Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Five -- Location Location Location

Singing Owl has set out this Friday Five for us, contemplating all the places she and her husband have lived:

"Therefore, tell us about the five favorite places you have lived in your lifetime. What did you like? What kind of place was it? Anything special happen there?"

Whooee. Someone told me the three nomadic occupations were ministry, military, and mining, and my Dad was a mining engineer. He and Mom lived in 25 different places in the first 20 years of their marriage...it did slow down after that, thank goodness!

And I have now lived not just in the same community but in the same house since 1973, WHICH SUITS ME FINE, THANK YOU. My last move was 12 blocks. Ideal, I say.

Five favorite places, h'm.

1. Carmacks, Yukon Territory...The summer I turned five. A reasonably modern bungalow -- without electricity! A well in the cellar and a coal stove for cooking and heat. The all-but-midnight sun. Paddle-wheel steamboats still operated on the Yukon River, stopping at the mine at Carmacks to load barges of coal. My Dad calculated that there wasn't another white child within a radius of 200 miles. My birthday guests included my parents, the mine foreman, two steamboat captains, two chief engineers, a Mountie, the postmistress, the telegraph operator, the Taylor & Drury factor, and an Oblate missionary. Pretty cool!
2. Taku Tulsequah Polaris, B.C...the following summer. A summer made memorable by swimming in the Taku River -- not the main channel, which was glacier-fed, but in the pools in the sandbars, which were thoroughly sun-warmed. We had a pleasant house, and lots of opportunity to be outdoors, which was good. The townsite was at the bottom of a valley, and the valley was so narrow and steep that the sky was not visible from inside the houses. Radio reception was very fitful but we heard lovely classical music from time to time--courtesy of Radio Moscow, English language service! (Yes, "we could hear Russia from our house"!)
3. Giant Mascot Mine, Spillimacheen, B.C...in the East Kootenays, on an enormous erratic boulder (mountain-sized) west of the Columbia River wetlands. Our first house here had, for some strange reason, a picture window, looking out on the Bugaboo Spire and glacier. We had an earth cellar, accessible through a trapdoor in the floor. Between packrats in the cellar and Big Cat Tracks on the snow on the roof, my mother wasn't overly fond of this house. Later that year we moved into one of three brand new houses--with the same fantastic view.
4. Cambridge, Massachusetts; lived here for two winters in a women's graduate dorm, pursuing a couple of degrees. A very different climate and different verdure (magnolias!) and different kind of beauty in the landscape.
5. Spenser's Green, London, England...in the bottom half of a house, of which the upper half was also occupied by Canadian graduate students. COLD in the wintertime, until we mastered the management of portable heaters--but a pretty back garden, and central London just a moderate trainride away, including the British Museum, where I sat and sat and sat and read Renaissance grammar and rhetoric texts for my dissertation. And we went to "everything" in the theatre that winter to make up for my never having had a really adequate course in English drama...and comprehensives were coming! Highlights...standing in the back of the first balcony to see Olivier play Shylock, against Joan Plowright as Portia.

6 comments:

Chorus said...

Beautiful stories!

Chunklets said...

I do like the thought of the big cats walking on the roof!

Crimson Rambler said...

switching their tawny long tails, yes!

Auntie Knickers said...

What an adventurous life, and yes, one can still be adventurous living in the same place for 35 years!
I, too, was surprised after 30+ years in the Upper Midwest to return to Maine and see magnolias.

Melissa K said...

Hi, I was wondering if by chance you had anymore information about the Giant Mascot Mine in Spillimacheen when you lived there? I am curious as to where the houses were located in relation to the mine and school etc.

Melissa K said...

Hi, I was wondering if by chance you had anymore information about the Giant Mascot Mine in Spillimacheen when you lived there? I am curious as to where the houses were located in relation to the mine and school etc.