Monday, January 27, 2014



            Before we moved I became a Christian, I believe I was five when that moment took place. We moved to Swift Current, Saskatchewan just in time for me to start in Oman School in grade two. I liked this school better than Kent School, but still didn’t like it. One thing I recall about this school was that I had an ear infection while attending. I also recall that we all had to eat our lunch in the gymnasium and they had a noise meter that we couldn’t go past. To this day that seems like just about the dumbest thing in the world, why shouldn’t kids be allowed to talk while they eat their lunches? It was this school that earned me my second kiss. It was a young girl in my class, and was during gym class. We all had to do push ups, and she asked me if I had ever kissed a girl before. I lied and said no. She then asked me if I wanted to. What a stupid question to ask any guy! I was excited but played it cool, responding with “Sure”. We kissed and the teacher saw us. I recall getting in trouble for this when I got home. I also recall a black bird nest that was above the entrance to this school, so in the spring the two black birds dive-bombed kids entering the school so the teachers had to get rid of the nest. We also went crazy-carpeting in the sand dunes. I believe this was the same trip that we took to see Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. I also recall Alvin and I throwing snowballs at some kids who insulted us on our way home from school, we went overboard and got in trouble from our parents, as well as at school, where we had to write ‘I will not throw snowballs’ a bunch of times. There was also a girl there who would chase me around every lunch hour, driving me absolutely bonkers. I would tell her day after day to stop and she would keep doing it. One day I decided to put an end to it once and for all. She chased me and I turned around and kicked her shin. She told the supervisor and I had to sit in the principal’s office yet again (this seemed a common occurrence at Oman). My Dad spanked my butt for this when I got home. I found out afterwards that she chased me because she had a crush on me. Maybe my kick in the shin put an end to that?
            The funny part about our moving to Swift Current is the house we moved to. It was a run down old house that needed to be bulldozed. Karen and I now live right next door to this house and it still is being rented out, despite needing a demolition. I now live in the house that I recall playing in many times. The neighbor girl used to invite me over a lot, and she would give me snacks while we played many games. Usually it involved my being her prince and she would be a princess (I believe Aladdin and The Little Mermaid were recreated several times). I found these games tedious, but I got to eat snacks I didn’t get at home, and I got to steal a peck or two during these games. You will find throughout these memories that I usually found a girl or two at most places.
            We moved out to Rhineland, Saskatchewan at some point, and I would spend most of grade three at Wymark School. We loved this farm, it was a small acreage, but large enough to have a few animals. Wymark School was actually my favorite of all the many schools I attended growing up. Here Mandy finally had someplace of her own to keep her horse. At Wymark School I recall being chased around the playground by a group of girls, and at this time I would actually start enjoying that game. I recall having a huge crush on of these girls who shall remain nameless. I had developed two good friends at this time and they had come over to my house for my birthday. I ran one over with my sled when he wouldn’t move out of the way as I was going down the hill. I got in trouble for this and I apologized to him the next day at school. I believe it was this grade when I started having blackouts during swimming lessons. The instructor wanted me to swim the length of the pool and back again, it was on the way back that I started getting really short of breath and blacked out. Next thing I knew the instructor had dived into the water and dragged me out of the pool. This resulted in my disliking swimming, and I still do to this day. Now I have this thing where I must be really dry after baths/showers/swims and will make my skin really red to make sure I am dry, I can’t stand being wet at all. I would struggle to make my swimming badges after that point. I will avoid swimming now as much as possible. I was devastated when my parents informed us that once again we were moving. It was a short time before grade three was ending. The kids at school threw me a farewell party and Karen gave me Skittles before I left.
            We moved to Calgary, Alberta at this point. I hated this city, especially after being able to live on the acreage. My Dad got a good job at KPMG though and was able to finish his accounting classes to become a CMA. We started out in Huntington Hills, and went to the Huntington Hills School. We only spent a month or two at this school, so I didn’t really have time to make friends. There was a girl who lived nearby that we played with. The backyard of this house was on a hill and Alvin and I used to play baseball. I would always be the pitcher as I loved pitching, and Alvin would always be the batter as he could really cream the ball. On one of these occasions my glove did not come up fast enough and I took the ball square in my eye, giving me a nice shiner for the summer. We then moved to Renfrew. Here we lived in a fourplex, and in what used to be an army compound, so there were lots of homes with kids for us to play with. We used to go for walks in Nosehill Park, where we used to kick the stones away from Druid circles where people would practice their witchcraft in the park. We would often also go for hikes in Kananaskis, which was always a lot of fun. I loved the Bragg Creek Candy Store that was at the park, I have lots of fond memories of this place. A few times Mandy’s nephew Kevin came with us, he and Alvin would talk biking as they both loved their bikes. And Kevin introduced us to chocolate covered coffee beans.
            In Renfrew we attended Renfrew School. Alvin ended up with a couple of good friends in this school. One of these friends picked on Alvin at first until Alvin fought him and the kid ended up with a bloody knee, after that they were friends. I had a few good friends here as well, including a girl of course. I would attend this school for grade four, and part of grade five. Trouble seemed to be easily found in Calgary, especially since a Catholic school was right across the street from this public school. The result of this was a strong rivalry between the two schools. This led to fights, and insults being thrown over each other’s fences. When my “girlfriend” from this school left, it earned me another kiss, but this was a somber occasion. At home we had a few friends we played with. One was a kid who was younger and lived across the parking lot from us. He could be annoying at times, but we still played with him. There was also a Mormon family that lived just down from us. We used to play with their daughter and occasionally her Dad would take us out for ice cream at Peters Drive In. Another family who lived close by was Jehovah’s Witnesses, and their son was our age. We would play with him and we learned a little about both religions through them. Alvin and I took advantage of so many houses being close by during the winter time. We started up our own snow shoveling business, and did quite well. We bought candy and Lego sets with our cash. We also got in a huge mud fight with another set of brothers. They were normally our friends, but we had a disagreement and the mud started flinging, Dad made us clean the outside of the fourplex that we covered in mud. We also went over to another kid’s place to play videogames.
            While in Calgary we rented out our acreage to friends of ours, and I recall that they did not take good care of the place. We had to return home to clean up the place and re-rent it out to another family who trashed the place. We were informed by someone in Rhineland that we should check out our property as it was not being cared for, and the neighbors hated the way it looked as it had turned into an eye sore. We came home to find diapers everywhere, a cat had done terrible damage to some of the house, our chandelier in the dining room was ruined, the living room drapes ahad been chopped in half, the carpets had to be deep-cleaned, an old engine was left by the barn, and there was trash everywhere. It took us weeks to get everything cleaned up. My parents swore they would never rent out again. We moved back to the acreage at this point, finishing grade five back in Wymark, where we would stay for the longest stretch I remember. It was certainly a relief to finally stay in one spot, moving makes it so difficult to maintain friendships. 

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