Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Childhood Days on Lorne Avenue

Florence and Wilfred on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1964. Behind them, left to right, are their children: Don, Audrey, Renee, Cecile and LaVergne. They were to make it past their 60th anniversary together. A good looking bunch of critters!

My mom, Renee. I cant imagine putting a baby on anything this tall and tippy!

Big brother LaVergne, with my mom, Renee, in the wagon. So cute! I wrote about LaVergne in July in Rose-Lip'd Maidens, Lightfoot Lads.

Renee - this was one of my grandma's favorite poses for photos. My mom epitomizes the innocence of childhood in this shot.

My mom was beautiful her entire life.

Cecile and Renee. I love this sequence of shots. Cecile suffered from rheumatic fever as a child, but it wasnt diagnosed. They discovered she had had it when she was an adult and began to suffer with heart problems. In those days of scarcity, visits to the doctor were rare.

This expression is classic Renee. I have a photo of her in her 60's looking exactly like this!
Big smile! Mom had such lovely long curls. At school, she was given the lead in the play Red Riding Hood because of her lovely locks. As life got busier at home, I suppose my grandmother decided that, to make life easier, she would cut off Renee's hair and she could have the old fashioned bowl-shaped haircuts the other girls had. The story goes that the nuns cried when she returned to school the day after her haircut!

Renee, seated, LaVergne standing behind her, Audrey perched on the chair arm and Cecile on the right. Audrey was always petite and had a sparkling personality all her life. She walked on tiptoe most of the time. My mom would fondly recall her tiptoing into the kitchen in the mornings, asking brightly "Everybody had their porr'dge?" If everybody had, she would proceed to lick up whatever was left.
Audrey was a reader, and would get deeply immersed in her books. Their two story house on Lorne Avenue, in Saskatoon, had a chimney pipe running up through the second story. One day, there was a chimney fire. The firemen came, dealt with the fire and left, and Audrey never budged from her seat. She was so engrossed in her book, she didnt even realize there had been a fire!

This is Don, the youngest, looking like a cherub. He came along when my grandmother was 40. My mom told me my grandma had been rather embarrassed at being pregnant at forty, in such strict Church-going times. My mom was twelve at the time, and said she helped look after Don a lot of the time, given all the work of the busy household.
One night she was putting him to bed upstairs and he was making quite a fuss, hollering and yelling.
Downstairs, Audrey looked up from her book to drolly comment, "It sounds rather like The Taming of the Shrew!"
This little lad is 80 now. It is hard to believe. He still has the same white-blonde hair. His wife, Donna, says it is frustrating that he doesnt have a single gray hair on his head!

Here he is at age five, the day of his First Communion, sitting with his Grandma Julie.

Here comes trouble! Still with the bowl haircuts, but they're getting bigger now. Left to right:
Renee, friend Grace, Cecile, friend Dot, Audrey, and LaVergne.

The other favorite pose for photos, and it looks like maybe they're putting a little Attitude into it:) LaVergne, Audrey, Renee and Cecile.
Family stories from these years are more familiar to me than my own, I heard them so often, told with such love. A family's evolutionary journey through the entire 1900's!


  1. Thank you for visiting my blog, Sherrie and leaving comments. I've been perusing some of your posts here and you are an amazing writer. The one about your son was especially moving. You live in an area of world class scenery and I completely understand what you mean when you say you seek comfort at the ocean. I'll be back again as soon as I can.

  2. Sherrie, Thank you so much for your kind comments at Square Corner. It is funny, I think my poems are too short. I am envious of people who write longer pieces as brilliantly as you do!! Your post about your family and accompanying photos make for a compelling read. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

  3. I love these photos and the simple life they evoke! I love the gentle times, when we valued the little things! Treasures didn't cost much money and they made do with what they had! Made the best of it~

  4. Hello, How are you?
    You are invited to attend Thursday Poets Rally

    Thanks for the attention!
    Happy Wednesday!


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