The Homestead

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


The Homestead

A Short Story of Early Immigrants

 

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Photo by Ryan Wallace on Unsplash

I am Daisy. We left the abundant, progressive city of London, hoping for a large parcel of land and a better future.

Out west everything had to be cleared, a house and out-buildings built.

I started a garden for the winters’ provisions. Harry worked on adjoining homesteads to raise the buildings and accumulate a few scraggly cattle.

Every day was overwhelming in this primitive place. I had left everything — my family, and social life behind, and our possibility of seeing them again had vanquished for these twenty-hour workdays. London was vibrant, modern, leisurely in comparison to our Canadian life. Why did we leave our eastern refuge for this harsh reality?

Out here, we were lucky to see neighbours twice a year. Up at the “crack of dawn,” I lit the wood stove and found my way by lantern. I scrubbed the wood floors daily to keep away the varmints who liked to feed on what little food we had.

After twenty trying years, we’d suffered a fire, a draught, and the loss of many cattle. I wondered where God was? I needed his help but we had to accept the heavy workload, in order for progress to be made. Poverty sentenced our days, along with the loneliness that was commonplace. Perseverance was necessary, and finding a sense of community, for our lives to transform. It did change, and our lives became more tolerable.

We did keep in touch with our family by letter over the years and when we retired, we booked a flight to see them again. The reunion was bittersweet, we lost much of our connection, but it was the choice most new immigrants had to make to assure more opportunity for their children. We were resolved to that sacrifice.

Shirley Langton 2020

 


Submitted: June 15, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Shirley M. Langton. All rights reserved.

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