Monday, October 30, 2017
I have many pleasant memories of Oom Eliza, such as: allowing us to play in the hay mow, making tunnels for kittens or for us, even though we were unaware of the extra work that must have caused him; running apple boxes down the roller ramp; playing in the orchard; having sleepovers with Rita, and hearing his reassuring voice in the kitchen with Tante Gay as we drifted off to sleep; picking grounders, and later picking from the trees where he had to show me how to carry those TALL ladders. One special memory from when I was very young (I don't think I was even 10 yet) was on a visit with Rita. Oom Eliza wanted to pick up some hay bales, but it was very time consuming for him to have to keep climbing off the tractor to throw a bale or 2 onto the wagon, then move forward to get more. Rita and I were playing, when he came to the house to ask if I'd be willing to drive it! I was older than Rita, so he preferred to try me. I didn't fully understand, but it sounded quite scary to me, so I did not want to! However, he eventually convinced me that it would be easy, and he would show me what to do. Rita could sit beside me, and he would walk behind the wagon, tossing up hay bales as we came across them in the field. He showed me how to put it in the lowest gear, and away we went. I think at one point I put it in a higher gear, perhaps as it seemed to be labouring up a slope, and suddenly he ran and hopped up beside me to slow it down again. I don't think I really understood how much time was saved by me driving that tractor!
I'm sure I will recall more memories in the coming days, but I know they will all remind me what a kind, Godly, gentle man he was.