Whoa Whoa Whoa

Grandpa, after many months of sulking, eventually landed a job that George found for him. It turned out to be demeaning factory work in an enterprise owned by a Mr. Klassen, a Mennonite businessman in Winnipeg, punching washers with a noisy drill press. He finally was working but not happy.

Then one day a man arrived at 610 William Street and asked to see either Mr. or Mrs. Epp. The grandkids politely told the man that only Grandma was home because she had just finished her night shift at the hospital.

The man asked where she could be found and the kids said upstairs on the third floor. He proceeded to climb the stairs and found Grandma in the bedroom making the beds. It was Mr. E who came to bring the church documents. He quietly waited as she finished up, but his eyes took in everything.

“Hello Mrs. Epp,” he finally said briskly.

“WHAT THE …” Grandma bursted out startled from her normal composure. “Why do you surprise me?”

“Is that your son in the picture on the dresser?”

Grandma sensed where this was going and said nothing.

“It looks like Jake. Isn’t it Jake? Speak up.”

“I don’t have to answer your questions,” Grandma retorted bitterly.

“It’s sacrilegious to have your son in uniform pictured on your dresser.”

“This is a free country and I may do as I please in my own house. Jake was our son, our only son, and we love him dearly. You cannot take that away from us”.

“Well, I am here to bring you the transfer papers but I want you to know that I was against signing you over to another membership in the Brethern Church even if it was in the liberal Winnipeg congregation.”

With these words Mr. E threw an envelope on the bed and turned to go. He left the house without so much as a goodbye from Grandma. Grandma for her part quietly placed the envelope on Grandpa’s desk and went back to her work.

Grandma was pleased with her self-control. Gossip circles had long ago confirmed what she had suspected some years before. Mr. E’s son Peter had gotten a girl pregnant and a quiet shotgun wedding followed. It was Peter who indeed on short notice needed and got the old Epp farm.

Somehow much later Grandpa and Grandma were able to buy a house in North Kildonan. The house came with a double lot. First a two story chicken barn was built on the second property but eventually city by-laws saw to a demise of that enterprise. Thus the chicken barn was renovated to become their new house, a rather nice abode, and the first domicile was sold to finance this endeavour.

But Katie and George, always the clever manipulators, decided to move to BC after retirement because better benefits were offered for seniors by this province. They convinced Grandpa and Grandma to move with them.

Grandma lived to a grand old age of 102, still serving in various capacities at the Tabor Home in Abbotsford.

Grandpa and Grandma are both buried in Surrey, BC, a suburb city of Vancouver.

 

Whoa Whoa Whoa

author
Ed Janzen is the editor and publisher of CANADIAN STORIES, a literary folk magazine that publishes short stories and poems from Canadian writers of every province of Canada. Story Quilt is an electronic magazine similar in content. Ed has written four memoirs. He also writes for the old car hobby and has a column in OLD AUTOS - a biweekly newspaper featuring mostly Canadians events and automotive history.
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