Monday, February 8, 2016

1944 in Victoria

The summer of 1944 was coming to an end and the war continued.  One day I was in the house and the radio was on.  A man came on the air and announced loudly, "The war is over!"  I couldn't believe it, I was so excited that I ran outside where the neighbour kids were playing and shouted, "The war is over, the war is over,  they just announced it on the radio!"  Everyone rushed inside to listen to the news on their own radios, but a few minutes later emerged outside again.  A man had broken into the newsroom and made the announcement.  It was a false alarm and the man was arrested.   I did get teased quite often after that as the neighbourhood boys would ask me if the war was over yet and then laugh.  Sometimes being the only girl on the street had its challenges.

Standing in front of our 1940 DeSoto
My Dad finally sold the Model A  even though he had fond memories of that model from his youth and he bought a newer car.  One day he loaded my brother and me along with two of the neighbours Bruce and Brian into the car and we headed into Victoria for the day,  The only activity I remember during that excursion was a trip to an ice-cream store.  Because of rationing, it had been a long time since I had tasted ice-cream, and this store was selling it.  The store was actually in a large  warehouse room with a counter along one side and clerks taking orders.  I can't imagine anyone today getting as excited as we were that day when we received the frosty treat.  Everyone chatted all the way home about the great day.

As a child, gardens and plants always fascinated me and Victoria was certainly the place to live for someone with  this interest.  One of the fields near Cordova Bay where  I used to walk from time to time had a variety of plants growing wild, but there was one that particularly caught my attention.  It was a single small white lady slipper with a nodding flower on a slender stem about four or five inches in height.  I asked someone about this plant and was told it  was rare and should not be picked.  I was intrigued and over a number of spring/summer seasons would watch out for it,  but never saw it more than one or two times in any one year. Looking online now for the lady slipper that I remember, I found one that looks  similar,  and apparently is quite rare.  Cypripedium passerinum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia