Monday, October 8, 2012

Thanksgiving in Canada by Margaret Ullrich, part 11, Weeding

Happy Thanksgiving!!
What is it about holidays that makes us remember the past.
Is it the heavy meal?
Is it the booze?
Is it the work that's involved?
Is it all of the above?


Two weeks ago I wrote about our first house in British Columbia.
I say house because our trailer was our first home.
We did a lot of living in that 8 by 11 foot box.
It got us across the country, across the Rockies.
Our trailer was home while we lived in White Rock.
Ah, Hiawatha Trailer Park...
Our trailer was home while we lived in Surrey.
Oy, Beladean Trailer Park...

Let me explain.

Hiawatha Trailer Park was strictly for the tourist season.
Which in Canada ends by Thanksgiving, the second Monday in October.
Not the fourth Thursday in November, as it is in the United States.
So much for thinking we had a site until late November.
Our Hiawatha Trailer Park landlord wished us well, but he wasn't 
going to stay open an extra two months just for us.

Okay... there was another trailer parker a few miles away, in Surrey.
It was closer to The Surrey Delta Messenger, where Paul worked.
We took that as a good sign.
Shows how much we knew.

The Beladean Motel & Trailer Park is on the King George Highway.
In 1972 it was just a trailer park, next door to a drive in movie.
The screen was easily seen through our kitchen window.
We could see a movie every night, including Ben, the sequel to Willard.
Yes, Ben, one of Michael Jackson's earliest hits.
According to Leonard Maltin... the title song summed up situation 
but spared gory visuals that make this film so bad.
We weren't spared the gory visuals on the giant screen.
There's nothing like seeing bloodthirsty giant rats through your kitchen window.

Then there were our neighbors...
The very first day, while I was unpacking, I heard a knock.
It was our next door neighbor.
Cigarette never leaving her mouth, she offered to tell me my future.
At a discount, since we were neighbors.
She said she was a 'parents from the old country', 100% gypsy.
She came complete with Tarot cards and crystal ball.
Her hubby was a travelling roofer.
For a few bucks, cash only, he'd shmear tar over your roof.
I thanked her, said some other time, and escorted her out.

Their teen-aged children played a half dozen country and western records.
Romantic misery blared from next door at all hours during our stay.
So much for traditional gypsy tunes on a mandolin.

Even so, we felt we had a lot to be grateful for.
Paul invited his widowed boss, Mr. Hastings, to be our guest.
I was going to cook my first turkey dinner.

Okay... Thanksgiving... we needed a turkey.
One major requirement: it had to fit in our toy sized oven.
Paul opened the door and measured the opening with his hands.
Then he placed his hands - the same distance apart - on his chest.
With that as our guide, we went shopping.

After hugging a half dozen turkeys, Paul found one that would fit.
On to buying something to drink.
In New York wine and beer can be bought in a grocery store.
Not so in Canada.
We asked the clerk where the alcoholic drinks were.
He gave us a surprised stare.
Okay... Canadians just didn't drink alcohol.
We bought some apple cider.

Finally... Thanksgiving.
Mr. Hastings was the patient, bemused guest. 
Paul was the good host.
I was the bride cooking her first turkey.
Romantic misery blared from next door.

The meal went well.

Hey, no one got sick the next day.

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