Thursday, February 24, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness- Good Neighbours

Looking back over my childhood, which was a fairly happy one, I must give credit to some of my neighbours who were very kind to us.  They enabled me to have many happy childhood memories that I might not have experienced otherwise.

They owned a wonderful very private beach, with a dock and a diving board, which they allowed my brother and I to enjoy.  We lived about a mile from this beach, so it had to be a carefully planned excursion.  For the first few years we walked, because I didn't have, and couldn't ride a bike.  You were always well warmed up, by the time you got to the beach and we stayed in the water as long as we could before our walk home.  Of course by the time we got home, we were all hot and sweaty.  More than once I can recall turning right back around and repeating the trek and swim.  The ability to ride and ownership of a bike, made this outing much more enjoyable and quick.

As I was a late bloomer when it came to bike riding, so I was to swimming.  Ilda, the neighbour lady, several times tried to teach me to swim, when our visits to the lake co-incided.  I fought her every step of the way.  There was no way I was going to stick my head under the water.  Eventually though I did succumb, and I did learn to swim, although never particularly well.

The other thing we did, was to fish off their dock and occasionally in our old aluminum boat.  I can recall several happy Saturday evenings rowing around the lake, casting and reeling, even occasionally catching a pike or bass.  We sometimes did some ice fishing too on their lake.  Unfortunately that is the only photo I have in my possession of any of these memories.  That is a ten pound pike, that your truly snagged -- isn't it a beauty?

Their daughter was several years older than me, an age when most girls would have snubbed and ignored the little neighbourhood boy.  But she was blonde, lovely and kind.  I can recall playing school with her.  She had a wonderful schoolroom set up above their machine shed.  I can't remember much, but there were two or three desks and there must have been a blackboard.  Again I don't recall who else might have been invited to the hallowed domain -- the important thing was that I was!

And then in my twenties, a lonely phase at best, the middle son and his wife were very kind to me, and often invited me to events at their house.  I was awkward and shy but they always made you feel included,  a part of things.

Once I was married, and moved six hours from my home farm, we decided to build a deck around the old farmhouse we were renovating.  The oldest son is a carpenter and caught wind of the project.  He and my brother (his carpenter's assistant) drove down and spent a couple of days building me a tremendous deck, which we enjoyed for many years.  Again, another act of kindness from the same family (and my own).

I so appreciated the fact that they were generous to our family with their assets.  Times have changed, life has sped up and become much more complicated.  How I'd love to return to that simple time, for just a day, jump off the diving board, cast my rod off the dock, and reel in a whopper.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

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