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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Saturday, November 7, 2009

History lesson

When the weather changes and the days are dark, I poke around in old books, try new ideas in the studio or, like today, go through antique photos of my ancestors. My great grandparents were pioneers here on the coast and in particular Salt Spring Island where they raised chickens and farmed the land.
This is my great great grandfather from Ontario on a visit to Salt Spring...sure looks like he knows how to hoe a row!
I love this picture of him with my great Uncle Bill...the youngin' trying to be  cool like his elder....
These are my great grandparents, May and Jack Cairns...my great grandmother was an American whose father faught in the Civil war and came across to California by wagon train via Philidelphia...they are pictured here with my grandmas sister Agnes...we all call her Aunt San.

Here is my great grandpa Jack with my grandma (Marge) and sister San.Grandpa Jack was a camp cook with the railway and followed the work where it took him...the story goes that he was on a trip to California working with the food icing cars when he saw my great grandma in a cafe and fell in love with her long auburn hair...he brought her back to B.C and they settled on Salt Spring.
This is my mom on my great grandparents farm on SaltSpring when she was just about a year old...I love the fact that you can just catch a glimpse of my great grandma May harvesting something from the garden and smiling all the while...
Grandma Marge and Grandpa Gerry with my mom (Anne).


Here's my Grandpa Gerry looking all Marlin Brando-ish...handsome devil wasn't he?

When I look through these photos, I realize that so much of who you are comes from who you've come from...I am connected to them through my garden and love for rural air...When my hands are plunged into the soil, or holding a shovel, I think of these people often and wonder what they were like as young newlyweds and farmers...wouldn't it be incredible to travel back in time and sit a spell on the porch to listen to their hopes and dreams and stories?
All but a few are gone now but we can still sit back and pause through the pictures and look into the lives of those who brought us to life...

1 comment:

endofera said...

I'd love to have a collection of old photos like the ones you have. In Ireland they have only recently released the 1911 census to the public. This enabled me to trace back to my Great grandfathers time...a real treat for me!!