Anniversary II

Although thr date of my parents’ wedding anniversary has now passed. I did not finish the tale of their marriage in my ptrvious post. So you can decide now whether to read the rest along with me or to tune out and find smething more worthy. I had come to the hardware store last week. Since it was a big part of our lives, it deserves special attention. Dad and my uncle bought the place from the original owner and kept its name. The main reason for doing this was that Dad’s two other brothers ran a clothing shop next door. Two retail places side by side with the same name would have been very confusing, As it was, townspeople often asked me and my eleven cousins which father we belonged to. I ususally said my father was the tall one in the hardware shop. .

Retail hours were pretty rigid in those days. Businesses opened from 9 to 5 or from 8 to 4. Friday night was a late one when a shop could stay open until 9 p.m. Only dairies (convenience stores) could sell goods on Saturdays and what they sold was restricted. I remember seeing screens blocking off the forbidden stuff. Foreign tourists arriving in our cities on a weekedn complained that they had nowhere to eat or to shop. My father kept to the right hours but it was common for ay man to turn up on our doorstep on Saturday morning asking if Dad would open the shop for a can of paint, a box of nails or for a restrung tennis raquet that he’d forgotten to collect on Friday night. If my father drove down to the shop I often went with him as I liked being in the empty place when the lights were low and everything looked rather mysteroious. Nobody bothered Dad on a Sunday as he was too busy going to church twice a day and trying to fit in a little fishing between services.

My mother and aunt worked part time in the shop as did my grandfather. I was often roped in to dust china and glassware. When I became older, I was allowed to serve customers and was frequently told to unpack the goods which came from overseas in large woden crates. The busienss was successful. Dad was known by local contractror for promptly ordering any item that was not in stock. When my uncle had a heart attack, he wanted to sell the shop and move away to lve closer to his daughter. My father was too young and energetc to retire and after he left the shop he drve Mum nuts with helpful suggestions for improvements in her housework. She ordered him to get another job which he did.

Everything changed in the mid sixties. Dad was offered a department head position in a store in the larger town north of ours. My parents sold the house and rented until a suitable place became avalable. My sister went to teach in Peru and my famiy moved to live in Canada. Mum and Dad developed new communty roots. They created beautiful fower and vegetabe gardens on the property and Dad built a orchid house. When he finally retired they traveled overseas and took trips to Canada.

My parents’ marriage ended when Dad died of cancer at the age of sixty nine years. Mum outived him by three decades. Their union survived because of their hard work ethc and strong sense of duty and famiy values. However they did know how to have fun. Everyone who ever ate dinner or played games with them enjoyed their company. I am proud of both of them.and graeful that they were my parents.