Canaan Years - New Friends


At first, when we moved to Canaan, I wasn't sure I wanted to make another whole set of new friends. But, immediately, I felt at home. We were a small church in a small community. There were not a lot of families in the church. One family, the Harrimans, had seven kids - with some girls my age and a boy around my brothers' ages. Across the street, the Ouellettes had three older teenagers. The Ames family had little ones - their oldest girl was the one that read to me at school. Other teenagers came without their parents, the Holt girls, and the son of the ones who owned the general store. There was the Haney family and the Fernalds and others that attended the church.

The town of Canaan was like my back yard. I could walk around town, day or night, without fear. I felt safe. Everyone knew each other and looked out for each other. I biked up and down the roads, walked through the woods paths, and sledded in the pastures.

I loved being with the Harriman family. They adopted me as another daughter and often invited me to their house or on outings. (I probably invited myself more times than was polite.) It seemed like there was always something going on. Even helping with their chores was fun when we could sing and giggle together. I milked the cow once. (just a few squirts) There was always laundry to hang on the clothesline or fold. We baked cookies. They taught me about No-Bakes and Whoopie Pies.



We'd play Hide n'Seek in barn. (I never did have the nerve to walk across the high beams, but I did slide across sitting down.) Their dog, part beagle and part dachshund, would climb the ladders to play with us in the hay loft. We play Kick the Can in the front yard, baseball in the cow pasture, and had hundreds of snowball fights.

Our youth group was mostly girls. Poor Jay, Randy, and Harvey were very out-numbered, but they didn't seem to mind, except when we'd have sewing or cooking lessons. (Then my father would do more "manly" things with them.) There were usually about ten of us in the youth group. We went on hayrides and had game nights. We got pretty good at ping pong. I remember one New Year's Eve, we had an all-night sledding party on the hill behind the church. What a crazy time! We got pretty banged up, as I recall, but it was fun.

I had lots of great friends. I enjoyed being the pastor's kid, being the popular one for awhile, but later I learned that it wasn't always fun to be the pastor's kid. My life was often set as an example for the others to follow. It helped me to grow up. It taught me to stand up for what I believed because others were following me.

5 comments:

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Greetings from Southern California.

I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

God Bless You, ~Ron

Abel said...

So I need to thank the Harrimans for teaching you how to make no-bakes :)

Yvonne Blake said...

Yes, Abel... They also taught me to put them in the freezer if they turned out to be "Gookie Cookies".

BethL said...

Small towns are the best! I loved this, Vonnie!

Aunt Gloria said...

Yvonne...I can't believe you remembered the "gookie cookies"!!

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