Thank-you for replying to my email asking if you would print the attached story in your New Year’s edition. It strikes me as a positive message in these difficult times.
Cicely Hunter passed away Dec. 31, 2019, at the age of 90.
I can hardly wait
My name is Cicely Anne MacLeod Hunter – one of the 10 children of John and Betty MacLeod.
I always think I had a great life. Growing up in a big family was fun. There was always someone to play with – to fight with, to love! And there was a Mom and Dad who cared about each one of us.
Life was exciting. Mom used to say I couldn’t stay in bed in the morning just in case I’d miss something. And she said she couldn’t get me to go to bed at night – because I thought I’d miss something. She always said I was wishing my life away because “I could hardly wait.”
In the springtime I could hardly wait for the snow to start melting…To pick the first pussy-willows of the year… To hear the first crow – see the first robin and see the first flock of geese flying over… I could hardly wait for the river to go out and for Dad to take us fishing – to catch the first Gold-eyes….And of course there were the baby chicks and turkeys…The first spring flowers…Dad ploughing the garden and Mom planting it…At school, we’d start practicing for the track meets…Studying for exams…Playing the games of summer…And there was the last day of school – the picnic with real ice cream…getting report cards.
Summer was the long, lazy time. We had few responsibilities and spent long days at the river and wandering through the pastures. By the end of summer we’d be picking berries in the pines and across the river. Harvesting would be starting … the garden … the fields. Meet the new teacher. Get started on all those new school supplies and books…Hallowe’en would be coming of course…The first snowfall…By the time we got Thanksgiving out of the way I could hardly wait to start getting ready for Christmas. … Practicing for the school concert… Santa Claus came and went and suddenly there was my birthday and Valentine’s Day. We’d make home-made valentines for nearly all of the kids and have a party… then Easter holidays and the cycle began again.
When I was 18 I became a teacher. I could hardly wait for the first of September…To see my new school… To meet my new students…Start my new classes. There was a teacher shortage at the time, so we could pretty well teach where we wished and my sister Betty and I chose a new place to teach each year. We were moving westward…And we came to Hanna. That’s where I met Gordon – the love of my life.
Gordon was the Principal of the Junior High/Elementary School. One of the first things I noticed about Gordon was his optimism. Any difficulty could be overcome. There was something good about every obnoxious child.
We were married in 1956 and had four great sons: Donald, Grant, Geoff and David. How we loved them. And proud we were. They were so bright. So handsome. So athletic. Our summers centered around swimming. We bought a trailer-tent and travelled around the country. Our winters were about hockey and tobogganing and skating outdoors. These were likely the happiest days of my life. But alas, life goes on and of course the boys left home to carry on with their lives.
Gordon was involved in many activities: Masonic Lodge, Founding member of the Rec. Board. Town Council. Mayor. Church Board. I belonged to the UCW and for nine years I headed up the Explorers group in the Church. I went back teaching when all of our boys were in school – and I loved it. I taught art for 17 years at the junior high and in my final four years of teaching, I returned to my first love: primary school.
And lucky for us, we had a great network of friends. Friday night get-togethers were a given. In the summer we spent the evenings at Fox Lake or on someone’s patio.
And life was good.