on the other hand also had to make a stop at my sister Margaret's who noticed I needed a long slip to go under the wedding gown. Something borrowed was obtained by crawling through her basement window (they had locked themselves out) and getting her's, but we made it on time.
Those days you and your betrothed walked up the aisle together as we did, and there weren't any flower girls or best man.
A simple meal of sandwiches and sweets with coffee was served in the Church basement, followed by the opening of gifts.
We left with friends of ours after the lunch and went to celebrate at a place we all used to go to and dance, to the live music of waltzes & polkas.
There wasn't a honeymoon planned since it was spring and my husband being a fisherman, had his work cut out for him. This was usually the busiest time of the year, and every day including Sundays were busy, unless the water was too rough.
Our cottage stood off the ground and surrounded by bails of straw was not meant for living in during the Cold winter, but we managed with both a cooking stove and a Quebec heater in the one large room that served as living area and kitchen Combined.
An ice box in the shuttered porch kept the food that was purchased once a week from Mr. Derksen's store 10 miles away in Leamington. A milkman supplied us when necessary as did the iceman a Mr. Moody.
Before breakfast my husband would go out to check the muskrat traps and bring back the ones for me to skin. My Companion for this, was Tink White [Leon "Tink" White], a huge man who knew how it was to be done. He also boasted about the many skunks he'd caught by getting them by their hind legs with the tail in between, thus allowing for no foul odor to be blown in his face or eyes which could blind you for awhile.
The maple trees were tapped in the spring, and after chopping enough wood for a hot fire. I'd boil the sap in a large boiler on top of the stove until it evaporated enough to be just right as maple syrup. This was usually a whole days work.
The first year also brought with it our first baby, - a boy. Eric Richard Krause was 7 lbs but looked so wrinkled and bald that my mother-in-law couldn't believe it was really ours.
I'd never thought I'd like kids, but after you've nursed & held your own, you became so attached that you hated to leave them for long.
We had a dog Fritze (a spitz) who slept on the couch, untill [sic] we brought Eric home & put his basket down where the dog usually slept. He must have been really hurt because he left and didn't come back for 3 days.
Since hunting rabbits or deer required a different dog for retrieving we now had 2 dogs and a few stray cats. Fritze was always trying to get our first attention and when my husband drove in the yard one evening in the old tar truck, our Fritze got run over in his eagerness to be greeted.
You can become so attached to an animal that the loss is hard to believe.
Then there were the rats that found their way underneath the Cottage and into our bathroom in the porch. One night, not wanting to turn on the light, I'd flushed the toilet, but it looked like it wasn't working too well since there seemed to be something dark still in the bowl. To my horror, when I switch on the light by pulling the string - there was a red-eyed wet scrambling rat trying to get out where a moment ago I had been sitting.
I'd had a lot of sore throats while growing up but there was no money for doctors, so the infection from bad tonsils had finally resulted in what Dr. Lyon (who was called out to see me) diagnosed as rheumatic fever. For 3 days I was unable to walk, and I was also expecting my second child at the time. I was advised to have a tonsilectomy [sic] after the baby was born. This was done in the basement of the doctors office, while sitting in a chair after a local had been given. After this I had to go home and look after my family. Wm. Alexander did not thrive on my nursing him and hadn't gained weight like he should, so we were sent to a Child specialist in Windsor and he was put on a special formula.
My husband thought it would be good if we could move to a better house and began by drawing plans for one he would help to build. It was to be a 3 bedroom, living & dining area, kitchen and study, with porch on one level, a basement for the boys to play in beside a work area for himself.
A piece of the former apple orchard (the rest now belonging to the park) was purchased right across from the fishery and close to his parents place.
Whenever possible I went along to help with the nailing & pre-sinking of the floors. The wood had come from an old light house that stood at the end of the Point.
Billy was only four and we were already living in our own house when he accidently broke his leg. Thank goodness I'd learned to drive by then, and was able to take him to the hospital.
This was a time when sturgeon were still being caught in Lake Erie and we have a picture of the largest one ever, with Eric and his dad. We couldn't wheel Billy down to the beach for the picture.
Our back yard was alive with many cats by now, since I couldn't turn away the strays. But one day, a mother racoon [sic] was run over after attempting to cross the road, and one of her little ones was added to the bread and milk at the back door. For a while , she had to be fed by a bottle, but not for long. Then a skunk also joined the crowd, but the deer kept their distance. The sound of a pheasant was sure to wake you in the morning, and one afternoon a wolf was spotted in the back yard, eating apples from the ground. The warden was called and we walked right up close and decided the wolf must be quite old and blind because he wasn't disturbed, so we let him be.
Many a Sunday afternoon was spent with friends at the beach by the fishery. Everyone brought food and we'd set up tables outside with the aid of fish-boxes to sit on.
Having 2 boys, I was still hoping for a daughter and so it was that Kathleen was born one morning at 8 A.M. weighing in a 8 lbs on March 8th. I often referred to her as my "sweet doll", and of course that didn't always sit well with her brothers. When she was five, I had to go for an operation and it was discovered that 2 large tumors one in the ovary and the other in the Uterus that could be malignant. Dr Lyon told my husband he'd never seen such as those, and showed them to him.
It was at this time that Bill made a pact with God. If I would get better, the Church which I wanted built, would be his priority. Faith Mennonite on Sherk St. is evidence that the promise was kept. He became the Contractor and every day after work, he could be found directing and doing a lot of the necessary work that was needed. When I was well enough it was my pleasure to help as well.
It was at the age of 13, that we we discovered our son Billy had diabetes. This was a hard time for everyone, but for a teenager to accept that every morning had to begin with an insulin shot was traumatic. He eventually had a triple by pass for his heart but died at 50, May 24/95.
My husband who was always interested in building things had managed to draw up all the plans for the new trap nets we were now using. They were doing so well, that the Dept of Fisheries asked him to introduce them to the Newfoundlanders. We bought a new car, and with our daughter who was already 10 set out for Nova Scotia. Here we were to stay for the summer holidays in a cabin near Sydney, while my husband commuted to the Island.
It wasn't untill [sic] we returned home that Eric had his accident one night right in our home during a thunderstorm.
He had just gotten engaged and was sleeping in the porch that was cooler and more private at the other other end of the house. He claims that lightening struck the bed & he was thrown with his feet through the venetian blinds and then the glass window. I heard a thumping noise from our bedroom and went out to find him dragging himself across the floor to get help. Blood was everywhere, and if it hadn't been for my husband & our son Billy, he could have bled to death.
They drove him to the hospital - a distance of 10 miles, while Billy who'd had life-guard training, held onto his bleeding ankles with a firm grip. Dr. Lawrence who operated , never expected Eric to be able to play hockey again, but he finally recovered. He was still very thin on his wedding day in December of that year, and we all had reason to celebrate the occasion.
2 years later his brother Billy decided to marry Marg Munro - a nurse, also a wise decision.
The federal government was beginning to encourage people to sell their property in the Point and we were told that our fishery was on Crown land and we'd have to leave. Well, my husband, a fighter when necessary decided to take it to court. The case was won, but the government appealed and the second time around we lost. It just wasn't sensible to go on to the supreme court, money wise as well as time away from the business so we moved on.
Our house was sold to the government and our business was moved to Sturgeon Creek harbour. Here once again we planned and built a house and buildings for the fishery. We were surrounded by water, but it was quite low the first year. Willows were planted around the edge of the creek to stop erosion.
The water rose considerably one spring and a sump pump was working continually in the crawl space underneath the house.
We had now added a trailer for our enjoyment and spent quite a few week-ends , a small boat on top of the car pulling it and of course going fishing with it.
It was good for my husband to get away from the business and he thoroughly enjoyed the change. Our daughter Kathleen was growing up and wanted to be on her own. She decided to quit school and after a while a marriage followed that has caused much unhappiness.
One day, while helping with our social events at church, I received an urgent request to come home. My husband, who was always so healthy, had a severe pain in his chest. He'd been doing some work beneath a boat for many hours, and had to stop because of discomfort. He was admitted into the hospital but released when the problem could not be identified.
We decided to take a trip to Texas in our new trailor [sic] and all went well, untill [sic] a few days after our arrival, he again felt pain.
The doctors at the hospital there did not find the cause either, so after awhile, we headed back home.
Now my husband had always given blood for the Red Cross but now he was told, his was not acceptable. After another check up at the Medical Centre, the bone marrow indicated leukemia. He was given medication in the form of tablets and told that it was a chronic condition.
It was time to give up the business, which then enabled us to go to a warmer Climate for the winter. He, who had always been so warm & healthy was getting thin, pale and cold. We went to Arizona pulling the trailer, but after a while decided to go back to Florida where we'd been before and buy a place to leave the trailer on for the winter. At Saddlebag Lake at Lake Wales we were able to enjoy the 4 yrs each winter since Bill had now gone into remission and gained weight.
We became good friends with our neighbours (the Zmudas) and added a Florida room to our new park model tip-out that served to host our extended family on ocassions [sic].
It was after a period of time & a loss of weight, that a fast trip to the hospital at Tampa, we became aware there wasn't too much hope of a recovery.
Our children all came to see their dad for awhile, and Eric & Lynda were able to stay after Christmas holidays and go back with me for the funeral in Leamington.
After a while I decided to sell the place in Lake Wales and drove back in the old brown car that had pulled the trailers around the country. This still left me with a small truck we had purchased, so my son Bill helped to bring that one back. It had given me quite a bit of trouble and we just made it into Essex where it had been purchased & there later sold.
I decided not to stay at Sturgeon Creek Harbour where I was was not needed, beside the Fishery. It was sold to my nephew Paul and I moved to a rented apt. at Paglione Dr.
There was a lot of volunteer work to be done and the one that took up a good amount of time was the the Et Cetera Shoppe. This lasted almost 7 yrs.
One morning I awoke, feeling very dizzy and even after lying back down again, it remained.
Then a queezy feeling came into my stomach & I suddenly lost all control of my bowels. My mouth felt numb on one side and when I went to phone my son, my words were slurred.
I was taken into emergency at the hospital and upon questioning, couldn't recall that I'd ever been there before. My short term memory is still causing problems.
This was a frightening experience for all of us and it was at this point that Kathleen decided I'd have to come to London Hospital for tests, since they were very slow in Leamington.
I'm not sure what connection that had with my getting severe diahrea [sic], but after a stay at University Hospital it was determined that milk & its by products were not for me, and an added supplement of "Enrich" with fibre was prescribed.
Kathleen had been living in London for about a year and we decided it might be for my good if I got a house that would be big enough for her & the kids to live in together; each in their own space as much as possible.
So here I was at 369 Baseline Rd. W. and decided to do voluntary at the New Victoria Hospital which involved playing with the sick children who were escorted up to a room where they could all make suggested crafts or play games.
This kept me busy, and in the good weather there was the lawn to mow and weeds to pull, shrubs to clip etc.
Then one day as I was on my way to go to Victoria Hospital, I had Steven (my grandson) along who wanted to be dropped off somewhere. Not being too familiar with the location, I was looking for street signs & failed to notice that the caution had changed to red. My car was hit where I was sitting and my left knee had to have surgery. They inserted a steel pin and a donated piece of bone.
This was a great shock and as my writing indicates I need medication, which I'll probably be taking the rest of my life.
The car was totalled and it took a year before a drivers license permit was given and a new car bought. I decided to move back to Leamington after a while and now reside at the Lutsch apts.
While living in Leamington before, it kept me quite busy doing volunteer work at the Et Cetra Shoppe, but because of my knee and other problems with my back etc. it is no longer possible.
There is a good view from the windows where the public school children can be seen playing. There is T.V. with many channels to choose from on cable. And the public library that have many books waiting to be read.
Once a week a bunch of us oldtimers who have known each other since we were young, get together for lunch, and then take time going to others homes afterwards. Only the other night we were asking - How much longer would we all be able to do that?
August 3, 1995
I was operated on and given a hip replacement consisting of a metal ball at University Hospital in London. It all began when I was in my kitchen and although there is no recolection of it in my mind, I had apparently been trying to make a phone call, and after falling to the floor with the phone, had replaced the receiver just when my daughter called from London sensing there was something wrong. On her second try she got through. I answered, still lying on the floor and asked who it was. (I don't remember any of that conversation). Kathy told me and asked what was the matter. My reply had been that I had become very dizzy and had tried to reach 911 when I fell, and wasn't able to move.
Kathy told me to hang up the phone, and she would call the ambulance in Leamington. After that she immediately called back and kept me talking untill [sic] they came.
playground. People are running by for exercise, others walking their dogs, kids, with their bikes wearing helmets and many parents, buggies often with two small children, slowly strolling by. During busy season, during the night trucks loaded with tomatoes can be heard driving over the cracked pavement they have caused. So I keep the bedroom door closed at night and open the rest. Sure I miss pruning hedges, planting flowers, mowing the lawn, etc., but I'm thankful I'm able to drive the car, go to the Point for a walk on the boardwalk or Nature Trail, some times taking a shut-in along for company, or visiting where they're at when they don't feel well enough to go. I guess there must be a reason why I didn't die when my first child was born and I almost died after the car accident when the car was totalled followed four years later by a dizziness causing the fall and hip replacement.
The tests at the hospital indicated that I was dehydrated and my platlets [sic] were too low for them to operate. The xrays showed that I had a broken hip.
My daughter Kathy arranged for my immediate admitance [sic] to University Hospital in London where they had to build up my platlets [sic] untill [sic] they could operate.
After the surgery on Aug 3/95, I returned home, with Kathy driving me, and she stayed with me for almost a month untill [sic] she felt the need to go home as her daughter was staying at a new school, so she wanted to be with her if needed.
I really appreciated what she did for me, but didn't always articulate it. In fact she felt that I was taking her for granted.
My six week check up in London showed that the hip is fine. The swelling of the operative leg and the ankle of the other one is a mystery, so elasticed [sic] hose are now being worn. Hopefully it will be the answer to that.
Having been discharged from the hospital, I was able to walk around with a walker that was picked up at the Legion as well as a wheelchair that my daughter brought back and for a donation of our choice could be returned when no longer needed.
The therapist after encouraging me with all of my exercises decided that it was time to try the cane, since it looked as though it was time to go for it.
We started out together with her one hand stretched out to hold me, but I found that in looking down to see where I was stepping, dizzyness [sic] stopped us from trying any more until a doctor was consulted. It turned out to be a virus of the inner ear, so medication was prescribed, it worked.
Once again to the Legion we went to get a cane, and when the therapist came & saw how well I was doing, she told me that she wouldn't need to come back again.
The sun began to shine as well as happy look on my face that when we all got together for Thanksgiving on Sunday at Marg's place with her family and friends, I was truly thankfull. [sic]
I think that I learned from my experience, that you don't truly appreciate the good untill [sic] you've you've [sic] gone through the bad.