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Kathryn Jean Foster Presents:

One bright September morn over seventy years ago, I entered the one-room school at Green Mountain to begin the exercise of absorbing the 3 Rs. The students were seated in double desks---the only ones I ever seen; no other school I attended had them. The teacher, Robert Veysey, arbitrarily decided I should occupy one with a pretty blond girl by the name of Kathryn Foster. She was soooo much older (14) and soooo much smarter (Grade 8) that I was more in awe of her then I was of that long, wooden pointer the teacher used to point out breaches of protocol by rapping the knuckles smartly. Why, she could spell words that were so long, they hinged in the middle. She could write her ABCs ever so neat and do sums like she invented the practice. Multiplication tables she could rattle off in the blink of an eyelash.

For Katheryn to progress to a higher grade, she had to go to Canterbury, 30 miles away and that meant room and board. Times were tough, money scarce. Schooling had to wait.

She married Beecher Foster, bore him children and followed him from posting to posting in the RCAF, eventually settling back in New Brunswick. Over the years she developed a knack for writing. Many readers looked forward to the written debates between her and Ken Hawkes (he being no slouch when it came to writing) that were published in the Woodstock Bugle.

In her own words in an essay "Good Memories", Kathryn reflects on her past:

One of my earliest memories is hugging a raggedy, but to me precious doll, then tucking her into the little shoebox bed I had arranged with scraps of blanket, for the long winter night. The comforting aroma of wood fire & kerosene lamp casting its yellow glow, but not quite reaching the corners of the room, is a memory of first "self-awareness." Later on a few more "babies" were lovingly added to my doll-family. My greatest childhood joys centered on caring for my dolls, who all had names & personalities of their own. Then I grew up, married & real live babies replaced dolls.

Each time my five miraculous babies entered the world it was as if nothing could ever "top" that happy event. Same with the grandchildren, when the children of my children arrived, each one was the " light of our lives". Grandson Mark & first Granddaughter Madeline, followed in no time by Ben, Alisha, Kate, Tom & Jim. Our cup was full and running over.

From the beginning on our homestead that had been literally cut out of New Brunswick's primitive forest by my Grandfather, family has claimed my heart. Everything else centered on them.

My mother, whose ancestry was Irish & Scottish was a schoolteacher & met my father, whose forefathers came from England, Wales & Holland, & they were soon married. He was the areas blacksmith, having chosen his father's occupation. They met while mother was teaching in the Green Mountain School, Dad's home village.

She was 35 years old and Dad was 29. Their courtship was the first serious relationship for each. I was the "middle child" with two older & two younger siblings. All of us were born in the old farmhouse built by my Grandfather, who was Green Mountain's first Blacksmith. My Dad was the 13th child born to my Welsh grandmother in that house. My oldest brother Gordon, never moved out, but married & lived with his wife & eventually two children where my parents remained as long as they lived. Today Gordon's son & family occupy the old homestead. Generation has followed generation in the old homestead.

Mother instilled great respect in my heart as a small child, for England's royalty. Our ancestors were Loyalists having chosen to stay true to the "Homeland" while settled in the United States. Leaving everything that they had struggled to obtain, they migrated to a remote and rough Canadian wilderness, rather than fight against the British for Independence.

England's two Royal Princesses, Elizabeth & Margaret, were at that time near my own age. A colorful magazine picture of them hung in our parlor & I had dreams of actually seeing royalty some day. I gazed in adoration at the two lovely young sisters. That dream came true in 1939 when the King & Queen (parents of Elizabeth & Margaret) visited our Province's capital city about an hours drive from our farm. We did not own a car but Dad's sister Aunt Inez & her husband Uncle Harry did, & invited my sister Alice & I, along with our parents to go with them.

Alice & I thought we should have new dresses to "see the King & Queen" so Mom bought material for a neighbor seamstress to make them for this majestic occasion. My sister's dress was green I chose blue because Mom said it matched my eyes. They had little boleros, & I can still picture clearly how we looked all dressed up.

What heart-stopping excitement when at last we glimpsed this wondrous couple! Singing "God save the King" at the top of our lungs, my childish naive mind was sure the smiling Queen heard & recognized my special exaltation.

In the one-roomed schoolhouse from grades one to eight we were required each morning to stand at attention & sing, "O' Canada." A deep & abiding love of my chosen land thrilled my soul when the words, "The true north strong & free" & "true patriot love in all thy sons command" were sung.

As an adult, I have been privileged to travel to many foreign countries & lived in Europe for four years, but to me Canada is my home, my native land & beloved above all others. My devotion after worship of God and for my family is Canada.

Over the years, Kathryn has written and published many poems and short stories for which she has received several awards. For those who may not have had the pleasure of reading her work, she has graciously granted permission to post them here.

If you enjoy the writings, please let us know bilboone837@gmail.com