The life and loves of ...

Ed Smith
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I have loved many women in my life. Not that this is not the same thing at all as being “in love” with many women. In that case the “many” would not apply.

For another, I’m pretty sure the number who have been “in love” with me would be discouragingly few. The “in love” category includes only one or two.

I don’t know if those before 18 count or not. Eighteen is my age, you understand, and not the number of women involved before then, although the number 18 may not apply in either case.

The women I have loved include: my mother, my two grandmothers, my three daughters, my sister, my sister-in-law and some close friends, past and present. I hope at least some of them have loved me back.

I say being “in love” with one “or two.” just to keep Other Half on her toes. Anyway, she knows she is at least one of the possible two in that category. ... I have the feeling that the effect of that line may be to keep her on my toes, if not on my back.

I’m going to risk life and limb here and name one of the ladies in this world that I now love.

I know there are several of you wondering if I intended to publish a list and rushing to see if your name is on it. Then you would find as many copies of this paper as you could find and have a giant bonfire in Bowring Park or Margaret Bowater Park (I pretty well spanned the length and breath of the island, especially in my younger days).

Don’t get your drawers in a knot, my dear — chances, are we’ve already been there. Omigosh no! I don’t mean you and me together! I’m talking about our separate experiences, of course, and you with your husband, at least the one you thought at the time might turn out to be your husband.

In any case, I don’t want him after me with a sawed-off, double-barreled, Over and Under, Cooey Two-Turr, Twillingate Bight Special.

The lady to whom I refer is from Rushoon on the Island’s south coast. Her name is Margaret Ellen Moores and she’s 106 years old.

Now Smith, we know there such a thing as robbing the cradle, but isn’t robbing the rocking chair a little bit much?

Perhaps, but wait to hear the reasons for my infatuation it’s not just that she looks good, and no, I don’t mean for 106. I mean she just looks good. If you saw her on television, you agree.

But the main attraction for me isn’t physical. It’s more of a spiritual thing. Margaret and I share values that have been a part of my living for as long as I can remember. Values that have been under attack by none other than my partner in sickness and in health.

For example, there’s the little question of drinking water.

I don’t understand Other Half at all. She’s positively anal about freshwater and the 1,000,004 benefits there are from the drinking of same.

I have long maintained to my loving and caring family that Harper should get his act together and pass a law against imbibing all fresh water.

That’s either from chlorine treated tap water, groundwater exposed to animal and/or human fecal matter or water gurgling from a babbling brook in the heart of the Labrador wilderness. None of it is fit to drink.

Margaret, according to her daughter, never drank fresh water in her life. Neither did my mother. She only lived to be 93, but it’s the principle that counts.

When my Dad and I were lazily floating on the bosom of the North Atlantic waiting for any kind of fish to come along, our lunch always consisted of a Mason jar full of cold, clear, sparkling water from his well and several thick slices of molasses bread smothered in, when he could get it, gobs of fresh, thick cream. Talk about your healthy meal!

Back to OH.

She had an aunt who left the pleasant hills of Moretons Harbour at about age 40 and emigrated to the city of Toronto. For the next 65 years or so she never drank a drop of water because she couldn’t stand the taste of Toronto water. The poor soul lived to be somewhere around 104 years of age.

I don’t know if anyone ever offered her a drink of water with molasses bread or not. I do know she had one leg amputated when she was 95, was fitted with a prosthesis and kept right on working for the Red Cross.

How many glasses of water a day do they recommend drinking to stay healthy? Guess Aunt Emm and my girl Margaret didn’t get the memo.

And oh yes, Margaret loves her salt beef! That would probably include generous portions of pease pudding, and great fluffy dough boys soaked in salt beef grease. Wouldn’t be surprised if she had pork buns for dessert.

On a different front, but in the same general subject area, my father ate not less than several pounds of Vicks Vapor Rub whenever he had a cold or even the sniffle. He practically spooned it into his mouth, camphor (one of the prime ingredients in moth balls) and all.

Whenever we children had a cold on our chest, mother would boil up her famous molasses candy which she claimed could cure any cold — and invariably did. My own children followed was delicious and used any excuse to get their grandmother to boil a batch.

They lost their interest in a hurry when they discovered she was adding liberal amounts of kerosene oil to the mixture.

As for me, I’m sticking with Auntie Emm and my girl Margaret.

Ed Smith is an author who lives in

Springdale.  His email address is

Geographic location: Bowring Park, Margaret Bowater Park, Toronto Labrador North Atlantic Moretons Harbour Springdale

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