Lynn's Comments: The alcove in my mother-in-law's house was too small to allow for an organized dropping of outerwear. Likewise the closet in our front hall was a "bin" you dove into head first hoping to find something that, if not matching, at least fit! Along with the jumble of boots, mitts and whatnot came the sand, the pine needles and an omnipresent puddle of gritty, melted snow. If this cache of crud bothered you, it would be a thorn in your side for 8 months! This is how long winter lasted in northern Manitoba. You just had to get used to it. Spring would warm the roof for a few days before summer came and this is when the hall heap of winter wear would be dissected, paired up and thrown into the laundry. More often than not, we discovered things left by friends and friends of friends, which lead to the neighborly tradition of returning stuff and picking stuff up that you had left behind. Last week, I noticed that my daughter Katie, (now 33) had on a pair of mittens she's had since she was little. I wondered how they had lasted for so long - still in a pair, still wearable. Somehow, they'd survived the family "filing system". It goes to show you that favorite things find their way to the surface, no matter how deep the pile!
Lynn's Comments: Katie did chew her mittens--right through the thumb. This strip was another cry of angst from her mom. My kids were often lucky that I could "use" this material!
Lynn's Comments: Comparing what we got for Christmas with the neighbourhood kids might have been a problem for our folks, except that everyone in our neighbourhood had just about the same stuff. None of us seemed to have more or less than anyone else, and those who were scrimping managed to look clean, healthy, well dressed, and confident. We lived on Fifth and Lonsdale. Folks living on Fourth fit into our "status," and folks on Sixth did, too. Above and below these streets, there seemed to be a marked difference. If we compared our yuletide haul with anyone on Third, for example, we were likely to be called rich. This was easier to take than comparisons with kids who lived on Eighth or Keith Road or the Boulevard. Our stash would be meagre compared to the kids who lived up there! Whenever I go home, I'm drawn to this area of North Vancouver. For the most part, the wartime houses and the tenement buildings have gone. In their places are impossibly priced condos and attached homes--hard for even the most confident buyers to afford, and I wonder if these subtle lines of "status" still exist. If so, it would be interesting to find out what the "poor" kids in this area get for Christmas!