Friday, June 14

Updates, Goodbyes and Memories by @JanaRichards_

Garage Sale Update

In my last post, I wrote about our upcoming garage sale. I’m happy to report we had a pretty successful day. My daughter got rid of the furniture she wanted to sell, and my husband was happy to sell stuff that’s been cluttering up the shed – an old lawn mower, a fertilizer spreader, and two bikes. Inevitably, some smaller stuff was leftover, but I’ve made arrangements to donate it. Pretty soon I’ll be able to get back into my garage!

As great as it was to declutter, one of the unexpected fun things about having the garage sale was getting out into the front yard and talking to people. We have very long winters here in the great white north, and as a result, we spend a good part of the year stuck indoors. That means we may not see our neighbors for long stretches of time. Having a garage sale was the perfect opportunity to socialize.

I’d never met the neighbor from down the street before but when he saw we were having a sale he came over to say hello and introduce himself. The neighbors across the street filled us in on some neighborhood gossip (always interesting). And the lady who bought one of our bikes asked me if I was interested in walking with her. So now I have a walking buddy. All in all, it was a very successful day.

Saying Goodbye

Fellow Wrangler Ava Cuvay wrote her final Word Wranglers post on Tuesday, and I just want to say I'm really going to miss you, Ava. Even if you thought your posts have been uninspiring of late, I've always enjoyed your writing. And your sense of humour! I will continue to stalk you on Facebook to get a dose of that lovely humour. Best of luck, sweetie!

Today in History

Today, June 14, would have been my dad’s 98th birthday. With June 6 marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, I’ve been thinking about him a lot. Dad was a twenty-two year old Saskatchewan farm boy in 1942 when he enlisted with the Regina Rifles. After training in Shilo, Manitoba and Vernon, B.C., he was shipped to England to continue his training. And on June 6, 1944 he found himself storming Juno Beach on the Normandy coast.  

Dad’s fighting days didn’t last long. On June 9, 1944 he was captured by the Germans and spent the next ten months as a POW. He celebrated his twenty-fourth birthday as a prisoner.

He didn’t talk much about his prison camp experience, other than to say they didn’t have much to eat, aside from turnips. Every time a football game came on TV, he told me about seeing the game played for the first time in the camp by some American POWs. But he also talked about working in German factories as forced labour. He was probably a prime candidate since he spoke German. 

When my daughter and I requested my dad’s war records, we found copies of three telegrams sent to my grandparents. In the first one, dated June 1944, it lists my dad as missing. The second one, dated November 1944, tells them the Red Cross has confirmed he is a prisoner of war. The third and final telegram in April 1945 informs my grandparents that my dad is safe in England. It struck me when I read those telegrams that for nearly six months my grandparents didn’t know if their son was dead or alive, something I’d never considered before. I can only imagine what they went through. 

So, I’m thinking of you, Dad. Happy Birthday.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your dad's story. I'm glad your sale went so well and you got to do some fair-weather neighboring!