Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Remember Whensday: By the Water

St. Lawrence River near Gananoque, Ontario 1959

I have no memory of this day in 1959 when my father took the picture of my brother and I at the Thousand Islands in Ontario, Canada just before we returned to South Africa. We were at a picnic with other members of our extended family and wore matching outfits undoubtedly sewn by our mother.

Childhood memories may be foggy but impressions, pleasures and fears are often grounded in these early experiences. To this day, I love being on the shore of a body of water, be it a river, lake or ocean. I am not as fond of being in a ship far away from land and have never been interested in taking a cruise vacation.

Here we are about a year later having another picnic at a man-made lake in South Africa. Nagle Dam is in the Valley of the Thousand Hills not far from Durban. We were not allowed to play in the water here for fear of contracting bilharzia from fresh water snails found in the area. That is something I do remember well.

Toronto, Ontario 2008

Time has passed and this brother now lives thousands of miles away. He came to Canada for a visit last summer and we walked along the shore of Lake Ontario in Toronto before I took him back to the airport. The Becka took this picture, unknown to us, and I posted it last year. Isn't it funny how I always stand on his right when we look out at the water? Two of my sister-in-laws pointed out the similarities I failed to notice in these pictures.

We have lived apart far longer than we lived at home together, but forty-nine years later, some things remain unchanged.
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  1. This truly is a memory from your body, soul & spirit. Such a strong connection.

  2. What a sweet story and pictures to match. I really love the first one, such vivid blues so well preserved.

  3. Why do women always insist that they're right? (Slinking away after trying to be funny.)

  4. Anonymous6:46 am GMT-4

    What nice memories...1959 was the year I was born so I too have no recollection of it! The part of your post that mentions that you and your brother have lived apart longer than you lived together hit home for me, as I have lived away from where I grew up and my siblings longer than I lived with them (21 years there, 29 years other places) Life moves on...Sometimes there is a sadness to that, other times I am grateful for all I have seen and experienced that I never would have if I had stayed "home."

  5. I don't get to spend as much time with my brothers as I'd like to either Ruth--especially now that they've both moved away. But the times we are together are always special for me too.

  6. great memories, I might be the same age as you.

    Great memories, now I email my 9 siblings everyday. Real good connection, our loop has 30 addresses. includes nieces, nephews in laws .

  7. Gaelyn- I think you have maintained a similar relationship with your brother.

    Kden- These old slides have maintained excellent colours if they were Kodak film. Other film types, esp in the 1970s did not keep their colour at all. Photoshop to the rescue!

    AC- Women have a moral obligation to be right ;-). They do tend to be somewhat more intuitive than men, but there are exceptions of course.

    Jayne- Thanks

    Vern- I was the eldest and spent only about 10 years at home with my youngest siblings before we were separated by many miles. I wonder how well they know me sometimes as I was more of a parent figure to them (fairly bossy sister!)

    Ruthie- I do hope your one brother is doing well...

  8. Ann- your comment came in just as I was posting mine. Nine nice that they are all on email. Computer technology has made the world smaller for sure.

  9. Hi Ruth,

    I went to your other site, and I like to tell you that I love the song: Peace like a river.

    Thanks for commenting on my oil palm post.

    Palm Oil tree is different from the Palm sugar tree, the latter is called Attap tree, we call the sugar attap sugar. It grows wild in Sarawak in the swampy coast. I don't know if they have it in West Malaysia.

  10. Thanks Ruth for the post.
    The time we have spent apart is definitely my fault, but it is good to know you are always in the same place.
    I tell my friends that you are my anchor, physically and mentally.

  11. To give an example, this week is Bahrain, Netherlands, Germany and back to UAE.

  12. I love your theme of brother and sister at the water's edge through the years. Those are cute outfits your mother sewed. She was (is?) very talented

  13. Such a touching nostalgia post, and the two photos of you and our bro and priceless! Thanks for sharing it.

  14. Mexico Mom4:14 pm GMT-4

    I always wait expectantly for Wednesdays. St Lawrence River at Gananoque, ON. Mom

    I remember taking this picture at the 1,000 islands because I saw the picture with the island, the boat and my 2 children. To me it was a picture to be remembered more than recording an occasion.

  15. Hi Ruth, Your comment on my sugar cane post is very interesting. I will email all my siblings and their family who live in Sarawak and Singapore and even in Australia. We used to chew the cane, but we didn't soak it in lemon juice. I am sure they would love it.



  16. Ruth,

    I always enjoy reading about your memories. I love the photos that you have of you and your brother. It is interesting that you always stand on your brother's right when you're looking at the water.

    If you get a chance, drop by my blog to enter my giveaway. Try and stay warm. It was a mite chilly today.


  17. Wonderful pictures and memories.

  18. Beautiful memories of childhood.
    I love old pictures.


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