Dick Hunt's Blog

March 30, 2010

The Rocking Chair

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 3:49 pm

The Rocking Chair
by Dick Hunt, March 30th, 2010
I was born in 1920 in the “Ribstone” Ranch House of my parents, Harold and Florence Hunt.  In attendance was a  dear Scottish neighbour called Janet Campbell. I grew to know her well in the social climate of those early days in Alberta.  The Doctor did arrive, no telephone in those days to alert him, but my Uncle Matt in my Father’s 1919 Dodge touring car to fetch him. He did his encouraging visit and again Mother was on her own with two previous children and her loving husband and numerous hired men. I don’t remember any of that. It is reliable hearsay.            Uncle Matt Mork was a Norwegian immigrant, was married to Dad’s sister Dorothy (Dot) and had proved up as a homesteader on an adjacent parcel of land.  They had been married in my parent’s home, before selling their quarter of land (160 acres) to my Dad.  They built a new house on a half section of farm land which they built four miles to the north east of the Ranch. Furnishing a home in those days was a matter of making what you could out of what was available and ordering the rest from Eaton’s Mail order Catalogue, shipped from Winnipeg. We picked up the parcels  in Halkirk on the CPR . One of the items was a sturdy oak Rocking chair with an upholstered seat. The Mork family, initially a boy and two girls were rocked in that chair for  years.  The boy, Alfred tragically passed away at the age of nine.  Florence and Nellie were left.  Florence (who we always called Floss), was just my age, we were like brother and sister.  She suffered through two difficult marriages and died alone in Ashcroft B.C. of cancer.  Nellie became an alcoholic and disappeared from our sight.
The Morks’ sold the farm, built  a house in Endiang and lived there for years. Uncle Matt was a very proficient carpenter, trained in Norway.  He taught me most of what I know about working with wood and did a good deal of building when hired by Dad.  He also worked in blacksmithing and was employed a good deal in the Village Blacksmith shop in Endiang.
They were active and faithful in the Anglican Church and were positively influential in  my spiritual life.  Aunt Dot had been trained as a baker in England and made the most delicious baked goods which she served with tea anytime we dropped in when in town.  When Uncle Matt retired, they moved to New Westminster to which Floss had gone with her second husband, a contractor- builder.  They lived there in one side of a duplex with her parents in  the other side.  They also spent time at Loon Lake in the Cariboo and were there when Aunt Dot passed away from  a heart attack in the winter of 1969.  I was in Williams Lake and was phoned by Floss  to ask if I would conduct the funeral. It was a winter of very heavy snow and extreme cold.  I went down on the bus and the Fraser River was frozen over, the streets still clogged with snow. I was there two days and then back to Williams Lake.  I was met at the bus depot by a fellow employee of my wife at Indian Affairs.  She had heard from Calgary that my Mother was very  low in hospital and that I should take the next bus to be with her.  Ruth had packed a bag  for me with fresh clothing etc. and had cash and a Bus ticket  in an envelope for me.  I didn’t even have time  to phone her but was on the Bus and away in minutes.
I arrived at midnight.  My eldest Brother Wilf met me at the bus depot to say that Mother had passed away in the early evening.  He drove us to Mothers home at  DeWinton south of Calgary where we stayed until after the funeral. It was minus 40 degrees  with deep snow and a strong breeze. The funeral service  was from her old log Christ Church Millarville where she had been a great soldier of Christ and has left an indelible imprint on the Parish to this day. The service was conducted by the Rector,  Waverly Drake-Gant.  I have a copy of his sermon and he said, that if something needed doing in the Parish, she had caused it to be done for the Glory of God, time and again.  She initiated the first Flower Festival in the Parish and number 49 occurred last June. Burial was in Forrest Lawn Garden of Remembrance in east Calgary beside Dad, who died in 1957, before my Ordination.
Uncle Matt went back to Loon Lake to the cottage in which he had lived with his beloved Dot.  Floss heard him at his prayers one night and he said, “Lord please take me home to be with Dot. I love her so much”.  He died soon after that. And I have been the custodian of that lovely old rocking chair for some time, sharing the honor with our daughter Joy. We no longer rock children in it and in our downsizing we have got to the point in life where we are learning to travel more lightly. This morning, in a visit with Joy and her brother Rob it was decided that he would be the next custodian of the Chair.   All of our family have a keen desire to remember where we came from, what has shaped our lives and what we can do to let other people know what we think is of real importance to us as members of the human race and of God’s Kingdom on earth.

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Dick Hunt's Blog

Dick Hunt's 92+ years of history

%d bloggers like this: