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Watching the Birds
A snapshot of my little dog, Mollie. Mollie is a seven-year-old bichon. She's so cute, and as you can see, very nosy. On this day, I was brushing Mollie on the ironing board; when I turned around to pick up the brush, she sat up and looked out the window at the birds on the trees outside the house. Mollie is very happy and loved very much.
Eileen Wells Botwood, NL
(1 rating, 1 votes)
'HOPSCOTCH BY GOSH' "'HOPSCOTCH BY GOSH!' My eyes fixated on the marks drawn in driveway near my home. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! It was a seven-block hopscotch game, outlined with the special chalk the children have now. Beanie bags were lying nearby, as if the game had been ongoing before the children were called to lunch. I was fascinated. I had not seen a hopscotch anywhere for many years. Often I had wondered if they ... click to read more"'HOPSCOTCH BY GOSH!' My eyes fixated on the marks drawn in driveway near my home. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! It was a seven-block hopscotch game, outlined with the special chalk the children have now. Beanie bags were lying nearby, as if the game had been ongoing before the children were called to lunch. I was fascinated. I had not seen a hopscotch anywhere for many years. Often I had wondered if they still played it, and asking my sisters always developed into a conversation about our hopscotch days growing up around Newfoundland. "Go outside. You're not hanging around here on a day like this!" our Mothers would all say as if they had a mantra they practiced. We were sure all our Mothers had some secret fraternity that made them all act the same way and enforce the same rules. So out we would go. It was better to be out exploring and playing and getting into mischief than folding diapers, ironing or washing dishes anyway. The unspoken rule was "if you are hanging around doing nothing, I'll find something for you to do!" Another of our Mothers' criterion that was widespread. Just as you headed out the door you would hear another command by decree, such as "And take your sister and brother with you." "Why do they have to come with me?" I would ask. "Because I said so, that's why!" was the pat answer. And another day of activities would begin. Hopscotch was one of the most popular games. We didn't have chalk, our lines were drawn in the mud or gravel with a stick, common stones were our markers, as no beanie bags were around in those days. We knew nothing of the fact that hopscotch began in ancient Britain during the early Roman empire and that some hopscotch courts were more than 100 feet long. But we knew that we became more skilled the more we played and winning the next round was a victory. Our canvas sneakers would be scuffed and ready to disintegrate after many games of hopscotch, and there was always someone who wanted to start a game. A few years ago I lived in a neighborhood for months and never realized there were many children living in the area. I only realized when school started and the brightly clad students stood at the bus stop that there were many children around. They have so many things to do inside now. So much technology, too many movies, and a stack of video games have taken over from the games of our childhood years. I still wonder why they never seem to be 'berry picking', something that was a joy for us as children, going home with blue or red mouths and a belly full of any kind of berry that was ripe. In one day four or five, if not more, of us children would play hopscotch until we were exhausted, climb the huge rocks looking for a spot out of the wind to sit in the warm sun and tell stories, play games of ball with the red, white and blue rubber ball that sent you running forever as it bounced down the gravel road. Most of the time it would end up in the water, and so would the outfielder. Everyone had their skipping rope tied around the handlebars of their basic, no gear, bicycles which we rode for miles, and if the urge to jump rope for an hour overtook us, then we would stop and do just that. "Let's go fishin'!" someone would suggest after lunch (dinner we called it then). Then out would come the long bamboo fishing rods, lines and hooks, a few worms would be dug, and we would head for the pond. Usually our younger charges would be napping by now. The fishing would soon get boring, the best part of going was the preparing and getting to the pond, so another plan would be hatched. That could be anything from having a fire on the beach, building a 'camp' in the woods, to tying string on an old wallet and placing it in the middle of the road for the sole purpose of yanking it away when the unsuspecting adult would bend to pick it up. We would run like heck toward our bicycles. By days' end we would be scratched, cut, covered in fly bites, our hands filthy, our feet even filthier, but there would always be energy left for another game of hopscotch. Our legs would be so tired, our stomachs growling, but we kept going until the call came to come home. There was no issue of childhood obesity, we were as fit as the best of the triathalon athletes. And probably would never be as fit again in our lives. Our bodies got a cardiovascular workout every single day. Going home, putting your bike away, and entering the house was an interesting exercise in itself. "Before you come in take the clothes off the line for me," Mother would say. The clothes would be reeled in, the reels squeaking all over the cove as every Mother, as usual, had their routine plot well rehearsed. Then Mother would notice just how dirty and dusty we were. The usual "Wait 'til your father gets home!"was said but unheard. For us it was really was no threat as Father would just smile and ask what we did all day. "Nothin'! Played hopscotch." "Where did you go?" he would press. "Nowhere." the common answer. "Who were you playing with?" Father kept pressing. "Same crowd." another pat answer. Than Mother would declare that "tomorrow you aren't getting outside the door to come home in that state. What in the world is wrong with you that causes you to roll around in mud?" That was totally ignored because we knew where there was a great hopscotch drawn, and we had our special rock, and after an hour of our antics the next morning Mother would be mesmerized and disgusted. And it would start all over again. "Go outside and play. You're not hanging around me all day! And take your brother and sister with you!" We were ready, and right on cue the gang would meet at the hopscotch, lay down our bicycles, deepen the lines on the squares, and another game would begin. Just as sure as it was used as fitness drills for Roman soldiers, it was our drill. Our younger siblings watched and learned. Yes, hopscotch by gosh. We would jump, run and skip our way through the day, probably do a little berrypickin' or fishin' too, then get in a punt if we could get one and row around for a while. It was nonstop activity in those tender, fuzzy memory-making days. It was a magical time in our lives. Carefree childhood days in a 'Hopscotch by Gosh' continual tournament? Hopscotch kept us fit, taught us teamwork, helped us learn to accept victory and defeat, and to move on. I would not trade one moment of it, because I know of nothing that can come close in value to such a lighthearted childhood and the 'hopscotch days', and all that the game taught us. Yes, the hopscotch drawn in chalk tells me it is still a game being played by the children. I wonder if they would play a game with a Nanny?
"I remember when we didn't have paved roads and after it rained me and my friends would make mud pies from the rain water and mud, it was so much fun. We had so much freedom in NL, I only wish that my kids could have the same thing. I loved growing up in Lord's Cove and never would change anything about my childhood."
Corleen Short (Hennebury) Whitby, Ontario
(1 rating, 1 votes)
"Memories ...Everyone, Everywhere, Always....Newfoundland Will Be In My Heart" "They say that home is where the heart is. Well my heart will always be in Newfoundland. It will always be with my Family and friends. I consider anyone from Newfoundland a friend. I have so many memories of home that I do not really know where to start nor which to choose a priority above the rest. I have been to a lot of places with family and have some good friends still there. ... click to read more"They say that home is where the heart is. Well my heart will always be in Newfoundland. It will always be with my Family and friends. I consider anyone from Newfoundland a friend. I have so many memories of home that I do not really know where to start nor which to choose a priority above the rest. I have been to a lot of places with family and have some good friends still there. I would love to go back in time and have stayed home, instead of leaving years ago. That said, my direct family is here with me now. I will however always have and cherrish my Family in Newfoundland. I will never forget the Memories... as the song goes... ""Memories of the way we were.""
However life goes on. And so must I...but I will always have my memories. Too many to mention here.
I have special memories of Middle Cove Beach... walking along it with Mom and Dad on my last visit home... July 2003. Memories of trouting with Dad, St. Mary's Bay Rd. And I will never forget my visit with Mom to the Random Passage Movie site, Trinity Bay (Trouty area) (myself, Mom and a friend were singing Amazing Grace in the Church there). A special memory and thank you to Bernice Johnson and Hubby from Trouty who were so very kind to Myself and Mom. I fell taking a pic of the Church in trouty and cut my leg bad. I will forever have that scar I do believe... a permanent memory. Oh yes and while at the movie site I had cut me other leg... sort of a matched pair of memories. I will always remember and cherrish anyone I have ever known or had an acquaintenance with from dear ole Newfoundland... I do miss it so... Some day I will go back for good, that is a promise.
Take care Newfoundland, I envy all who are lucky enough to still live there.
Growing up in St. John's "i remember when i was growing up in the east end of st. johns, across the street from bannerman park. in the summer we played in the park all day long. we also swam at a place called rennies river. we would pack a lunch of homemade bread and molasses and a jam jar of lemon crystal ...our summer days were long and lazy. no worries or problems. good fun. we also skated at the park. they had ... click to read more"i remember when i was growing up in the east end of st. johns, across the street from bannerman park. in the summer we played in the park all day long. we also swam at a place called rennies river. we would pack a lunch of homemade bread and molasses and a jam jar of lemon crystal ...our summer days were long and lazy. no worries or problems. good fun. we also skated at the park. they had a house with a stove where you could change into your skates. we'd get soaking wet and frozen, but hated going home. when we did go home we warmed our feet in the oven and listened to our favourite programs on the radio - the nash cash quiz, fibber mcgee and molley, ozzie and harriet, and in season johnathon thomas and xmas on the moon. in the summer the parents would sit on the door steps and watch the children play..there was no rushing here and there. i would certainly go back to those times, i loved them. if the times were hard we didn't know it. the living was easy, life was peaceful, and everyone enjoyed the slow pace and tranquilty... a big part of aging is remembering when...ohh...the good old days jeanne (breen) vey" ... Hide full submission