Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Diaries of Life!

If She had spoken a word, remember
     thy lips are sealed,
And the Brand of the Dog is upon him
     by whom is the secret revealed.
If She had written a letter, delay not
     an instant but burn it.

                  Rudyard Kipling

Sometimes something unexplainable happens and you truly know it was meant to be. About two years ago I went to an auction and I bid on a couple of diaries. I had this incredible feeling of connection and I just knew that I had to own them, I was lucky enough to have the highest bid. These diaries were to change the way I think of my life and made me appreciate what being a farm wife was truly all about.

These two diaries from 1943 and 1944 were written at a time when our brave young men and women were in lands far away fighting for the freedoms we have today. This was to be the voice of an ordinary mature farm wife back home on a farm similar to the one many soldiers had left behind. Her husband, herself, and others like them carrying on keeping things going in a trying time. She would write her daily struggles. This would give me a glimpse into what it was really like back then.

The diaries chronicle everything from the mundane everyday jobs of housekeeping, cooking, washing clothes, to the tedious things like hours spent cutting seed potatoes in the cellar to ready for spring planting.
They share her joy of spending time with the women in the community making quilts, and about The Red Cross and knitting scarves, and socks for our men, and women overseas. I often wonder if one of these pairs of socks found their way to my Grandfather who was far from his home and his family. Opening a gift from this woman who took the time to care about our soldiers no matter how difficult things were in her world at the time, making his life just a little easier.

She writes of the tragedies in her life; close friends dying, about how a fall in the barn, rendered her husband bedridden for a time leaving her to deal with the chores, and again when her husband was injured after being dragged by a horse. Her gratitude to the neighbours, who always came to her aid. There was death of their livestock, and bad weather that would take its toll on crops, and livelihood.
She writes of a downed plane in a farmer’s field where two young soldiers had died, the War was on her mind. The loneliness of being snowed in for weeks, and times when being sick kept her in bed not being able to get to church, hoping God would forgive her.

Every time I read these diaries I learn more of this strong woman. Mrs. CW’s handwriting, and eye sight were failing her near the end of those two years, yet she kept writing. Some of the entries are illegible. I find the more time I spend reading and getting to know her the more I understand what she was trying to say, just like an old friend.

I did some research and asked the locals if there were any family to pass these on to but there was not. I debated whether to pass them on to the local museum. I pull them out and read them over and over knowing there are things Mrs. WC would not want to share. These are her personal thoughts and I feel I understand her. These diaries will have a place of honour in my home till I can decide what she would have wanted for them. In the mean time I will continue to read and try to understand her more.

 I think Mrs. WC’s diaries were meant to come to this farm wife who can relate to her thoughts and struggles and help her see the challenges in a different way.

I know they give me strength when I need it. They make me realize I am truly blessed especially when I seem to forget.   Thanks Mrs. WC. From one farm wife to another.



  1. What a glorious find at that auction. These are real treasures! Thank you for sharing them. I will enriched.

  2. Buttons , they were meant to be yours and someday they will be passed on to another for comfort and comparison..A blessing to you..

  3. Wow. What a great find. I'm so glad they ended up in a place they will be honored. I love reading stuff like that. So cool. Please, every now and then share some of her words with us.

    Cindy Bee

  4. What a wonderful treasure to hold!

  5. You were the right person to get these diaries! I wonder what she'd think, to know that they are such a "treasure"?

  6. Keep those diaries and pass them on to your daughters. They will treasure them as a remembrance of your and the farm

  7. i think you've discovered a soul mate, there.

  8. What a treasure and I am doing the same thing. I call it my farm log but it the day to day mundane things from egg count to milk quota, to the quilt I am making and what we are having for supper. It is a good way to look back and say,this was the year the steel roof was put on or, the ice store. I hope my children enjoy them when I pass on, just like you are enjoying your journals of someone you never met.

  9. What an incredible gift Mrs. WC left for you. I absolutely do believe a screenplay is in order. Lifetime would snap it up in a minute and the whole world would be able to savor your lovely story!

  10. Ahhhh......how I love things like that...........

  11. This is sensational. It is a very good thing indeed that I was not bidding against you for these chronicles, as I believe we would have had a monumental---and costly---bidding war. Ha.

    Yes, you were meant to possess these wonderful pieces of a past life. When you choose to pass them on, I know you will do so with the greatest care and thought.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing these. Sometimes we get so engrossed in our troubles - we simply forget that many who have gone before had it much worse.

    How lucky we are!

    George Savva

  13. What a wonderful find! I love collecting old diaries too! The strength these women had back then is awe-inspiring. But they enjoyed the simple things in life and took nothing for granted. Thank you for sharing this, it was a very interesting post!

  14. Oh wow!!! How amazing! I would have loved to read these diaries!

  15. That is marvellous that Mrs W.C's diaries have come into such appreciative hands. It is special to share with kindred spirits!

  16. these treasures certainly fell into the right hands. :o)

  17. I think the diaries are meant to be yours, something to help guide you along your life's path. Isn't it magical that the writer's life lives on through her words. She would be so happy to know how much her writing means to you.


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

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