Monday, August 6, 2007

Silent and Forgotten!

I took this photo yesterday.
An old dilapidated building; who would look at it twice?
I would – when I look at it, I see what it once was!
It is surrounded by a fence to keep people out – I remember it welcoming people in!
It is boarded up and empty… with a ‘for sale’ sign out front. Silent and forgotten! But I remember it full of life and laughter.
The “For Sale” sign almost looks embarrassed at what it is offering.… No one sees the value . But I remember.
This old building holds a very special place in my childhood memories!

Fifty years ago I was a little girl going to Peardonville Elementary School. A homey little two room school.
Across the street was the little country store, called Peardonville Store. It was managed by Jean Peardon, a daughter of one of the original families to settle in the area. .
The store was a special place. It was where the neighbourhood came for local gossip, to fill up their cars with gas, to buy basic necessities from its well stocked shelves – from grocery items to hardware - or just to stop and say hi to Jean!
But that’s not why I remember the store!
I remember the candy, the pop, the gum and the ice-cream.
Oh, the goodies were amazing in a child’s eye!

On any given school day, someone would have spending money and at recess or lunch hour the eager question would be asked of Miss Cooper, “May I go to the store?”
And Miss Copper would smile and nod .
Permission given, little feet wasted no time !
The one with the pennies, nickel or dime would not go alone. A friend was always given the privilege of going along to make the difficult choice of what the treats would be. I especially remember the jaw breakers and liquorish, bubble gum and always ice-cream!

If one of our classmates was very rich one day, they might have as much as a quarter to spend - that meant that they could buy enough candy to share with all their friends.
I had a girlfriend whose parents were very generous with giving her spending money so she would often share with me. On the rare occasion that I had spending money I was happy to return the favour!
When my grandmother visited from far-away Manitoba, she would get a twinkle in her eye when we were ready to leave for school and would press a quarter in our hands to spend at lunch time!! I remember how rich those quarters made me feel.

How much our coins could buy in those days!
I remember one day I was especially hungry for ice-cream and I clutched a dime in my hand. I asked Jean if she could give me a ten cent ice-cream cone. She laughed and said she could not pile it up that high!! So I settled for the regular five cent cone—ice-cream pressed all the way down into the cone and three scoops on top!!

Jean never married, so she enjoyed the kids coming in, their eyes big with anticipation and she would patiently count out the pennies they owed her.

Yesterday as I looked at the building, I could almost hear again the happy chatter and laughter of children’s voices….but they faded into the silence of an old forgotten building that will surely be torn down by someone who has no memory of what it once was.

It made me sad thinking how everything changes, breaks down, wears out, people move away, buildings are torn down.
But that is the essence of this life… the dominating factor --- nothing here lasts forever.

Perhaps it is necessary for us to see the decay of things we once valued and loved…so we are reminded that this world will pass away and everything in it. We can’t hold on too tight!!
There is an old poem – the author is unknown- that you may have heard before but I came across it again today.
Its poignant message is that the things of this world are fleeting – only one thing will endure beyond our earthly life!

Only One Life

Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life's busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in 'that day' my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God's holy will to cleave;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill, living for self or in His will;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e'er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, "twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say,"Thy will be done";
And when at last I'll hear the call, I know I'll say "twas worth it all";
Only one life,'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.


Carolanne said...

Great post, Julie!

I can picture the store and hear the laughter of children. It's not forgotten although it's silent. It holds lots of precious memories for you and I'm sure many others.

I love the way you tied the story together with the poem, too!

James Janzen said...

Do you know whatever happened to Jean?? I had a friend who's grandfather gave him a dollar every morning. He didn't share much though. I remember when we had sports day once a year. Dad would always give me a dollar. We could buy lots with that buck. Ya that store was an important part of our lives. As well as Jean Peardon. Here's your challenge. Find out what happened to her...................:-)

ens said...

Oh, the memories that came flooding back when I saw that picture! Whenever I drive through Peardonville I wish I had pictures of our old school building and the store the way it was in its heyday. I, too, asked Miss Cooper for permission many times to go to the store to buy a chocolate bar or a 5 cent bag of chips. One day Miss Cooper asked me to bring her back a "MacIntosh Bar". In the store I scanned all the chocolate bars on the shelves and started to panic because I wasn't sure what a MacIntosh Bar was! Jean must have noticed the fearful look on my face and asked if she could help. I told her what Miss Cooper wanted and she directed me to the MacIntosh Toffee. Phew!

I also remember you, James (we called you Jamie then) and the dangerous stunts you did on your green bike. One that still makes me shudder to this day, is when you jumped your bike onto the cement railing of the bridge and rode along that narrow surface with the water gushing in the creek below!

It was a great place to grow up, wasn't it? At least we still have our memories. I'd be curious to know what happened to Jean Peardon too.

Elsie (Giesbrecht) Ens

Julie said...

Hi Elsie, thank-you for stopping by and adding your memories!!
Thanks for the memory jog! I do remember Miss Cooper loving the MacIntoch toffee and she would ask us to bring her back a bar too!! I wonder if she is still enjoying it?? She is still living on her farm in Abbotsford.

Yes, I called him Jamie too..still do sometimes!! (smile)

Being ten years behind me, James, your buck didn't go quite as far as mine, but still good value!!

I'm not sure when the store closed, probably around the 70's. After the store closed Jean Peardon joined the military and moved out of province...back east. The last I heard of her she was still alive although not that well.
Her sister Molly still lives in Abbotsford.

Lovella said...

I remember walking to that store as a young girl when visting your home.
We had a store that we also went to in our village and you just can't drive by without thinking back way when to what was.

Sir Underbelly said...

These are some great shots. I love pic of the dilapidated buildings.So much so, I have having a contest, just for fun! Don't know if you are interested but that image might fit in with a contest my site is having. Check it out!


Sir Underbelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.