Day 58, Thursday, August 23, 2007.
We spent the day with Keith and Lillian Bennett in Salmon Arm, BC. Very relaxing day. Keith is a wood turner and has all the equipment for the hobby. He got Tegan, our 16 year old granddaughter, to make herself a bowl. Keith got a piece of wood in the rough shape she would need and after a few instructions she got started. I think Keith could have turned the bowl out in less than an hour but it took Tegan three hours. She sure enjoyed doing it. She and I were amazed at watching the block of wood slowly taking shape under the tool. Each curve a little different cutting tool was used and as the chips flew the bowl started to magically appear. Once the bowl was shaped then she started the sanding process to get a nice smooth finish. Tegan again was amazed how smooth the bowl got as you used the different sandpapers. I think the thing that amazed her most and still does me is when you have everything ready to start to put the oil finish on the wood. Keith uses either mineral oil or extra virgin oil ( what exactly an extra virgin is I am not sure, I do understand what a virgin is, but extra? Maybe it means two, you know just in case!). You should have seen Tegan’s eyes light up as the oil was applied. The wood grain jumps out at you. The bowl was made out of a burl if I remember correctly and when the oil was applied all the twist, turns and birds eye jumped right out at you. Keith has done several bowls and a potpourri bowl for us. What was fascinating about our bowls was the cherry wood came from a tree in our field after it died. The interesting bit of trivia that goes with this is I knew the old gentleman who planted the trees in our field in 1933. Peter Ioriel, from Italy. He lived on the mountain for quiet a few years and I knew him as a kid in the ‘50s when we first moved to Straiton on Sumas Mountain. He had some wonderful stories to tell of the mountain and especially the school marm who lived in the house above from where we live now. Apparently she had an unusual number of gentlemen callers and the stories went on from there. Mr. Ioriel was a neat old gentleman and I talked to him after we bought the property that we currently live on and he gave me the history on the property. Where we live now is across the road from where I was raised, we moved there in 1951 with my parents. Right next door to the house was the one roomed school that I went to from grade one to grade six. Prior to grade one I would go up and knock on the door and the teacher would let me in and sit me on a chair at the back of one of the rows and let me draw or doodle until I got bored. Six grades, six rows of desks and one teacher. The teacher we had the longest was Mrs. Edith Money and she taught for 5-7 years at the Straiton School. When the weather got bad she would spend the night at our house or maybe a week if the roads were real bad. See how your kids would like that, I take that back at the age I was it would have been a treat but not for a teenager. We had an old orchard in the back of the house, and every fall we would pick the apples and store them in the basement of the house. My Dad would put them into about 40 gallon wooden barrels and they would be shipped off to his brothers and sisters who lived in and around North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Where I wanted to go with this was to say that I would pick one these apples, they were King Apples, and I would polish it up and take it to the teacher most days the apples were available. The King Apple has a wax coating on it and when you polished it, it would shine and in a multitude of red hues. Even then I was impressed by the colour and shine the apples could take on. By the way we were on 80 acres of land with an older two story house with a barn, chicken coop and a few other outbuildings and they paid $2000 for it in 1951. Hard to believe but you have to apply that to the hourly wage then. The lumber the house was built from was cut and milled from the timber on the property. We had about 8-10 huge maple trees around the immediate yard. One tree was getting a little too old and sat too close to the house and Dad decided to cut it down. The stump left over was about 4-6 feet across. One hot summer day just after the tree was cut down I decided to count the rings. There were over two hundred rings to the centre of the rotted out area in the center of the tree and the rotted out area was about a foot across. Sorry kind of got off the original entry, but to suffice to say we enjoyed our time at the Bennett’s and would have stayed longer, but weren’t invited to……………not true, they begged and pleaded for us to stay……which was a little closer to the truth but we were wanting to get home to get two kids ready for school and rearrange sleeping areas for the two girls. We took temporary custody of our 10 year old granddaughter just before we left on holidays……..which is another story. Tomorrow we start our last leg of the cross Canada journey which brings us right back to where we started—HOME.