Thursday, January 21, 2016


The big day had arrived.  It was time to leave McMorran's Auto Court and move to our new home which was about a mile down the road.   Our suitcases were packed but we did not have a car so my father had purchased an old wooden wagon to move our luggage.  It was the kind of wagon that children liked to play with yet big enough for a couple of children to ride in, or, in our case, big enough to hold my two year old brother Bill and our luggage.  

Off we went, our family of four plus luggage slowly making our way along Cordova Bay Road until we reached Walema Drive,  then we made our way down the gently sloping road until Dad pointed out a house on our left and said "That's it."  Not only did it look great,  it had a name. There was a sign over the front door that said Zummerzet, probably named by a British ex pat for his former county of Somerset in England.   The small one bedroom cottage had an enclosed front porch, a single garage, woodshed, a great yard and was only a few minutes from the beach. 

This was the summer of 1942 and after more than two years apart because of my father's military postings, we were together as a family in our own home again.  It  was such a warm feeling that even though the war continued and we did not know what would lie ahead, we were happy with this moment in time.  My father lived off base and made the long walk to the main highway each morning where he caught the bus to Pat Bay.  Sometimes during wet or snowy weather he would comment that it was so difficult walking that every time he took two steps forward he would slip back three. 
In front of the big fireplace
which heated the cottage

Rationing had become part of the lives of Canadians and ration books were issued for each family member.  My mother would make her mile long trek to the grocery store with my young brother in the wagon and upon arrival read off her grocery list to the clerk standing behind the counter.  He would retrieve the items one by one, many having to be weighed and packaged, and list each item in duplicate on the invoice pad.  He would then take any necessary coupons from the ration book but often there were shortages and he would be out of some products that day.  The bill would be totalled and added to the monthly grocery tab at the store. Sugar was one of the rationed items so for us as children chocolate bars and candy and birthday cakes were almost non existent.  Children pleading for something would say "Pretty please"  but during rationing I remember that phrase becoming "Pretty please with ration books."

I enjoyed exploring the beach and splashing in the water.  I would see crabs moving sideways in the shallow water near the rocks and on one occasion I moved a big rock and came across hundreds of baby crabs each an inch or two in size.  As someone always on the lookout for a pet, these crabs were exciting.  I rushed home and grabbed a bucket, then back to the beach where I retrieved a few dozen baby crabs.  When I returned home again with the crabs and announced to my mother that they were my new pets she quickly put a stop to that.  I reluctantly returned them to the ocean.