Childhood Adventure

Did you ever get lost, get hurt, or do something outrageous as a child?

While I love adventure, and especially learning new things and experiencing life’s unexpected twists and turns, I cannot remember anything particularly adventuresome from my early years. That is not to say that my life was boring, but merely that I don’t remember very much from my earliest years, and the “family biography” my dad wrote for us was rather factual, and recorded things of interest to him. I suspect those didn’t include what us little people would have considered adventuresome, or at least they didn’t include our viewpoint of events.

Actually, compared to a great many children, I probably had a quite adventuresome life. By the time I was a month old, I had been to a wedding, been to church several times (and been christened), taken a road trip all over southern British Columbia, and flown north to our home on the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii). While there, I slept out on the porch every afternoon, experiencing free range cows coming onto the porch and peering at me, and sleeping through a couple of earthquakes. We took daily long walks, and did lots of beach combing and going on picnics. My brother was born a year and a half later, and when I was two we moved to Revelstoke.

We had meanwhile taken more flights, and when we moved off-island we traveled by steamship, our whole family ensconced in the bridal suite because of a reservation mix-up. This may have resulted in an early “outrageous” event, during the crossing of Queen Charlotte Strait, which is a notoriously bumpy stretch of water. I have been told that, as we were staying in the bridal suite, we were seated at the captain’s table for each meal, and I was served my baby food in a crystal bowl. Just as everyone was nicely into their meal, the rock and roll of the waves had their effect on me, and I erupted, spattering my tummy contents across the captain’s table. Within a minute or two, the table was deserted, and as I was now feeling much better, the steward brought me a fresh crystal dish of dinner, and I happily continued my meal.

I have not heard any stories of my getting hurt, other than a major sunburn the summer I was a year old, and I do not think I ever got lost. As my mom and dad always took good care of me, and I always had endless numbers of friends and relatives as well, playing with me and caring for me, I suppose that opportunities to get lost or hurt didn’t occur very often. Apparently, though, I did have a streak of wanderlust, for our yard in Masset did not have a fence, and I seemed to have a habit of going off on adventures by myself. My mother, however, solved that problem quickly. She simply got a rope, tied one end of it to the clothes line, which stretched a good distance across the yard, and tied me to the other end! We have some interested photos to prove this. Of course, nowadays this would probably be considered child abuse, and invite a nasty visit from the authorities, but in that day and age, it was considered a practical solution to a simple problem. And no, I don’t believe it has left me scarred emotionally. I suppose kids must have been tougher in those days!

Posted: Aug 23, 2008

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