I have some amazing memories of life at my grandpa’s house. Driving back from a visit to Rocky Ridge Ranch last week I noticed that my grandpa’s old house is for sale. It’s in Speyside. It’s not an overwhelmingly large place. It’s one of those single gas station stops on the side of highway 25, just north of Milton in the Halton Hills. I just had to stop in and walk up the driveway to see it again. The house is different than I remember, but that’s excepted after almost 40 years.
I have some great memories of that house and spending time with grandpa and grandma Greenfield like making maple syrup, grandpa’s workshop, Christmas time and good family times.
Speyside is the first place I remember making maple syrup and it started a long hobby to make it at several camps and in my own backyards. It’s something that I have passed on to my girls and many friends. I remember walking along the line of tapped trees and collecting sap with grandpa and taking it back to the sugar shack to boil it down. The sugar shack stands out with all its steam and boiling sap smelled sweet, like wood smoke and maple. I don’t think it was very big. Maple “tea” is a nice drink when the sap is about 50% boiled down.
Grandpa had a workshop in the basement where he would build things, although not to the standard that grandma would have liked as I recall. The workshop held an allure of so many tools and of course the smell of wood shavings. I don’t actually remember any of the things we built. I think it was more about the time spent. I have some of those same tools in my own workshop including his journeyman’s box from the 1920’s. Pretty cool.
I remember grandma always said we had two options for dinner. If you’re thinking that meant two kinds of meat or an extra dessert you couldn’t be farther from the reality of it. The choice was usually 1. take it or 2. leave it. I do recall that she would feed us a peanut butter and jam sandwich later if we missed out.
Lots of memories. I’m glad I stopped.