Ice Cream and Potato Chips

Yesterday I shared some of my 93 year old neighbor’s story. Here is a tiny bit more.

She was born in 1927. Her parents were from Ukraine. They came over to the Northwest Territories to be farmers. They were wheat farmers. She gave me some of the backstory of where she was raised in Saskatchewan.

In Canada, from 1914 to 1920 (WWI and for two years after) “enemy aliens” were confined to internment camps.  About 8,000 Ukrainian people; men, women, and children, those of Ukrainian citizenship as well as naturalized Canadians of Ukrainian descent were kept in twenty-four internment camps and related work sites. An additional 80,000 people, were not imprisoned but were registered as “enemy aliens” and obliged to regularly report to the police and were required to carry identifying documents at all times or incur punitive consequences. She told me that some people never got over this treatment.

They became bitter. Then she paused and she very quietly added that she did not get along with her mother. I did not question this statement. I nodded my head. She went on.

She grew up in a log cabin on the farm. Her mother grew a very large garden and canned everything, including meat. There was no electricity. Winters could be bitterly cold and long. She attended school but during the school year, she boarded with a family that lived closer to the school. They treated her kindly.

There were no luxuries. She was fed a balanced diet.

Now she likes to have a cup of coffee and piece of toast in the morning, a real meal at noon and for dinner, she really likes to just eat potato chips and ice cream.

Since she has survived two bouts of cancer, numerous natural disasters, and heart surgery, at 93 she only wants to eat what she wants now.

I just walked to the store and bought her some potato chips and ice cream.