History In The Shadows

Now, just a shadow of it’s former self, Willingdon was once the social centre for many Ukrainian farming families living near town. Neglected buildings with their peeling paint stand silent on main street, waiting, wishing, for someone to open their creaky doors once more. Even falling down, vintage architecture has it’s charms I can’t resist.

Willingdon is lonely

My dad was born in 1932 and  raised on a farm near town. Heat was from the wood burning kitchen stove and ice cold water was drawn by bucket from a well. The biffy was just far enough away from the house to make you think twice in the middle of the night. Daddy would try to comfort me and say, “No, no, there’s no bats out there”. But I’d make him come with me anyways.  Does this sounds like camping to you?  We sure have it made now.

 

As a kid,  I thought life on the farm was a pretty great adventure.  We’d walk to the river to find little treasures washed ashore, or snoop through the rafters of outbuildings for long-lost comics. After lunch, maybe a tractor ride, saskatoon picking or just playing with the dog. Birthdays were extra special when we got to spend them with Grandpa on the farm.

In his later years, Grandpa moved off the farm and retired to a wee house on the edge of  town. I recently drove through Willingdon, looking for old familiar haunts. Hey? Where’s the corner store I bought orange soda’s from?  Where’s the gas station?  There, framed in blue sky were the tired facades that only hinted at a prosperous past. So few families are farming in the area now, even the grain elevators have disappeared.

Blue Skies & Thoughts Of Days Gone By

On my way out of town, I drove past my Grandpa’s old house. There it was, the big red garage. I can still see Grandpa standing there, waving goodbye to us kids as we blew kisses out the back window of  daddy’s silver Chrysler. This town may be fading away but not my love for the family history that falls in the shadows around it.

Faded Memories
Faded Memories

Did your parents grow up on a farm?

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Living the dream with Mr Right and two black rescue cats, Petals & Blossum. Life and Love expresses itself in the many ongoing art projects. Favorite quote "we'll grow kindness in our hearts for all the strangers amoung us, till there are no strangers any more" Singer-Songwriter Patti Griffin.

6 thoughts on “History In The Shadows

  1. We couldn’t get internet at our home in the country. It was so isolating. So yes absolutely, I love finding other, like yourself with fun and creative things going on.

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  2. I know how you feel. The small towns near where I grew up are all shells of what they once were. The shopping areas are largely gone, and there is wide variation in how well the homes are maintained. But I still love to visit them and savor the memories.

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  3. What a lovely tribute to your family. Great photos, too. And for some reason, the can of condensed milk on the table made me smile.

    Off to be for me. Goodnight. It’s been fun trading comments this evening.

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