Do you have a real-life story you’d like to share? Are you a writer or aspiring writer who wants to try your hand writing fiction? Do you appreciate the chance to enjoy works by local artists?
Winter in the Bay is a new community program celebrating creativity—and winter—with an art and quilt exhibit, followed by a writing contest. The program is a partnership between the St. Margaret’s Bay Community Enterprise Centre, The Peggy’s Cove Area Festival of the Arts, the Seniors Association of St. Margaret’s Bay, The Masthead News, the Halifax Public Libraries, Tantallon, and the St. Margaret’s Bay Chamber of Commerce.
For more information, visit discoverstmargaretsbay.ca/winterinthebay
Thank you to Linda Mosher and Mary Lynn Mackay for offering this wonderful example of how writers are asked to use a work from the Winter in the Bay Art and Quilt Exhibit to inspire and/or illustrate their essays and stories. Linda’s story “Feeding a Family in the Depression” and Mary Lynn’s painting “Frozen Lake” were created independently, but together they help to tell a wonderful story of a cold winter adventure nearly a century ago in St. Margaret’s Bay.
Winter in the Bay: Feeding the family during the Great Depression
During the Great Depression, my grandfather could not find work. Suddenly, it was an icy winter without money, and barely enough food to feed the family.
One morning, my grandmother went to the cellar for butter, finding that a rat had tunnelled through the block. She cut that part off, considering herself lucky to salvage the rest.
My grandfather was desperate to get some fresh meat for his family, and arranged for two friends to go deer-hunting with him. Delayed by a big snowstorm,they set out early one morning, and were gone so long that my grandmother was worried sick. They finally returned in late afternoon without a deer, saying they had shot a huge moose. The three men couldn’t carry the moose out, so decided to come home, get warm, eat a hot meal, and then take their wives and my grandmother’s sister back to help with the moose. My grandmother remembered it as a beautiful night, with a bright, full moon and millions of stars shining in the heavens. During the day, the snow had hardened, and it glistened in the moonlight. They were all in a good mood as they tied ropes around the moose and pulled it along like a toboggan over the hard snow.
The next morning, the men got together and cut up the meat. They shared it around with thankful family and neighbours.
A couple of days later a game warden knocked on their door. He was investigating a complaint they had shot a moose out of season. My grandfather invited the game warden in, and had a nice long chat with him while my grandmother served the warden a hot meal with moose meat. My grandfather told the warden that his family and neighbours were starving, and they had shot the moose and shared it around the village so everyone could have fresh meat on their table.
The game warden thanked them for their hospitality, leaving with a smile on his face and a neatly wrapped package of moose meat tucked tightly under his arm.