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Saturday, 29 October 2016

Family History Month - Recalling Memories

In a recent conversation, the question was asked: 

What were the sleeping arrangements like when you were growing up?

My father was one of eight siblings. They lived in a two bedroom miner's row house. Four girls were in one room, four boys in the other. Beds were shared.


My mother was one of 20. And while they were not all home at the same time, her and her siblings talk of sleeping "head to toe" One person slept north/south on the bed and their bed-mate slept south/north. Some slept across the bed as that gave more room. They often slept three or four to a bed. 

In both instances, there would often be times when kids who were not siblings joined in on and bunked down wherever they landed. 

My granny used to love coming to Canada for her holidays. Three weeks, six weeks, three months, six months. She always started out at my aunt's house up the street, but within a few days, was at my mother's doorstep, bags in hand. I honestly can't recall where I ended up sleeping while Gran was visiting, I just know that when she was staying with us, my room became hers. It was never stated, it was understood. 

I recall, too, spending a week at our neighbour's cottage. There were three families sharing a three bedroom cottage. My mum, my aunt's family and my uncle's family. The adults all had bedrooms. The rest of us (about 10 kids) slept on floors, sofas and cots in the living-room or kitchen. Sleep was fairly elusive as my mum and her brother spent the night calling out to one another and sharing stories, memories and jokes. But the memories are of laughter, love and spending the night wherever we could find a flat surface. 

What were the sleeping arrangements like when YOU were growing up? 

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