Memoir of a Railroad
I grew up and spent my childhood in my hometown, Blue River, right near the beautiful Rocky Mountains. I moved there with my family when I was three years old. My dad worked on the C.N.R., the Canadian National Railway. The trains stopped in Blue River for twenty minutes and there was a little cafe at the station we called "The Beanery". Just across the street from there was one of the two general stores in town. In addition, there was one garage, one post office, one Red Cross outpost hospital with 4 beds and the Blue River Community Hall where all the town activities were held. Also there was one school with 3 classrooms where my dad was school janitor. After we finished as far as we could go in school, we had two choices; either we took correspondence, (school by mail) or we moved out of town to go to school.
We lived in a three-bedroom house on the edge of town. Not far from our house were the railroad tracks. We could see them from our bedroom window. My sister and I used to wave to the train engineers early in the morning when they went by and they always waved back. In those days only some houses in town had indoor plumbing and electricity. The house in which I lived until I was 10 years old had a well outside and a water pump in the kitchen. We used kerosene lamps for light, coal for heat and a woodstove for cooking. At the back of the big old woodstove were five old-fashioned irons that my mother used for ironing our clothes. For bathing, my mother heated up water on the stove and we bathed in a big square laundry tub in the kitchen. And let's not forget the outdoor toilet.
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