port arthur

In the Fall of 1957 or 1958, my family was living in Superior, Wisconsin, which is where my dad’s family lived. I was just a toddler at the time, and our family had been visiting Casper, Wyoming, where Mom’s family lived. My grandma and my Aunt Sandy were to accompany us back to Wisconsin for a visit, and then they would take the bus home again. The amount of room in the car limited the number of people who could come to two, and my Aunt Sandy felt very blessed to be chosen, as a trip to Canada was in the plans. It was to be the only time Aunt Sandy traveled outside the United States…so far, anyway.

Aunt Sandy tells me that one of the most wonderful memories she has of the trip is the fall colors in the trees. Wyoming gets pretty much one color change in the fall…green to yellow. The reds you see in the Midwest and East are pretty foreign in Wyoming. The drive was very exciting for a young girl of 12 or 13 years.

The Canadian part of the trip would also be filled with lovely fall colors, and would take them to Port Arthur to stay the night. They drove along the north shore of Lake Superior, which is a beautiful drive, as I can attest. It was always a favorite of my parents, and of course, most people who live around Lake Superior. The area is filled with trees, and magnificent views of the lake, so it is always a very special treat.

At some point in touring of the area, we stopped to look around, and Aunt Sandy leaned up against a fence post. Not knowing the problems that can occur when you put a wooden post in the ground for a long period of time in a climate that is humid, and ground water is plentiful, poor Aunt Sandy had no idea that leaning against such a post was a bad idea. The post immediately broke, of course, and Aunt Sandy found herself laying in the sand. Big sisters being with they are with their kid sisters, my mother began laughing hysterically about her little sister “throwing herself in the sand”. Thankfully Aunt Sandy wasn’t bothered by her sister’s teasing, or maybe it was just that she was used to teasing, being the youngest of 9 children. Nevertheless, Mom laughed, and Aunt Sandy picked herself up, and blew off the laughter good naturedly. I guess the trip was too much fun to worry about such trivial things.

All too soon, the trip came to an end. But there was still one adventure to come. Grandma and Aunt Sandy were going to be going home on the bus. Now, as we all know, bus trips are very long, with stops in just about every Podunk town on the map, but to a young girl of 12 or 13 years, it was still a very exciting trip, and one that she has never forgotten in all these years. I could tell, as I was talking to her about her memories of the trip, that they are still very much alive and well in her memory.

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