Just had a trip down memory lane last weekend…went back to the village I grew up in, the campus where I ventured off to college and the little chapel where Dick and I were married 50 years ago. And it was Canada’s 150th birthday as well!
Growing up this little town of 920 we had a bakery, a butcher shop, two grocery stores, a hardware store, a 5 and dime, a bank, a local newspaper, two shoe stores, two clothing stores, a Carnegie library, a creamery, four gas stations with mechanics, four churches, two elementary schools, a hotel and much more. It was so vibrant. We lived up on a hill. My parents had a huge vegetable garden, several fruit trees and raspberry bushes. Elementary school was next door – two rooms – 1st through 4th grade in one, and 5th through 8th in the other. I had two teachers in all that time, the same two teachers that both my brother and one of my sisters had.
I walked the streets with my brother last week. Only one of the stores is operating. All of the others are either torn down or have been abandoned for years. The library, schools, three churches and creamery still exist. That’s it. Our family garden is gone. A lone rhubarb plant is alive behind the shed. Wild daisies still dot the back yard as I vividly remember them. There are four peony bushes and a wonderful old cherry tree thriving. Laundry is still being hung up on the lines – try to imagine doing this in an Ontario winter – I remember bringing in my father’s work clothes that were still stiff as a board from the cold.
The little University of Waterloo, just six years old when I enrolled, is now a huge campus. The little chapel we were married in no longer exists – it is now a large conference room. We drove by our first apartment and the hospital where Michael was born. We explored the towns and countryside that I still vividly remember – each farm with a home, a barn and a patch of land called the woods, largely of maple trees that each spring were used to produce maple syrup. I saw this again as I looked out the window of the plane as we were headed home to Texas. It was a wonderful trip.