Archive | June 2014

Is It worth It?

Is it worth it?


I guess this is some kind of a rant…bear with me if you like, leave if you don’t like.


I’m on Oxygen 24/7 Every time I leave my suite I have to change over to portable Oxygen, and reverse the action when I come home.


It seems to sap away my energy. Not only that, but I don’t have any insperation to do anything. Including drawing or painting. Most of the time I can read from the computer…most of the time  books are unreadable.


Most of the timeI I feel good. But there are times when I wonder if writing for this blog is worth the effort. I get one or two comments….. and that’s it.


So…I’m asking  you… Is it worth my time to write it? Or not? I really mean it… should I keep on with it, or not.



1945 Norma:mr.Ross,UnderhillBack Tracking!

Way back in 1942, I was working in the Royal Bank in Langley. They needed some staff and the manager had gone to the principal at the high school for his recommendations. Two girls were chosen, and I was one of them. They came to my home to see me, and said if I wanted the job to come in the next day, a Saturday when they were open for half the day, and I was put to work!

I started hand posting ledgers in the savings department. Then I was a ‘teller’ at a time when I was in a cage and not even the manager could go in unless I was present.   When there was any slow time with customers, I would help the accountant and learn how to do all the end of the month reports.

One month end the accountant was off sick.   The manager was very worried as he didn’t know how to make out the returns… he just knew how to sign them. I told him that I could do them, and he was greatly relieved. Good points for me! I just remembered… One day I was called in to the manager’s office. A customer had reported me for the way I had treated an old negro man. I had more respect for the old fellow than for the guy that reported me!

That was back in the days when some people thought that we were not all equal. This old man reminded me of Uncle Remus, and who could not love him?

After a while my folks decided to move back to Vancouver, so I moved along with them. I got transferred to the Main Office of the Royal Bank, at Hastings and Granville.   At first I was in what they called The Silver Cage. All the money from B.C.Electric ( now B.C. Hydro) bus fares was put through that cage.

Once a month the bank sent three people (one man and two of the girls) to Brittania Beach and the mine site, taking the bank to them. I was one of the ‘group’ that went the first month I worked there. We were picked up by taxi at the bank and taken to the boat, and again on the way back, a taxi!   We ‘opened’ the bank when we got there, stayed over night..then were taken to the mine site the next morning… with another ‘over-nighter’, and opened the next day for half a day before returning down the mountain, and homeward. We had to walk down three hundred steps!

This was at a time when we had rationing. We ate with the miners, and couldn’t believe the pies and cakes they had, Sugar was on the rationing list but you would not have known it there.

I was soon transferred to Discount Department, which consisted of one man, Mac, and me! When Mac went on holidays for two weeks, I ran the department. My biggest thrill there was to “put through” (do the paper work) a loan for one million dollars, which was a VERY large amount in those days. Not so anymore!

From there I was transferred to the Royal Bank, Hastings and Homer as manager of the savings department…. where I stayed until I left to get married (December 8, 1947).

The bank had a lunch room for staff of any of the branches. We could have a full course meal, and payed for it with tickets that we bought for ten cents! That’s right… TEN CENTS! Who wouldn’t eat there!

To be continued!

Pioneer Cooking



There is a ‘cooking show’ on TV….supposedly about the pioneers’ cooking.


I watched part of one episode, then switched it off. This ‘pioneer woman’ was using aluminum foil…something that was introduced in 1947. That is not the period in time when the people were classified as pioneers.


In their time, these pioneer women planted a garden and looked after it until maturity….some vegetables (and fruit) were canned,..root vegetables were stored in a root cellar.


When my family moved to the Cariboo in the early nineteen thirties, this is the way we lived, but we were not pioneers.


The root cellar was dug into the side of a hill, and roofed over with sod growing green, and with bins built in there to hold the produce.  It was cool in summer but warm in winter, and nothing froze.


They used a wood burning stove.images


Trees were cut in winter and snaked out with a team of horses, then cut to the size needed for the stoves.


Temperatures reached forty below (F). I remember going to bed with my sister. We took a hot water bottle for our feet, and when we woke  in the morning, it was  a bag of ice. Yes, it was cold!


McCauley Lake, about a quarter of a mile from our house, froze over. Ice was three to four feet thick! Yes, FEET. We had a team of Clydesdale horses…big, and weighed a lot, along with  a heavy wagon. That was driven out on the ice, loaded with cut blocks of ice, and hauled home! There it was a pile out behind the house, and the cut wood was thrown on top of it.   We were able to make ice cream in summer!


I just now realized how hard my dad and 2 brothers had to work to get that ice!


images-1Dad had a permit from the game warden to shoot deer and moose ‘out of season’ for food. There would be a moose hanging in the hay loft of the barn…and when mom needed more meat to cook, they would take a saw and go to the barn to get some.




Still spring


It’s June of 2014..the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming..local strawberries are nearly ready to give us that fresh- from- the- garden taste.We are so blessed  here in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada!


As my son says to me quite often, “You’re a very lucky girl!” Yes I am. Well, not really a “girl” any more, but at what age do I stop being “a girl?”


You know, when I reached my fiftieth birthday all that kept going through my head was “I’m half way there!”. So ever since that day I’ve said “I’m going to make it to a hundred!”


Whether or not that happens, I have been very blessed throughout my lifetime…starting with my parents… a car accident that ‘they’ thought I would not recover from, and some surgeries that once again ‘they’ didn’t  think I would make it.  And for my husband and three wonderful sons. Yet here I am…thankful to God for all the blessings that he continues to send my way.


Only nine more years to go!