Monday, June 10, 2013

Hamilton is Full of Farmers!

A tale should be judicious, clear, succinct;
The language plain, and incidents well link’d;
Tell not as new what ever’ry body knows;
And new or old, still hasten to close.
                                 William Cowper


While wandering the back alleys of Hamilton Ontario, a hustling bustling part of the city that lies just below the mountain escarpment even with the noise of heavy traffic at times I sense that comfortable country feel I am used to. I notice a tall rather interesting red brick smoke stack off in the distance. I wanted to walk there but having been lost in this city just the day before and possibly being a little lost again, then considering how far away it looked I did not try.

I am reminded that this city was built and grew because of those industries some of which are now abandoned and scattered throughout the city. I know that farming no doubt played a very important part in this growth and helped it to flourish also; I do know farming has always played a very important part in any town or city. Hamilton is surrounded by some of the most fertile farmland and it was no accident that the city is built right in the middle of that. Industries need people to work and people needed to eat, this may sound very simple but very true. Some of these industries sit on land that may have been farmed long ago and the city is still full of people who remember either farming or one of their ancestors farming. I found a few things that confirmed my belief in this theory while I was roaming the streets.


I was walking down a beautiful tree lined street admiring the old Victorian houses with luscious gardens and some fruit trees when I came across a lady sitting on her front step, she said “Hello” and I said it back. Just like every Canadian I have ever met we started talking about the weather, it was a gorgeous sunny day and perfect weather for all those kilometers I had already hiked, that could have something to do with that being a little lost thing again. Do you know that Lake Ontario is on the wrong side up here? I am always thinking the lake is south and it is really north making west and east reversed in my head.

 Beatrice and I started talking about how beautiful the weather was and I told her how much I admired her beautiful garden. She smiled and asked where I was from. I wondered how she knew I was not from this city did I sound like a country girl? I told her I was visiting my daughter from a farm hundreds of miles away. She asked me where and I told her, I could not believe it, turned out we lived only about 50 kilometers away from each other when she was a young girl. We tried to find common ground and she wondered if I had grew up on a farm too, I laughed and told her I knew nothing about farming till we bought our farm 35 years ago, when I was basically thrown into learning and knowing all about it to just survive. She laughed.

She invited me up onto her porch and showed me the original house number attached to the red brick when the house was built in the 1840’s, the owners before her were very proud of it and so was she, and rightly so.


I asked her if she had seen the tractor down the tree lined back alley quite a few blocks from here and she laughed and said no. I asked her if anyone around here was a farmer and she shared a story which made me smile. It turns out a lot of her neighbours grew up on farms long ago and came to work in some of those now abandoned  factories just like her and her husband who had sold their own farm in the seventies. Some of these neighbours had left farms to go to school here and never went back home to their parents farms because the money was good in those factories.

 She and her husband loved living and working on their farm but they love their retirement here in this city. It has everything they need, the best that both worlds have to offer. The market is always full of all the farm fresh items she missed and she is not that far from those farms nearby if she ever feels the need to see and revisit those familiar sights and smells. The hospitals and all necessities needed surround her and she can walk to most of them, her neighbourhood is friendly like a little community and she has lots to do, as she gets older she appreciates all this so much more.


We talked about that tractor and I questioned why it was parked back there. I knew it was an old Case (yes I am truly a farm girl now), and wondered why it was painted black. We threw ideas around about what it may mean; the idea that it may have been used at one time around here but maybe now it had turned into a piece of art in this city full of talented artists as a tribute to the people in this city that have deep connections with farmers whether they know it or not. I am not sure about this but I like the thought and really do not want to know the real reason it is sitting on a plot of land down a back alley surrounded with weeds, in the heart of a city full of those hidden one time farmers and dreamers. I shared the fact that a few of my neighbours had come from the city to homestead in the country. I am sure this will continue both ways forever as everyone has a dream.

 I finally mentioned that I should get going I had no idea how long I had been gone. Beatrice pointed me in the right direction and I told her if I ever pass by again I do hope she will be sitting on her porch, we shook hands and actually gave each other a hug goodbye. I headed back the opposite way I was heading in the first place and wondered what else I would discover about Hamilton that I did not know.


It seems to me no matter where I travel I never really leave the farm.

Later.


45 comments:

  1. The quote "Strangers are friends I have not yet met" comes to mind. I envy your ability to make new friends wherever you go. xo

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  2. You have some of the best conversations with people! I'm finding that I do this a little more than I used to. You have quite a talent for meeting strangers.

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  3. I would love to take one of those hikes with you, my friend. I would be doing the same as you- getting to know who I could and finding out what I could about where I was.

    If only everyone could have your friendly attitude, the world would be a much better place.

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  4. Buttons, I think people guess you are not from the big city, just because you do talk to them. So many city people isolate themselves from their neighbours...
    I love today's photos!!I wonder if I would have been brave enough to wander down the back alleys to find such treasures...

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  5. Buttons, I think that you've probably "never met a stranger"! That's what we say about people who can talk to just about anybody...and it's a trait that my Dad has as well. I mean that as a compliment! What a fun encounter for you!

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  6. I love that about you too!

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  7. I hope your heart never leaves "the farm" - i hope your charm invites everyone back to a friendlier life - full of farms, and art, and joy and love . . . YOU create a better world everywhere you are.

    -g-

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  8. There is something about you that draws people out and makes them want to talk...and you are a born listener.

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  9. You sound like my father- he never meets a stranger.
    This post reminds me of an old barn in a nearby large city..it sits right amongst the Bed Bath & Beyond/TJ Max/Shoe Dpt/Movie Theater complex. I wonder how many people even notice it anymore.

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  10. And you ALWAYS make a friend!

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  11. I love that you're so open and willing to share yourself with others. You meet the best people! Bet you've never met a stranger. :)

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  12. You'd like Creston, the first thing I noticed when I moved here was how friendly the people are, and it too is a farm based community. I think that Agricultural towns and cities have the most friendly people.

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  13. another great encounter of kindred souls. :)

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  14. Sounds like a fun chat. I have never seen a tractor like that.

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  15. You really do meet kindred spirits everywhere. I agree though, Hamilton is so strange in that it is obviously a city, with some very 'city-ish' parts, but you are never too far away from a gorgeous waterfall, a grove of trees or wide open countryside. It is insane and the only reason I am surviving the city!

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  16. She who has a thousand strangers whom you meet and talk with . Will sure have less enemies.

    Friendship is Love without Wings.

    That is you.

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  17. Like attracts like! I was in Hamilton yesterday. It's an interesting city.

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  18. My husband is always making new friends...me I am much more reserved.
    I envy you both for having the ability to make friends so easily!

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  19. Why does it not suprise me that you make friends everywhere you go!! Love that you found a little country in the very industrial Hamilton!

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  20. What a lovely story, well told as always. And that weather opener to a conversation, I remember it well from my years living in London. that's where you all get it from, I'm sure.

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  21. I haven't been back on the farm since I was a little boy but my heart will always, always be there :-)

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  22. Looks like you had another grand adventure, Buttons! You are fortunate to make friends so easily. But remember to be careful there in the city...not everyone is so friendly.

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  23. You always meet the most kind, interesting people! It's so funny that you grew up so close to one another. I'm glad she said hello to you :)

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  24. You must be very easy to meat and talk to, Buttons. I bet you are just like you seem on your blog!

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  25. im not surprized...youre such a barn Kitty LOL you know, the cute little new kitten you find when you go to do chores, and its so friendly that you forget all rules and you start to talk to it and pet it and then think, what do i have in the house to give as a special little treat...yep, "barn kitten buttons"... ;)

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  26. I should be one of those lucky people you meet and have great conversations with.
    And, I love when dreams are followed whether it farm to city or city to farm. Yes...people will be dreaming and doing both long after we are gone.

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  27. How fun to get to strike up a conversation with some you just met and have so much to chat about. I just love that.. I enjoyed reading your post today. And the photos are fab...

    Hugs~

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  28. Never really leave the farm and make so many new friends! Amazing you are!

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  29. you have the BEST incounters with strangers....it must be your warmth and sincerity that everyone is drawn too.....

    or it could be the amazing stories you tell, or perhaps it is that smile of yours that everyone is drawn to!!

    kindred spirits, you sure do meet a lot of them!!

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  30. You may be a barn kitty; a sophisticated one. You sure can turn a phrase! :-)

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  31. I know you must have a very open personality!

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  32. What would we do without the weather?

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  33. Thank you Buttons for once again sharing a beautiful and interesting part of your life. x

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  34. A wonderful story. You'd be a natural for amateur radio, We say, "In the amateur radio fraternity, there are no strangers." And there aren't. I suppose it's partly due to personality type, but the hobby itself makes it so easy to make friends all over the world.

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  35. A true farmer knows the correct color for most brands of tractors.

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  36. How lovely that you happened upon one another - two kindred spirits growing up close by and meeting once again so far from 'home'. You prove once again that this is a small world full of kind and loving people. Thanks for sharing your world, Buttons. xo

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  37. Oh...I do love trees , and grass, and farms...
    Lovely entry, dear,
    BShell
    Now I'm here
    blueshell.azurara.net

    I had to quit blogger because I was having a lot of nasty, offensive, anonymous comments.

    But if you go to Blueshell.blogspot.com you have the Link to this new blog!
    Love
    BShell

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  38. It sounds like it gets in your blood. I doubt that I could ever feel at home on a farm. It all sounds like too much hard work to me.
    It is nice to meet friendly strangers.

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  39. I love the contemplative feel of this piece!

    Pearl

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  40. I love meeting new friends and finding that we share common ground. It makes the world seem friendlier and smaller.

    We went to Seattle last week, and even there, I saw traces of the country. It made me feel at home:)

    Lovely post, as always, my dear B!

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  41. I loved the story, and then found myself looking deep into the photos afterwards and my mind drifted into a story with each one. I so enjoy your posts!

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  42. The farm is in your heart...and your heart is on your sleeve.

    It's certainly not a bad thing.

    Jen

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  43. i beginning to wonder if you have ever met someone you have not hugged. ;)

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  44. Such a lovely chance meeting - you each made the other's day :D)

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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