My Granddaughter Hailie loves to see people happy and to let everyone know when she's happy. If you're not smiling or laughing and she notices she'll come up and hug you or do something to make you smile and then she says....Happy?. Happy can be in the form of a question to see if you're happy or to let you know she's happy - it's all in the way she says it and it's so darn cute! Another one for my memory bank that I don't ever want to forget!
Here she is telling me she's happy to be outside feeding the animals - even if it was a wet rainy day!
It took us a few years of living in sawdust and paint before we got it the way we wanted but we got it done. And a few years later we added an addition to the side of it which provided a larger bathroom/laundry room. We lived there for 13 years. It wasn't by far the biggest or nicest house we ever lived in, but my parents and I agree it was the one with the best times and memories! I think we all miss living on the lake. Fishing, swimming, water skiing, and watching wild life year round really is something to treasure.
Here are a few more photos I found.
This was the finished product! A beautiful cozy home to call our own.
My Dad with one of the many fish pulled out of the lake. My parents boat is on the left and you can just see the windshield of mine on the right. They bought me my own boat when I was 12! I was one happy girl I tell you, especially since my best friend lived at the other end of the lake!
My Dad and our neighbour putting a new roof on.
My Mom feeding the neighbourhood geese that came to visit every day.
A Mama duck and her babies taking a walk on our lawn.
Mom relaxing on a warm summer day.
Snowmachines after a winter storm. Winter's were almost as much fun as summer!
So there you have it. The house that built me. I honestly don't think I'd be the person I am today if I didn't grow up there. I cherish each and every one of my memories of that house and the unconditional love my parents gave me. ( I wasn't always an angel you know!...LOL)
Every evening and every weekend would have us all working on the house. I hated weekend mornings when I woke up to a buzzing saw or pounding hammer but I knew it was something that needed to happen in order for us to get our home the way my parents envisioned it, and every weekend after seeing the progress that was made, I felt guilty for cursing the noise in the mornings.
I’ve recently gone through most of my parents photos and sadly there aren’t ANY of the before and after progress that we made on the inside but I can tell you it was like day and night! New flooring, drywall, and a fresh coat of paint made it look really nice!
When the weather was good, I worked outside with Dad. I watched him and learned many things – like how to use power tools, putting on shingles, siding, and landscaping. I helped by getting tools and basically in any way I could. I was strong for my age and used my muscles whenever an extra little bit of help was needed. The first thing that needed to be done was to dig a well so we would have good drinking water. We did have running water inside but it was piped in from the lake and not suitable for drinking. Luckily there was a fresh water spring in town where we filled up containers for drinking water – we had it tested before we drank any of it and it was the best ice cold water ever!
My Dad dug the trench and well by hand only to find out the water was no good. You can see the trench in the photo below. We had nice neighbors that let us pipe into their well for water. They only used their cottage a few weeks of the year so it worked out great!
When we moved to the little cottage in the Fall, I once again had to start over at a new school. We moved a lot before we bought the cottage – in fact, I was never in the same school for more than 2 years at a time. It made it hard to make friends so I concentrated on learning – probably a good thing now that I look back on it.
The only school in the town of Bonfield was a french school and even though I am of French Canadian heritage, I wasn’t taught the language growing up while going to school in Southern Ontario. Both Mom and Dad are bilingual but only spoke french when we were visiting their families. It also came in quite handy for them when they were discussing something they didn’t want me to overhear – I remember trying so hard to understand what they were saying and over the years I did manage to learn enough to understand most sentences – but it took a while.
The nearest school for me to attend was 10 miles away and my Dad had to fight with the school board to get them to send a bus to pick me up. The school was in an even smaller farming town called Rutherglen. The school had 3 classrooms – Grades 1&2 in one class, 3&4’s in another, and I was in the 5&6 class. Our principal was the teacher for 5’s and 6’s. I was just starting Grade 5 and so I spent 2 years at that school before going to North Bay for Junior High which was another 2 years in a different school. Luckily, most of the friends I made in that tiny school house in Rutherglen had to go to North Bay too, so I had some friends with me to start the scary life of high school.
This is a photo of it as it stands now. It's no longer used as a school.
This was the Grade 5/6 class. I'm the third from the right in the front row. My Mom made that blue dress for me. It was always one of my favorites!
My Granddaughter Hailie loves stickers! Today when we were visiting my Mom, she pulled out some address labels she has. Both Mom and I were putting them over our mouths and pretending we couldn't talk. Hailie attempted to do the same only she didn't have the sticky side towards her mouth. We told her to turn it around and she proceeded to turn her self around in a circle! Too cute! Love you Hailie Bear!
I can’t remember how much time passed after we viewed the little shack with the real estate agent, but it wasn’t long before we moved in. It was in the Fall of the year and the place needed much work before it was liveable. I’m not sure of the exact time my parents told me we were moving to that place or the day we moved in, but I do remember the ground shaking along with the cottage and all it’s contents whenever a train would roll by. The CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) tracks ran right behind our house – about 100-150 ft away! Because it was a crossing that several cottages used to access their driveways, they would have to blow the train whistle every time they approached it. That took some getting used to!
Mom and Dad had the only bedroom so they put my bed in the back corner of the house where my bedroom would eventually be built – it’s been a long time joke between us that all I had for a bedroom that first year was a “space”!
The first thing we did was get rid of the old furniture that came with the place and clean! We cleaned and cleaned and Mom painted the walls and ceilings! Winter was coming quickly and we had no wood for the wood stove my Dad put in to replace the old oil furnace, so that was next on the list. When the lake was frozen enough we would take the snowmobile and sled and travel up the lake a bit to crown land where we cleared out the dead trees that were laying down. Dad would cut them up with the chain saw and I would help haul them to the sled. Once we got them home, he’d chop and split the wood and I would help pile it. We did that every weekend that winter.