7. One Girl. One Journey – Childhood Years

I remember my childhood to be very typical. Just like everyone else´s. But it wasn´t – at all. We were very different. I think the things that made our family unique was that because there were 6 of us, we didn´t really need friends. We had them, but we were just as happy playing with each other and as we aged, we still enjoyed spending time together. Our friends and our cousins always commented on how close we were, and that they enjoyed being at our house. Also, our home was always filled with good food, music and people. I remember falling asleep to music. I remember Dad´s brothers and sisters visiting with all of their children and the house was full of music, people dancing and Mom cooking in the kitchen with the wives. We were happy playing and dancing. Hopping the fence and swinging on the swings at the school we went to. It was literally right in our back yard, we´d brush our pony Dad got us, run in the fields, play down by the swamp, pick peas from the garden and eat them right there… I remember one time, my Dad asked me to dance. I didn´t know how to step dance! But, I just got up and starting hopping around and he was laughing, playing the fiddle while the other brothers played the piano and guitars… when the song ended, everyone hollered and clapped and Dad was grinning from ear to ear telling me I was such a great little dancer. I was beaming, and I felt so special! That how he made us feel.

As we became young adults, Dad taught me the basic chords on the piano and we would play together – him on the guitar or fiddle and I on the piano. He taught us all how to play an instrument. And we all sang. I would sit at the piano for hours learning songs and singing them as I played the piano, until Mom couldn´t stand it anymore to told me to stop banging on that thing! I think back now and wonder how she did it – all that noise with 6 kids, and either listening to fiddles, guitars or the piano non stop. I´d have gone mad! Many weekends, my brothers and sisters and I would sing, play the piano, guitar with Dad or Dad and his brothers and sisters.

Left to Right – My sister Susan, me – Carolyn, my sister Beverly, my sister Cathy, my nephew Peter with my brother John in our living room in Dunchurch Ontario Canada.

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