Here I am cleaned and combed, standing on the front stoop of our Bowness house.
I remember this stoop very well. And the wooden door with the screen. I saw this door close behind me many times, as I ventured out, sometimes without the knowledge of my parents. I recall my mother frantic, beside herself one time, when I returned after just a few hours away. She could explode into unreasonableness at the littlest thing….like the time I went off on my own exploring inside the boarded up merry-go-round at the play park down by the lagoon. Go figure. The lagoon was great. My father once took me canoeing on it or perhaps it was on the Bow River. I dragged my hand in the cool water and tossed popcorn pieces over the side to feed the fish. There was a gazebo built into the middle and a fountain that sprayed a flower of water into the air.
We had a huge cistern on our back porch to hold the water that was delivered weekly by tanker truck. We had no running water to our house yet. My mother looked for me inside the cistern once but I wasn’t there. We had a septic field in our back yard. My father called it the cesspit. At the back of our yard there was a lid covering an opening to the cesspit. My father showed it to me once. He lifted the lid and let me gaze down into the soup of raw sewage. It was interesting but very dark and a bit scary and you can imagine the smell. My mother looked for me in there once, but I wasn’t there either.