happiness

Memories of Grandma’s 80th 9 (FGK 210)

(Why are we sitting like a TV family???)

Dear Mom

Your 80th birthday is not only a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with your friends a life that has enriched all of us, it also gives us a chance to give thanks for some of these qualities that make you such a wonderful person.

What an exciting and varied life you’ve lived. And yet you’ve always managed to adapt to the present while preserving important aspects of the past. That I think is one of the most important qualities of your character.

All my life I’ve been enthralled by your stories of growing up in Cochrane, marrying Dad, the early days on the ranch, and the establishment of our home. You’ve given continuity to our family by passing these stories onto your grandchildren and I hope we’ve all gained an appreciation of the fact that much of what we enjoy today is a result of the efforts of you and Dad.

In my own childhood memories, you of course played a pivotal role. How lucky I am to have that memory of coming home from school on a cold day and entering a kitchen full of freshly baked break, doughnuts, and love. Always you had a treat waiting for us when we got home.

Your life didn’t lack excitement or challenges; I can remember you rushing someone off to the hospital because of an accident in the field while simultaneously making plans to feed a crew of hungry people supper. You saw to it that your (often reluctant) children had the benefit of music lessons even if it meant tackling roads that today we might consider impassable without a four wheel drive. (I personally came as close as I ever want to climbing a telephone pole on one of those trips)

When it was necessary, you weren’t afraid to take on the medical establishment, and I will always be grateful that against everyone’s advice you had the courage and foresight to take me to Warm Springs where I got a brace that helped change my life.

Your own active imagination has always helped you understand the dreams of others. The support you gave me when I wanted to go to school in far off places gave me the opportunity to enrich my life indescribably, I now know I had a remarkably privileged education and life experience in my teens and twenties. Your tolerance in these matters is a great example to me as a parent: you may not have always agreed with what I was doing, but I always had your support and that gave me the courage to go on.

We’ve had some very good times together too. Such as our trip to Nassau when I was in high school… do you remember your reaction when I thought you should run back into our burning hotel to rescue my Calypso records?

It wasn’t until I became an adult that I came to appreciate your real gifts to your children: you example of a sincere religious faith, concern for your fellow men, and an ability to set goals and work to achieve them.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM…. And thank you! Love Margi

I remember thinking how great it was that I got through the 80s without big hair 😂
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Memories of Grandma’s 80th 8 (FGK 209)

Grandma 80!

Grandma 80, what will I give you Grandma. 80, it’s your Birthday! Granda 80 EVERYTHING’S HAPPY AND GAY!

It’s your birthday

It’s your birthday hurray, hurray! It’s your birthday, today, today. Hurry up! Aren’t you going to the hall. We’re cleaning up and decorating the wall. Presents and speeches and everything else! (Except a limo)

Edna’s family

Wife of Percy Copithorne. Children Sheila, Margi, Marshall. children osf Sheila, Betty, Dixie and Lynn. Children of Margi, Gillian and Melissa. Children of Marshall, Cherie, Kathy, Michelle, Ryan, Jennifer and Erin. Son of Betty, Jimmy. Daughter and son of Dixie, Philip and Heather. Husbands and wives, Art, husband of Dixie, Teresa, wife of Marshall. Keith, husband of Betty. John, husband of Margi. Ted, husband of Sheila.

All by Jennifer Copithorne

Why I love Grandma. Because you are my grandma and you’re courteous and wonderful!

Jennifer
Erin
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Memories of Grandma’s 80th (7) (FGK 208)

I love these memories, Michelle describes some of the absolute best moments of my childhood. In fact, the only “downside” of going to Grandma’s as a kid was worrying about the boogeyman who lived in the basement (Grandma had trained us all that the boogeyman lives in the dirt part of the basement). All these years later I’m still a bit scared to go in the basement. But the memories of that special cake, the pull-taffy, and the famous tea times will live in my heart forever. I’m pretty sure I found her tea leaf reading book in the junk room a while ago – I’ll have to go look for it.

Well Gramma, this is it: the big EIGHT ZERO. So, how does it feel to be so wise and well cultured? Ever since I’ve known you, which has been 18 years and 1 month, you have had a direct influence on my life. Ah yes, how I remember Melissa and I terrorizing you and your house. How you put up with us, I’ll never know. I remember how the big highlight of my life was to go over to Gramma’s house for the afternoon and have tea at 4:00 everyday, life would stop in order that the tea could be served, it was quite the event. Of course there would be cookies galore, of all sorts, and if we were REALLY good, we would get our own teapot. Melissa and I would always fight over who was going to get the teapot, or who was going to sit beside Gramma. In the end, Gramma would always step in and solve our dilemma. To finish the afternoon off, Gramma would always read our tea leaves to see what our future held. To my knowledge none of the predictions have come true, but I haven’t lost hope yet. There are so many fond memories I have of you, Gramma, I just don’t know where to begin. Let’s see… sleep-overs, reading comics, making pull-taffy, your “favourite cake”, going to church with you and eating shrimp sandwiches after, going to. Hawaii, and even sweet-talking police officers. I’d just like to say that you are, and always will be, the bestest Gramma us grandkids could ever have.

Love ya lots and lots. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Love Michelle

Grammas are Special by Ryan Copithorne

As years have gone by, I think of the fun Because of the special things my Gramma has done. The making of pull taffy and afternoon teas, A constant supply of doughnuts and cookies. Looking under the branches of our Christmas tree, Yes, the biggest present is from Gramma to me. She’s always there for driving me places And when asking for money, surprisingly kind faces! The cookies, the doughnuts, and special things you do, Are some of the reasons that the best Gramma is you!

Happy 80th Gramma, Ryan Copithorne.

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Memories of Grandma’s 80th (6) (FGK 207)

Kathy’s middle of the night walk to Grandma’s was a legend when we were kids – told so many times with giggles each time. We all thought it was hilarious that she got up in the middle of the night and headed to Grandma’s for tea. I had totally forgotten the story until I read it here. Who else is craving Grandma’s special cake??

God blessed us with a wonderful person who both loves us and is loved by all

Regardless of the situation, Grandma is always there to help in any way that she can

Always busy in her garden, adding to the beauty of the ranch

Never failing to comfort and console me whatever the problem or situation is

Driving grandkids to and from is something that we will never be able to repay

Making chewy ginger snaps and my favourite cake are things that favourably haunt me

A friend to me you’ll always be. I love you very much. Happy 80th birthday to a special person that means a lot to me.

I’m sorry I couldn’t be with y’all on this happy day. Texas wishes you the happiest birthday ever

Love, Cherie

Cherie riding side saddle in our great-grandmother Sophia’s saddle in the Stampede Parade

Grandma, Happy 80th Birthday!

I have so many fond memories of our times together it’s hard to know where to start. You were always my favourite, you were the one who inspired me to learn to cook. I remember sleeping over in the “junk room” and for breakfast we’d make porridge and melt cheese for our toast (you even bought me my own frying pan!!)

There were also the many teatimes when we made pull taffy and our “favourite cake”. Teatime was always an exciting time in your kitchen. It was a sweet tooth’s dream! You had every sort of good imaginable! Then there would be the excitement of getting down to the bottom of our cups and having our fortunes read – you even took time to teach me how to do it. From what I am told, I enjoyed teatime so much that when I was young I came to visit at 4:00 in the morning and my attempts failed as Barry Davis found me and took me home.

Another exciting event at your house was when we all went out with our brown grocery bagels and picked what seemed to be millions of peas. I don’t know how many peas you would have after the pick because we kids would pick one and eat two – not very good odds.

Grandma, to this day you still inspire me – who else at the age of eighty winds a beauty contest? I hope that if I get to be your age I will be as beautiful and full of energy as you are.

I love you, Kathy.

Maybe Michelle lying down? I’m in the beautiful yellow snow suit (and I think we still have my red hat), not sure who is on Grandma’s knee – Jen and maybe Ryan? Kathy beside Grandma
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Memories of Grandma’s 80th (5) (FGK 206)

Mom

It seems like it’s been a long time, almost forever. But then when one really thinks about it the whole affair has flashed by so incredibly fast. You had I have seen a lot happen and we sure missed out on a few things too. It seems as though when ever there was work to be done you were never too far. When fun and happiness were the order of the day you also were there. However, when I look back on it you were, in every case, the one making the greatest contribution to everyone else’s happiness and comfort.

Isn’t it remarkable the changes you and I have witnessed in our short span together. Remember what kind of world we lived in that day in November 1936 when you (and I) sat helpless in an old blue car, jammed in a burning hay slide with your world all on fire. Since then World War 2 and it’s uncertainties like no sugar for candy, no metal for Tory, and no Japanese oranges for Christmas.

Remember the horses, Old Spades, Captain, Old Buck, the Shetland pony, Pinkey, Cope, Shannon, Dusty, Daphne, Slim, Old Gus and of course Clipper the stake race horse. Remember the Clydesdales Pat, Shorty, Dick, Walley, Ben, and many more. Flora and Andy were exceptions as percherons while nobody ever knew what Old Toots was.

My memories with you are bright summer days, bumble bees and flowers, grass too long for the mower, toys – wagons – dolls – wire – you name it hidden in the yard for Dad’s July 1st mowing exercise. Remember looking all over for turkey eggs, looking for turkeys, setting hens, coyotes, and hailstorms. You were the best pie maker this country will ever have. I don’t know how you did all the things there were to do in those days. I do know we never missed a meal, all 15 of us. Our laundry was always done on time and you also found time to be a loving, comfy mother to all including the hired help.

You were quite a bronc buster in your day. Remember Chick! A horse few would ride. Moccasin telegraph told of trouble at Little Jumping Pound School and Chick, being the only horse isn’t eh barn because nobody could ride him, found himself going lickety split down the bank and across the creek headed west towards the school whether he liked it or not.

You have never stopped in your efforts to us all Mom. When one looks at the changes in 80 years, nothing has changed under the sun. Wars, floods, fast horses or fast cars, apple pie, picking berries. Moms and kids will never change because if they do all will be lost.

Thanks Mom for all the years. We wish you a well deserved happy birthday. 80 years, another 80 years and all will be the same under the sun thanks to moms like you.

Love you much,

Marshall.

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Memories of Grandma’s 80th (4) (FGK 205)

My Grandma is a very special person, but more than just a person whom I love very much, she is also someone I greatly admire. The building of the Copithorne family and their ranch would not have been as successful without her. She worked so hard for so many years and yet has always kept a beautiful grace and style.

My husband Keith and I are very proud to be her granddaughter and grandson in law

Keith and Betty Godkin

Dear Grandma Copithorne

I want to give you this poem:

I like my Grandma, she is nice, she’ll always love ya, more than twice

I like my Grandma, she is special and great, and for my Grandma, I’ll open my heart’s gate

Love Jim

My most memorable time with Grandma was when I stayed at her place before I left for England. I really enjoyed our long talks. Grandma has always beeen very encouraging and supportive of me in the ministries God has led me into. I really appreciate her many prayers, encouragement, and letters. Thank you so very much Grandma!

Love, Lynn

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Memories of Grandma’s 80th 3 (FGK 204)

Dear Grandma

There are lots of memories I could talk about with you – such as listening to the Bambi record over and over, going to movies etc. But the most memorable was our trip to Vancouver Island seven years ago. What an adventure! Looking back, some things were kind of funny – such as the flat timer on our rented car – some were serious. I will never forget our conversations because they changed how I looked at things. Your opinions on how important motherhood is, the sanctity of marriage, and your love and respect for grandpa have made a lasting impression. It made me respect your generation for the solid rock of values on which they built this society. Thank you grandma for being you!

Love Dixie

Dear Grandma Copithorne

I guess that as an “In-law”, I haven’t been around long enough to have the kind of memories of our times together like Dixie has. But you have made many good impressions on me.

After meeting you the first time, I left realizing that I had met a real “lady”, a person with real manners and gracious attitude, that folks my age don’t have.

Some of my impressions are humorous too, like finding out at my engagement party with Dixie, that you had been sure to “check me out” with my high school teacher, Gordon Davies. You didn’t want your granddaughter to marry any “riff-raff”. I hope I passed the test.

And the time you lent us the use of your ranch house for our honeymoon, and leapt it a secret from Marshall. Marshall would have given us a good chivarce , but you kept it under your hat!

But my best impression of you is second hand. It comes from seeing the love and respect that my wife, Dixie, has for you and also believing that you share our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

With love and respect

Art Bird.

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Memories of Grandma’s 80th (FGK 203)

I have to admit, most of these letters make me a little weepy in the eyes. Grandma was kind of the glue that held us all together -and the fact that we are still close all these years after she has been gone I think speaks to the kind of family she and Grandpa created. Their faith was central to their lives, and it was something that was passed onto all of us in one way or another.

The most significant experience and influence my mother gave me was her desire to teach me about the Lord. This was important to her and because it was important to her it was important to me as a small child. From my earliest memories I remember reading the Bible stories from colourful Sunday School papers and it was her who taught me that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Even though I deserved to be punished, Jesus bore my punishment for me. I was an adult before I accepted this salvation but my other pointed me in the right direction for which I am eternally grateful.

I had to have children of my own before I could fully appreciate my mother. I couldn’t have been raised in a better home.

All my love, Sheila.

Sheila and Ted
Grandma (protecting her hair) and Sheila

To my Favourite Mother in Law

Even though you are the only Mother-in-law I’ve ever had, you are a favourite with me.

It seems we very seldom express the way we feel about people, and sometimes it is easier to write it than to say it, but I do so very much appreciate the good relationship we have had over the years. I think back to when I first met Sheila and stayed at your place. You made a very nervous young man feel at home, and I enjoyed the good meals, the card parties, and just the good visits we had with you and dad and all of the family. That big kitchen at the ranch was a place of informal family gatherings and good fellowship.

Christmas has always been a special time when we gather as a family, and I must admit I always look forward to your gift. Your taste in shirts is really something.

Well, on this special occasion of your eightieth birthday, I wish for you that it will be a special and wonderful day. May the Lord continue to bless you with good health, good times, love and peace.

Your loving son-in-law, Ted

Sheila and Ted (I love this photo)
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Memories of Grandma’s 80th (FGK 202)

I know… I said I was done. But this house has ways of throwing things in my path for me to have a look at. Last night I was standing in my boy’s room looking for a photo of grandma (his bookshelf holds our family photos) and I noticed a couple of albums kind of stuck off to the side. A couple of very old photo albums of Grandma’s and one that holds a bunch of memories the family put together for Grandma’s 80th. Her children, their spouses, and all us grandkids (plus two spouses), and a couple of great grandkids wrote out our memories of Grandma. Sharing them seems like a really nice way to honour a woman who has meant so much to us all.

I’m not sure where the “Profile of a Senior” came from – when I googled it I found a couple of copies of it written elsewhere – no idea where to credit it though. Grandma turned 80 on October 4, 1988 and as with most things, some of it aged well, some of it didn’t (pretty sure the “Coke” of their time had actual cocaine in it so….)

Profile of a Senior

Who is a senior citizen? What is one?

A senior citizen is one who was here before the pill and the population explosion. We were here before television, penicillin, polio shots, antibiotics, and frisbees. Before frozen food, nylon, dacron, xerox, Kinsey, radar, fluorescent lights, credit cards and ballpoint pens. For us, time sharing meant togetherness not computers; a chip meant a piece of wood, hardware meant hard work and software wasn’t even a word. Co-Ed’s never wore slacks, we were before pantyhose and drip-dry clothes, before ice makers and dishwashers, clothes dryers, freezers and electric blankets. Before Hawaii had Alaska became states. Before men wore long hair and earrings and women wore tuxedos.

We were before Leonard Bernstein, yogurt, Ann Landers, plastic, the 40 hour week and the minimum wage. We got married first and then lived together. How quaint can one be?

Closets were for clothes, not for coming out of, bunnies were small rabbits and rabbits were not Volkswagens. We were before Grandma Moses and Frank Sinatra and cup sizing for bras. Girls wore Peter Pan collars and thought cleavage was something butchers did. We were before Batman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and Snoopy. before DDT, vitamin pills, disposable diapers, QE one, Jeeps, the Jefferson memorial, and pizza. Cheerios, instants coffee, decaffeinated anything, and McDonald’s were unheard of. We thought fast food was what you ate during Lent. We were before Boy George, J.D. Salinger, and Chiquita banana. Before FM radios, tape recorders, electric typewriters, word processors, Muzak, electronic music, disco dancing – and that’s not all that bad!!

In our day, cigarette smoking was fashionable, grass was for mowing, coke was a refreshing drink, and pot was something you cooked in. If we’d been asked to explain CIA, Ms, NATO, UFO, NFL, ERA, or IUD, we would have said alphabet soup.

We are today’s senior citizens, a hardy bunch when you think of how our wold has changed and the adjustments we have had to make!!

Grandma on Captain, me on Chubby (on loan from Uncle Clarence and family – Chubby raised their children and then I was lucky enough to have him for a brief time. I think he was in his 30s here)
Chilling in the teepee
That time she was the Heritage Belle
Grandma and Grandpa, and (I think) Gillian and Ryan
Grandma and her sister Ruth

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Edna’s Story 1 (FGK 118)

So, I was in the basement this morning looking for my winter boots because eventually winter will show up and I know I shoved them in a mouse proof (haha) container in the basement sometime last spring. I didn’t find the boots, but I did find another random box filled with Grandma’s memories. It’s got old newspaper clippings, photos from the 1920s to the 1970s, photos of her 80th birthday, a gorgeous painting that she must have done, and the complete version of her life story!

I know I shared the abridged version earlier – I had given up on finding the complete story. But now that I have it I’m going to share it in its entirety. So there will be parts that repeat what was shared before- but I think sharing the whole thing again will make the story flow better than trying to chop it up.

Enjoy!

“Ouch”, that was me when Dr. Park spanked my bottom when I was born in our house in Cochrane. What a difference to the soft touch the babies have now when born. No wonder we’re a hardy race, it was survival of the fittest. Then I remember my mother trying to talk to me into an afternoon nap a few years later. My father rocking me in his arms in the rocking chair and singing to me to ease the pain of an earache with a bag of warm salt pressed to it. The rocking chair had a coyote skin draped over it, a big hide tanned and lined with red felt with scalloped edges.

These dear old hills of Cochrane provided endless fun and adventure for a child living in the village. Picking flowers in the spring, building playhouses out of stones just a laid on the ground in a pattern, etc. And galloping around on my stick horse. Then when the winter snows came there was nowhere could compare with the marvellous speed of a bobsleigh coming down the Cochrane hill, then hitting the road and flying on down nearly to the front street. The only traffic was horse-drawn and they panicked from us, not us from them.

It was awful having only one sister and she was six and a half years older than me. I just couldn’t keep up to her, hard as I’d try, and she tried equally as hard to leave me behind. So I amused myself with whatever was handy and nearly always was a horse. My dad had an old black race horse loose in the yard and I would often crawl up on his back from the fence or the back porch or a pile of boxes placed on top of the other and I could ride him around the yard when I was three or four years old. One day when I was playing quietly in the shade of the house, Father Hermes rode by on a spirited horse which suddenly dumped him off on the dusty road and jumped the fence into our yard, racing around with dad’s old horse.

We milked a cow. I remember her well, she was mostly black with a bit of white and we called her “Sloppie”. Bought her from Bobbie Butler. My mother churned and I used to take a pail of fresh buttermilk over to Mini Bailey (Now Mrs. Allan). She loved it and I loved to visit her mother “Granny Bailey”, the dearest Scottish lady anyone could ever wish to know. Jean Russell, Granny’s granddaughter used to spend much of her time with them and she and I have been the closest friends ever since we were five years old. Jack Bailey was the baker in Cochrane and he had a confectionary store and ice cream parlour. Jena and I spent many, many happy hours down in the store with Uncle Jack.

Ruth and her friends used to spend hours racing around with a stick, letting a small wheel roll down the stick then controlling it with the cross bar of the stick and racing as hard as they could go. I don’t remember ever doing that much myself. Ruth walked around on stilts a lot more than I did too. Our father built us a marvellous swing in the yard. The poles seemed like telephone ones to me they were so high, and then he put a long pole across the rope with handles to hang on and you sure could swing high. One day when Ruth and Dot Johnson were swinging, a man came up behind Ruth and spoke rather harshly to her while she was down and Dot up. Ruth jumped off, raced to the house, and let poor Dot down with a plunk.

All the girls Ruth’s age had lovely ponies to ride so our Dad bought quite a beautiful colt from an Indian. It was extremely quiet but also extremely thin. She called him “Spider”. Of course I rode it around the yard every chance I got, but my… it became mean! The fatter it got, the meaner it was and even Ruth couldn’t handle it finally. There is nothing much meaner than a mean horse! It always ran under the clothes line and got rid of me quite easily and my neck had quite a scar on it. Then it would charge us with its mouth open. How I envied Ruth going out riding with her friends, Amy Cook on her lovely pony “Snowball”, Dot riding old “Pod” etc. My favourite dream when a child was me riding an extremely beautiful big white horse, and I’ve never owned a white horse.

I’m adding what has to be the weirdest photos – but goodness they look like they’re having fun. And also the actual meanest pony that ever existed.

I love this photo. Massive weirdness. I think Grandma is the one ‘riding’
At the front on the left is me on Tango – the actual meanest pony to ever exist. Don’t let his chubby cuteness fool you.
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