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“I remember my grandmother making little tiny dolls about the size of your little finger out of old rags and whatever she had. And they looked like little dolls, and oh! I treasured those!”
I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to get into mischief when I was growing up. Sometimes I think I was always old. [laughs] ’Cause I grew up with old people, right? And you always had to behave. And you listen up when you’re told something. And you didn’t really have a chance to get into any mischief. I was always around with the older generation, and doing what they did. I wouldn’t say there was no fun, because to me, it was just a way of life – what we did, what my grandparents did. I just went along with that. There were not an awful lot of girls my age when I was growing up. And I think because just being with my grandparents – and quite often we travelled in isolation from other families – just to be with my grandfather, for him to do what he had to do, like, he’s logging – “handlogging,” they called it. Or just when he needs to be near the fishing ground that he’s fishing in.
“And you didn’t really have a chance to get into any mischief. I was always around with the older generation, and doing what they did.”
So it wasn’t like a daily interaction with other young people. But from time to time we would get together, like my being around Sue Pielle and Liz, and our families were situated together. Then we had all the fun time of playing on the beach and going in the little canoe fishing, and that was at Harwood Island that I spent time with that family. But other than that a lot of it was spent almost like in isolation from other young people. So there was not a lot of that.
But a lot of our fun and recreation was from the grandparents and grandfather making little toys, dugout canoes for the little boys to play with. And he made little ones – so that was a real treasure for the boys. They would go and play with the little canoes down the beach. Little handmade canoes.
And for myself, as a young girl, a little girl, I remember my grandmother making little tiny dolls about the size of your little finger out of old rags and whatever she had. And they looked like little dolls, and oh! I treasured those! I had a bunch of them. I only had one doll that I remembered that was, like, a porcelain doll – like, had this porcelain head. And I thought that was really something. And later on I acquired more dolls. And my grandmother used to talk about how I always favoured the one that was the saddest-looking doll. [laughs]
“I remember my grandmother making little tiny dolls about the size of your little finger out of old rags and whatever she had.”
I don’t know where she got these dolls from, but she picked it up. Maybe through trading. But I remember having a whole line of dolls all lined up, sitting propped against the wall. They’re all sitting together. But I always favoured the saddest-looking one. [laughs] I don’t know why! I would just play like they’re a family. Put them in groups of families.
And I guess we had the church then, and I laid it out like how we all sit when we go to church, all in rows and rows, and all facin’ one way, and one side are the men over there. They’re all facing the front, the altar area. And then have one up at the front that is the priest, right? Facing the people. My grandmother thought that was pretty funny that I created that. And I don’t know how old I would have been then. I was probably around six years old. But that was because my grandmother would go to church and take me to church. So that was my little church group. All with little kerchiefs on their head. [laughs] You didn’t go to church without your kerchief, in my grandmother’s day. You had to have your head covered. Because if you didn’t have a kerchief on your head, you were sent out of church.
But that is the extent of the toys that I had. I didn’t have a lot of toys. I didn’t have any books, like, to read. Like, storybooks for children? We never had that.
All I had was just storytelling. I was told in the language. And I guess that’s pretty much the same as reading out of a book. But these were stories or legends and things like that, that was readily available for me. Yeah.
So that was my kind of recreation. That was my kind of fun time.