Getting to Know Me

Posted by Sharon

I’ve been looking through photo albums lately- the ones with hard copy photos in them, not “albums” on my computer! It all started when I was looking for a one particular photo and it escalated from there to a journey back in time. As I flipped though the pages, I decided I should do a more thorough job. I would scan, not all of them, but ones of particular interest to me or my family so they could be stored forever in digital files. In this process, I came across many of me and, with them, memories. Many involved horses (no surprise there!) but there were also a few documenting a little-known or forgotten side of me– even to me. So many of you know me mostly as a horse breeder or a reiner. Probably there are many that cannot imagine me in non-horsey situations so the focus of this blog post is "Sharon without horses". Here are a few pictures of the parts of me that together with the horse part, make me who I am:

I am a mother and a grandmother.
I am the mother of three children - Shayne, Cindy and Lana. Although my children have told me I am not a typical grandmother (whatever that is!), I love spending time with my grandchildren. I have four - Kendra, Adara, Larissa and Jaden. Little known fact: I worked as a nanny for a few months one winter in Saskatchewan.

Me with my daughter, Cindy

Me with my granddaughter,Kendra.

I love music.
I play violin and once played second violin with an orchestra. I also sang in a large choir. I also play guitar just well enough to accompany myself singing and I play the piano mostly by ear, although I can read music and sometimes try to play that way. I still pick up the violin once in a while but it is one of those instruments that one needs to play often to play well!

Junior Orchestra 1957 Oliver BC (I am third from outside second row left)

Junior Orchestra 1958 Oliver BC (I am outside second row on right)

I played basketball.

Kyle Composte Basketball Team
I absolutely loved basketball and I played center for the high school team. We had an excellent coach - Mr Johnson. I remember one game that was going badly because the opposing girls were getting rough. He took a couple of us off the floor and I asked why. "Because even if they are not acting like ladies you are going to," he replied.

I made the   University of Saskatchewan team but quit before I ever played a game because I thought I could not keep my grades up, a decision I regretted...

I took up archery for a few years.

My husband was the one who got me started in archery and I enjoyed practicing and going to archery shoots (where we competed walking a course and shooting at "animals" in different positions and different distances. Although I never won anything (that wasn't the point anyway), I did shoot a "robin hood" at the range - one arrow in the center of the target and another splitting that arrow. My husband was impressed, but I didn't even know it was a good thing. I complained that I wrecked two arrows!

I love to swim.

1994 - Swimming Hawaii
I only put on a bathing suit to hot tub these days, but I used to swim as much as I could. I loved the water and tried diving, water skiing and even surfing! The dive I remember is one off of a very high cliff into Gallager Lake - I know now I should never have been diving into rocks but what convinced me not to do it again was the huge belly flop I did! I only water skiied once (ony because I did not have access to skis or boat) and I couldn't get up - kept pushing myself backwards. (The guy driving the boat wanted me to give up but I kept trying) The surfing happened on my 50th birthday in Hawaii. I wish I had a photo but the only one I could find is this one taken on the same holiday. (I hated this pic at the time - funny how it's all relative - wouldn't allow a photo now!)

I am a fisherwoman!

My first catch!
Well, not really but I did fish a few times. Mostly I liked sitting in the boat in tanning weather, but it was more interesting if I caught a fish. First time was with my boyfriend in Lake of the Woods, Ontario where this photo was taken. That's the first fish I caught - a pickeral. One time there, I thought I snagged a log - turned out to be a huge jackfish. I reeled him in like a pro.

I love to cook.
I've always said I am sorry for a woman who does not like to cook because she has to do so much of it. Fortunately for me, that was not the case. I learned to cook at an early age from my mother, who was an excellent cook. I have always made my own bread, prepare most dishes from scratch and once in a while I experiment with a complicated new recipe.

I am an avid gardener.
I don't believe I have ever not had a garden since the first year I was married in 1964. Sometimes, when I moved it meant digging up a small plot and fighting weeks and quack grass for the first year, but I always had my own garden vegetables. I still do. I also grow stawberries and raspberries - don't know what I would do without my own fruit. Flowers, too, I like, especially roses. I miss the wonderful rose garden I had in Armstrong, but still manage to brighten my home in the Chilcotin with petunias, pansies and various perennials.

I love to dance.
Dancing is a little like swimming - I don't do it anymore - but there was a time when I wouldn't miss a chance to dance. I like all dances (even square danced the first winter I was married) - waltz, polka, two step, schottische and jive. I remember at a horse show dance in Swan River, Manitoba a girlfriend and I just about cleared the floor jiving! We had waited a while for someone to ask us to dance and when no one did (that we wanted to dance with), we chose each other. What fun!
In Saskatchewan, a friend and I drove 100 miles once a week to learn to line dance. Later, in BC, I taught line dancing for a couple of winters.

So there you have it - a little information about me outside my passion for horses. I suppose I am the sum of all these parts.