This is a tribute to someone who meant the world to me when I was child, growing up in small town southern Ontario. It may get a little long, there's so much to say about this woman, and her husband, I don't know why I didn't do it sooner. They were like a 3rd set of grandparents, but they didn't live halfway across the world. As a child, there were 4 main things that occupied my time, baseball, my treefort, reading, and visiting my neighbour, Mrs. Baynton. This picture is from the last time I saw her, before we moved across canada, when she made a special dinner for us.
She loved gardening, and I was allowed to pick the rhubarb and throw the leaves into the compost pile, long before compost was fashionable. And kohlrabi!!! Its a turnip-type vegetable, kind of uncommon, but she grew them and let me eat them raw & whole, like an apple, and to this day, when at all possible, when I serve raw veggies with dinner I have kohlrabi in there. And I think of her every time.
Her other love was baking, a love I learned from her. I can't count the times I "helped" her make cherry struedel.
Rock collecting was a hobby she and her husband shared, and taught me. Sometimes I would be allowed into "Clyde's room", a dark, den-type room where the collection was kept, and once in a very blue moon I was allowed to pick out a rock to add to my own collection.
Clyde was Mr. Baynton, a huge shy guy who spent all his time in his workshop.
Every Christmas though, he would produce some kind of homemade wooden toy for my brother & I. A toy boat, a wooden rifle that looked so real it would never be allowed as a toy nowadays, a sword & scabbard, and this little sewing kit.
Yes, she taught me many things, but the thing that stuck with me the most was her "stars".I had a nasty habit of picking at my mosquito bites, and she used to say "Don't do that, you'll have stars all over your body (meaning scars) and when you grow up the boys won't like you." Well, having stars all over me sounded way cooler than having the boys like me, so I scratched & picked at every mosquito bite I got!
I have no idea whether or not she's still alive, but Mrs. Baynton.....thank-you for your everlasting friendship which I will never forget.
Until we meet again.....