This is the story as my mother tells it.
This picture was taken when we lived in Cardston in a small old two bedroom rental house. The house was torn down to make way for the new hospital. As your birthdays were the same day a year apart we celebrated them on the same day. We did the Happy Birthday stuff; presents, lighting cake etc. in the house and then dad took the cake out into the back yard to take pictures. When I came out of the house with the knife and plates for the cake, this is what I saw. Your dad leaning against the house laughing as he took pictures. You boys never minded that you only got one cake but seemed to feel that it was yours to eat as you wanted…After all it was your birthday .
1941 MOVED TO MEDICINE HAT
Working for the railroad Jack got home some week-ends, it was lonely for both of us. One weekend when he came home he surprised me and said that he could hold a job full time in Medicine Hat. I really did not want to move to Medicine Hat, but we could be together more and Jack would spend more time with Millie and Alf. It took me from Christmas until May hoping Jack would find something around Calgary. I liked Calgary we were happy there. I don’t like the hot summers in Medicine Hat. I told Jack we could move when Millie and Alf were out of school. So in May 1941 we packed up and moved to Medicine Hat. We were closer to my family and relations. They were all German descendent and Jack was never happy around them. He did not like me speaking German in our home.
We rented a large yellow two story home along the Saskatchewan River. It was beautiful with a yard and well kept up. Then three of my brothers got married and lived with us in 1942. In June of 1942 I wasn’t feeling very well, and soon realized I was pregnant. I was so sick for three months. In the fall Jack bought a house up on the hill 444 11th street. The house we were in was up for sale, so we either buy it or move. Jack found the house and bought it without me even seeing it. When I did see it, I was sicker than ever. The floor and fireplace were painted forest green and as I wasn’t feeling very well and the color didn’t help. All we did was remodel for nearly two years. I didn’t feel good and was in bed most of the time. All the mess was very discouraging; Many times I wished I was back in Calgary.
January 2 1942
The kids and I are all alone, Second year since we moved from Calgary. Jack is away on a trip. Wonder what the New Year will bring, it’s such a mess with the war, things do not look good for the Allies.
My folks lived in Irvine about 25 miles from Medicine Hat. They all came in for Esther’s wedding to Jim Foulston. I made cakes and roasted chickens , we had a houseful for Feb 17, Esther’s wedding day. On the big day mom, pop, and relatives were all ready to go to the Church, it was a very cold day, I had phoned a taxi. When the Taxi arrived nobody knew where the Church was. Anyway we finally got to the Church which was only four blocks from the house.
Esther’s husband Jimmy as we called him was in the Air Force, he looked very handsome in his uniform. Esther was 20 years old, my mother was 59 years old. Esther and Jimmy went to Yorkton, Manitoba , where he was stationed.
GRANDMA CAROLINE SCHAFFERS STORIES
(As told by her granddaughter Martha M. Helm Salway)
My grandma Schaffer was short, round, jolly and witty. She always had a comeback for everything. She laughed a lot and people liked to be around her. As kids we knew she liked us, she played like a kid and thoroughly enjoyed life. The best times of my childhood were with grandma. These stories show her exciting , inquisitive personality.
Our farm was about 11 miles away from the nearest school. During school years we were boarded in Irvine, Alberta. Being the oldest I was responsible for my siblings. At the time, they were; Jim, Gordon, Jack, Eddy. We were divided up so half of us went to grandma Deering’s and the other half to grandma Schaffers. We all wanted to go to grandma Schaffers, but had to take turns. Irvine was a small town with the Canadian Pacific railroad tracks running through the middle of it. The town consisted of one grain elevator, a mercantile store, a butcher shop (my uncle Hausauer owned it) A bank, a pool hall and wooden sidewalks.
GRANDPA’S TRIP TO MEDICINE HAT
One week when I was staying with grandma Schaffer, grandpa decided to take the train to Medicine Hat, a city about 50 miles away. Grandma sure wanted to go with him. She teased, cajoled grandpa and even begged, but grandpa was adamant she stay home and take care of us kids.
When it was time for grandpa to leave, grandma grabbed my hand and said “Come” we will see grandpa off on the train. So we walked the block to the train station and waved as grandpa got settled by a window on the train. The train started and grandma did an amazing thing. She pressed a large penny into my hand and said “Take care of the kids” I watched dumbfounded as my fat rolly polly grandma quickly hopped on the next coach and was of to Medicine Hat. She waved to me with a delighted grin on her face.
The next day I was anxiously waiting at the train station for their return. Grandpa and grandma stepped onto the platform, both grinning and talking excitedly. I could hardly wait to hear about their adventure. I was sure grandma would get in trouble. At supper I dared to ask. Grandpa said “When I got off the train in Medicine Hat, there was grandma waiting on the platform smiling, just as I had left her. At first I was thinking we had gone back to Irvine. Then I couldn’t figure out how she got to Medicine Hat before me. But that’s my Caroline, ALWAYS FULL OF SURPRISES.
We laughed and all agreed that our grandma was indeed full of surprises.