Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Writing Challenge #1: Wished-for Photo

I have been thinking of a challenge that Amy Sorenson with her The English Geek blog gave us....... to write about a Christmas picture that we wish we still had! I am already behind on her writing challenges (story of my life) but wanted to write this one.

My family and I lived in a school bus that we converted to a trailer that was painted turquoise (they got a great deal on the paint, go figure it was turquoise!!!) for almost two years. My Dad was a cook and so we would camp our trailer where ever he was cooking and live in it. We finally moved to Northwestern Ontario where we parked our trailer and started building a house on a quarter section of land that we bought. I remember going to look at the land with my family and walking through knee high snow with our every breath showing in front of us, it was so cold. The land must have been dirt cheap!

We started building our house that spring, I don't know how much my Dad really knew about building but I do know there's no way an insurance company would have insured our house......we had sawdust in the walls for insulation and I remember laying newspaper down on the floor beneath the floorboards ( I remember this because my Dad kept stopping to read the paper and we were getting annoyed with him because he promised to take us to the fair when we were finished!) We worked on it all summer and by the time school started we were so anxious to have it finished, it was going to be so much bigger than our trailer. You have to understand, we were a family of 7 living in that bus....but at least we could let the two dogs and cat out once we had our own property!

We finally moved in on Thanksgiving Day and talk about being thankful! That Christmas we finally spent in a house and what I really wish is that I had a picture of our first Christmas tree! Dad went out the week before Christmas and brought back a tree for us to decorate.....the 5 of us, my older sister Josee and 3 younger brothers Ed, Bill and Ted and I were stunned! It was worse than Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, I swear it had about 7 branches total. We all looked at each other in disbelief, a whole forest to pick from and this is the tree Dad brought home..... we fired him that day! From then on every summer we would tromp through the woods, find a perfect tree, tie a big ribbon on it and go back in December and cut down that one. I wonder if my siblings still remember that tree........ I would love a picture of it....... then I could show my kids when we set up our tree how lucky we are!!!

So note to self to make sure I take pictures every year of our lovely full tree.....artificial or real!


Amy Sorensen said...

Wow! What an amazing childhood. I can't imagine how your mother managed to stay sane! ;) (speaking as a mom, of course!) I wish you had a photo of that little tree, too. What a great memory!

Becky K said...

This is such a great story! How excited you all must have been to move into your new house, but what great memories I bet you have of living in your trailer. Thanks for sharing this memory.

Olivia Fulmer said...

I can so relate to your story of living in the travel trailer! My family's first home was a very small travel trailer as well. My father worked for a construction company, and was often sent "out of town" to work--Warner Robbins, Ga., Durham, NC; Fayetteville, NC--when I was a child. The trailer was only 8 by 12--a camper really, but the family of five lived in it happily until I was six years old. Then Daddy began building the house I grew up in on land he bought from his father, land that had been in the family for a couple of generations. I know that we were grateful for that house as you were for yours.


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