I was very unsure on how to start my scrapbook. So I started with my life. The first part of my scrapbook is set up to show my family some of the things in my life that they don’t know too much about. I think this is important because my sons and their families don’t live close by and I don’t get to see them very often.
I was born on the family farm in Tolstoi, Manitoba to my parents John Ottawa and Mary Kraynyk Ottawa. Ottawa is a Ukrainian surname that is pronounced ‘aw-toe’-ah’. I have an older sister Elsie and a younger brother Morris. When we were kids we walked two miles to school. It was OK in good weather but it wasn’t too much fun in the rain or snow. In really cold weather, Father would drive us to school in a horse-drawn sleigh. Mother would put a big rock in the oven of the wood stove and heat it overnight. The next morning Father would put it on the floor of the sleigh to keep our feet warm. We’d be bundled together under a blanket which usually made the ride comfortable. Those were the good times. Sometimes I miss that. Life was so simple then.
Like so many other people my age, I left school in Grade 8 to go to work in Winnipeg. I got a job at Ray-O-Vac making batteries and welding TV antennae. After working there for a year, I got married and was blessed with my three boys. Jerry was born in 1956, Pete in 1958 and Gary in 1967. The loves of my life!
We lived in Winnipeg and then moved to Petersfield, Manitoba where they went to school. As they grew up and went on their own, I missed them very much.
I worked in the Petersfield Restaurant for many years. I loved being a waitress. I guess because I just like being around people. I like to talk to people, to visit and help people out. Sometimes put a smile on their face too.
While I lived in Petersfield, I joined the Ladies Baseball team. I played 3rd base and loved playing ball. They were a really nice group of ladies and we had lots of fun along the way. Before joining the team, the only baseball experience I had was playing catch with my boys in the backyard. Jerry helped us out at practices by pitching.
We won the Provincial Championship Tournament. Manitoba Champs! Boy were we happy. We went to Edmonton, Alberta to compete in the National Tournament. Before we left, Jerry surprised me with a brand new glove for the tournament. Then he told me that I had to go outside and break it in. We had lots of fun playing catch while I was breaking in my new glove.
I remember the trip to Edmonton very well. We were lucky that many people donated money to help us pay for gas and hotel rooms. We made it to the Canadian Championship Tournament but there were better teams than us and we didn’t win! Ha! Ha! Ha! But I sure had lots of fun! Good memories too.
I’ve lived in Riverton for about 30 years now. In 2000, the Riverton Elks asked me to represent them in the annual Riverton Memorial Arena Carnival Queen contest. So I said yes because it was for the kids. It was hard work doing the raffles and bake sales but it was for a good cause – raising money for the skating rink. Many people were very generous in donating baking and raffle prizes. The same goes for all the people that supported me by buying raffle tickets and baking. They helped to make it a wonderful experience for me. I lost by only $100.00. It was a close race and I really enjoyed myself. It was for a good cause. I loved being able to help out the kids because the skating rink is the busiest place in town for the kids during the winter time.
I was quite surprised and humbled by the attention that I received. There were stories in the local paper. I was also interviewed by the Ottawa Citizen newspaper and CBC national radio. They were surprised to see a 61 year-old grandmother running for Carnival Queen against a 14 year-old girl!
Riverton is the hometown of Reggie Leach – ‘The Riverton Rifle’ who won the Stanley Cup when he played in the NHL for the Philadelphia Flyers. He’s such a nice person and he is always so good to me. I put pictures of Reggie and me with the Stanley Cup into my scrapbook. Lots of people see a picture of the Stanley Cup but I have a picture of myself touching the Stanley Cup.
Another fun thing I’ve done was to take part in a fashion show. It was a local fundraiser. I modelled three different outfits from Johnson’s Store. I had lots of fun getting all dolled up to strut the runway!
In 2002 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am happy to say that I beat cancer! I am now doing good. It is now 2018 and I am in good health. I think this is a positive end to the ‘Sally’s Life’ section of my scrapbook.
The second part of my scrapbook is about my family. I had fun making this part of my book. It took quite a bit of time going through all of my pictures and picking out the ones that I wanted to use. My family is my sons Jerry, Pete and Gary; my grandchildren Selena and Tyler (Gary’s children) and my great-grandson Lucas Quinn (Tyler’s son); and my grandson PJ (Pete’s son) and my great-grandson Austen (PJ’s son). I am very proud of them all and feel very blessed to be a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I don’t see them very often because they don’t live in Manitoba.
I cherish each picture I have of them and treasure my memories of my trip to British Columbia for Christmas 2015. I spent six weeks in British Columbia and had a wonderful time. We had a really good visit. It was very special to me because I was able to spend time with my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I loved being that close to them and was sad when I had to leave.
I have been retired for many years now and this summer I will turn 79 years old. I’ve lived in the Icelandic River Lodge for about 20 years now and now live in the new Icelandic River Lodge.
I am grateful for the good things in my life – especially my family. I think that I appreciate life and the things that I have experienced. I always have to be doing something. I keep busy crafting. I love crocheting and doing plastic canvas crafts, playing cards – especially crib and zap and playing pool. Bingo too! I look forward to bingo every week and I am usually pretty lucky. I am active in seniors’ activities at the Seniors Activity Centre where I play cards, bingo, pool, do crafts and scrapbook.
At first making a scrapbook seemed like a really big job and I didn’t know where to start. Once I knew what to do, I had a good time doing it. It took a long time to do the scrapbook. Some of the pictures that I used were special photos already in albums or frames. I didn’t want to take the pictures out of the frames because then I wouldn’t be able to see them. The Friendship Centre was very helpful because they printed copies of my special pictures so I could use the copies in my scrapbook and put the originals back into frames.
I had a good time with the other ladies. As long as the old country music was playing and I could go outside for ‘fresh air’ I was happy. It was good to get out of my apartment and try something new. I liked the challenge of figuring out how to make my pictures stand out. I spent lots of time cutting little triangle and heart shapes out of glitter paper. They really made my pictures stand out. I think the only negative thing that happened was that I cut my finger with a pair of scissors. I did not realize how long the blades were and just ran out of room! I snipped into my finger with the tip of the shears! Ouch!
I want to thank Won Jae and Olivia for having the idea to do scrapbooks for seniors and bringing the scrapbook project to Riverton. We got beautiful supplies with the money from the New Horizons Program. The Diversity Times and The Korea Times newspapers and the Riverton and District Friendship Centre also sponsored us. We were lucky to have so many supplies to work with. I appreciate everything they did for us. Olivia and Won Jae are always so nice to me. They are very caring and helpful. I really appreciated the home-made Korean food that Olivia cooked for us.
Without them I would not have been able to make the scrapbook. It was an accomplishment and I am very pleased with the way it turned out. My scrapbook is a really nice thing for my family to have.