Because my grandmother turned 80, I got to know dad’s family better, and learned I had a cousin my age.

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When I was 6 1/2, my life started to change: a new church group, a new cousin, starting school, and a book that helped make me who I am.

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When I think back to who I was at six, I have to say that I was probably very much like I am today.

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I’ve heard that a child’s personality is formed by age 6, so I find it surprising that I have only a few memories & a handful of pictures from my 5th year.

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My mother left our visitors in the kitchen, took me up to her bedroom, got a new picture book from the bottom drawer of her dresser, and sat down to read it. Needless to say, I was very puzzled.

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Apart from moving to a brand new town, the most memorable event for me in the summer of 1952 was my being a flowergirl at my Aunt Brucie’s wedding.

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In my short life, we’d already moved from Indian Head, Saskatchewan, to Wolseley. Now, we moved to Crystal City, Manitoba.

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As always, the new year began with my birthday. But it also began with my parents wondering if they should make another change in our circumstances.

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I mentioned earlier that I was given a hot water bottle when I was a baby. While it was great for warming up my bed, I didn’t care for its other use.

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In the midst of a crowd, when I couldn’t see my parents, I felt a little bit afraid. But when a man tried to help me by putting me on his shoulder to help me see, I was terrified.

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Can you imagine how much my mother, who wanted a dainty little girl, disliked my being surrounded by boys and dirt, and reveling in it?

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People look at pictures of me when I was young, and think my hair was lovely. But it was actually the single biggest bone of contention between me and my mother. And I had no control over it!

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My mother had no training in looking after children. Only a Dr. Spock book and a few friends she could go to for advice. Except she’d have trouble doing that. So when I was little, and testing the boundaries, she struggled to make me do as I was told.

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After my parents had lived in Indian Head for about ten years, the move to Wolseley meant starting over.

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Mom and Dad wanted us to have a better life than they were able to have while he was a butcher, so they took a chance on a new business in a new town.

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My parents had enjoyed having a happy, healthy new baby. But neither of them were prepared to look after a walking, talking toddler with a mind of her own.

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