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Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Camping With Mother

[EDITORIAL NOTE: There are a couple of stories about mothers in the hopper and as U.S. Mothers' Day is coming up on 11 May (I don't know if other countries celebrate it), I am saving them until the week preceding the Sunday holiday. If others would like to send "mother stories", I'll publish a week or so of them all at once. Deadline for submission is Friday, 2 May.]

By Ronni Prior of Rants By Ronni

In the summer of 1957, we towed a trailer from Quebec City to Duncan, on Vancouver Island. We left Quebec around the first week of July and by September, we were in Alberta, more or less broke. Dad and Mom hired on at Waterton Lakes National Park. We parked the trailer in the campground and stayed for a month.

It was toward the end of the season, the resort was being put to bed for the winter, and so were the bears. There were a lot of bears. It wasn't unusual to go into the bath house and find one or two in there rifling through the trash cans.

One night, we woke to a violent shaking of the trailer. We kept food that needed to be cooled in a box underneath. Trust me, in Alberta, in the foothills of the Rockies in September, it was quite cool enough outside.

So, the bear was after the meat locker.

Dad's reaction was, "Let her have it!"

Mom was a bit more sanguine. She opened the back door of the trailer and actually poked underneath with a broom. The bear started to retreat. Mom pressed her advantage, heaving one of her Wellington boots at it. The bear backed off further, behind a smallish tree. Mom stood in the doorway with the other boot in one hand and the broom in the other and told Dad, "Now you go out there and grab that meat locker!" Dad, not to be outdone by his 5' 2" wife, complied.

Nobody slept for the rest of the night.

He later said that the only thing that scared him more was changing a diaper.

[If you would like to contribute to The Elder Storytelling Place, the guidelines are here. We would all be pleased to read your stories.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Did you ever make it to Vancouver Island? How did you survive without money, in winter, out west in the Rockies? Loved your nonchalance at sharing the camp with the bears. Great story.

Oh wonderful. I was holding my breath.

What a brave mom! We never encountered a bear, but my mom was the one who killed the black widows and shooed away the bees. My dad was as scared as I was!

We not only made it to Vancouver Island; we actually stayed there. A novel concept for my peripatetic parents!

Ronni,

It's no wonder you are so brave and feisty.

You must take after your Mom. She was a brave woman and very adventurous

My mother was the stuff of which pioneers were made. I can't even come close!

I know she's in the Otherworld, and has been laughing at my efforts to raise my kids without her sage advice. I can't tell you the number of times she said, "Just you wait until you have children of your own! Then you'll understand!"

Well, I did, and I do, and there's many a time I have glanced upward and said, "All right, Mom! Enough already! I understand!"

Not many like her around, Ronni. Great story!

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