A comment on Monday’s post said, “It must have been awful,” talking about the years of the stock market crash. Yes, it was rough. Dad moved us to Beaver Valley, where we “could live off the land.” He had a permit from the game warden to shoot out of season, so that we had moose meat, grouse and deer. We grew our vegetables, and we picked wild berries. Mom was a great cook, and was able to “make do” with whatever we had.
There was a barter and trade system … where you traded what you had for what you needed. I remember sitting around the dining room table, sifting oat seed in order to remove the wild oats that were black. Dad got a better deal when he took CLEAN seed in to trade. Sometimes he would trade eggs for the baking supplies that Mom needed. Don’t forget, she made everything we ate. Baked all the bread, made all the cakes. For a Sunday dinner we might have roasted grouse … with stuffing. We each had a whole grouse, even the kid, me. The nearest store was in Horsefly, sixteen miles away. Or in Williams Lake, fifty miles away.
Many times we didn’t have ANY money. Not even a red cent. Taxes were paid by Dad and my two brothers doing road work … hauling gravel and filling in the pot holes.
Funny thing was that there would come a time when we had to have cash for something … and it always came. Don’t know from where, but it was always provided!
The boys had a trap line … that was in the days when fur was acceptable. Winter time I would go with them on snow shoes to check the traps. Almost ashamed to admit it now, but the few dollars that it brought in were really needed.
Young men who couldn’t get jobs in the winter would stay with a family and work for their board.
I was just a kid, and loved every minute of it. I’m sure it was very difficult for my parents, but we never went hungry. Never! And there were no food banks where we lived!