Volume #2

Hearst (Ontario)

Fall 1996

Dr. Bill Arkinstall drove out the ten miles with horse and cutter every day.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Margaret Arkinstall

Dr. Arkinstall drove out the ten miles with horse and cutter every day. During the times when the patient slept I had to make things to eat. The only thing the husband could make was macaroni soup and coffee, so I found myself making meals, enough to keep us going I found he had some cured pork and some vegetables and he got me eggs and milk and flour to bake with, so after that we fared pretty well. The neighbour women were good to help out but all had families to care for. They were interesting women; when I baked a cake or some tea biscuits they watched me and learned how. When they saw me knitting they wanted to learn. I taught them how to knit, sew and bake. I talked to them in their own language enough to make myself understood.

I used to laugh when we gathered to eat. The table was just big enough to hold two, the rest sat around the room on benches as close to the table as they could get. The little boys all wore kerchiefs on their heads, and the ones who went to school wore peaked caps over their kerchiefs and because they were taught at school to take their caps off in the house they removed the cap but not the kerchief. They certainly were a picturesque little group with the embroideries and their added Canadian clothes."

Bill and I arrived one day just at dinner time when Greta was preparing the meal, consisting of chicken soup. It smelled delicious and we were glad to sit down and share it. As Greta was serving our plates and asking our preference she would say, "Do you want a drum stick? Do you like a wing?" as she forked each one out of the pot. Then, "Do you like feet?" Out came a chicken leg and foot complete with claws:

"We thought for a few days the mother would get better but her other lung filled up and she grew gradually worse. My two or three days grew into ten and I was getting very tired as I had never had my clothes off all that time and had had practically no sleep. On the tenth day the weather moderated and Dr. Arkinstall, partly for my sake, gave the 'command' to bring the patient into the hospital. So we put a feather tick over her and drove in. I will always remember those three little boys left alone in the house. They had dread in their young hearts - we were taking their mother away. Would we bring her back`? I almost knew then that we would not, but I still hoped. **

Friends of Bradlo - Newsletter Copyright by Rudy Bies 1997
All contents for www.slovak.com 1997, Ondro Mihal.
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Last update on March 29, 1997.