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Early Morning Rises with Dad.

Kristen Oldford

Hello Baylifer’s! I’m Barry, the first (or second) half of BayLife Apparel. I’ve decided to write my first blog entry tonight after a long day of fixing up our basement, and a karate tournament with Grayson, our oldest son.

My wife insisted that I share some of my favourite memories as a child growing up in Sandringham, NL. I have so many great memories that I don’t even know where to start. However, there’s nothing more precious to me than the memories I have with my father.

Dad is almost 85 years old, older than many of my friends fathers. He was a hard working man back in his day. Worked in several places across Canada to support himself as a young man. He didn’t settle down until he was into his 30’s and then I came along when he was the ripe age of 44.

He had many jobs when I was growing up. When I was very young he used to travel back and forth to Alberta to work and was gone for 6-8 months at a time. When he would come home I didn’t even know who he was. This was a reality for many people in rural areas of Newfoundland, it still is to this day. A sacrifice that many make to be able to live and enjoy the lifestyle that places around the bay have to offer. As I grew older he started fishing with some men from the area and was home most of the time.

There’s an amazing bond that forms between a father and a son. You grow together as a family and learn from each other over the years. I’m grateful that I have a father that would share his lifestyle and teach me the ways of hard work, honesty, and how to live off the land.

Some of the best memories I have are when I would go hunting and fishing with my dad. To this day, everytime that I smell that fall air it brings me back to moose hunting in the woods with dad. At the crack of dawn, he would take me in the woods hunting, we’d have boil ups and walk for miles. The first time that we killed a moose together is still fresh in my mind. I helped him clean the animal and skin it. We had to wait for my uncle to come in and help us lug it out to the shed. I was too little to carry the quarters, but I did carry the backpack!

When we would go fishing in South West Arm in Sandringham, I’d have my lifejacket on, but just in case, Dad would tie a rope around me in the event that I would fall overboard. If I fell in, he would have to jump in after me and he couldn’t swim, so this was fail proof! We would catch Cod fish, Lump, Skate, and a scattered Red fish. Some of it was used as bait for crab fishing when Dad would go out with the long liners.

I remember we had a 12 Elan Ski-doo that I wanted to drive, but Mom said I was too small. Well, Dad let me try it, and boy did I go! I stuck my thumb down on that throttle and went!! Just about took the side out of the shed! Needless to say, I haven’t been able to slow down after that! Those of you that know me can attest to that!

However we all grew up, we all treasure fond memories of how we lived. That is a part of BayLife, remembering the good times. We are very lucky that we can go home whenever we want, we aren’t too far away. There are many people who can’t do that and we want to be able to share the traditions and love of the communities that you come from thru BayLife.


The Log Cabin

Kristen Oldford

This weekend was a first in a long time for me, alone! Yes, alone! My husband is enjoying a trip to the cabin with some of the guys, my baby is hanging out with his Nana and Poppy, my oldest went to his Aunt’s house for the night, and I’m here sharing a story with you!

Not going to lie, I’m a little jealous that Barry is gone up in the woods without me. He’s gone to my grandparents log cabin way up in the country near Gambo. Its on a little road called Strawberry Road about an hour from the nearest town.

My Grandfather Lane built it about 25 years ago using logs that he cut up in that area. What makes it really special for me is that I helped him rhine most of those logs.

I spent a lot of time up in the woods with the my grandparents when I was younger. I loved going with them on their camping trips. First, it was in a truck camper that they had on a old Dodge pickup. It was small, but it didn’t matter because you spent most of your time outdoors when you were there. I slept on the top bunk and did fall out a time or two. But they still kept bringing me along. Then, the got a little larger camper that they used to leave by the pond. I’d still tag along. Once Pop had retired and decided to build a cabin, that’s when I couldn’t wait for the weekends!

To rhine the logs, Pop had this old-fashioned hand tool with a handle on each side and a blade in the middle that you would pull over the log and remove all of the bark. I don’t know what it is officially called. I can’t tell you how many logs I did, but looking at the cabin now it warms my heart that I did that with him. I remember the logs getting hammered together one by one until he was done. I don’t recall how he put the large ones up for the beams, but I’m pretty sure that it took an army to do that judging by the size of them!

The cabin still stands tall, even though my grandparents are at the age where they can’t enjoy it as much as they used to, but it is a place where we can go and bring our families now. Its so warm and cozy in the winter. The wood stove going, a little music in the background and cards being played on the table. Not to mention the amazing cabin food! It always tastes better at the cabin, right!

I can’t wait to hear all about Barry’s weekend and all of the fun things he got to do. Our next trip will be with the kids and spending time outdoors with them, making new memories at the log cabin.


My favourite memories.....

Kristen Oldford

Sharing some of my childhood memories often makes me smile. Mostly because I get to talk about my Dad. We lost him suddenly back in 2006, and when I can share stories with others about him, it always makes me happy. I’m actually glad that I still have these memories to share, even though I don’t have him around.

My love for the outdoors really started with my parents. They had a cabin out the bay where it was only accessible by boat in the warmer months and skidoo in the winter. I remember getting in the boat to go there and at times, stopping to jig a codfish for supper. I remember one time I caught a squid on my jigger line and had no idea what it was when I brought it up, ink squirted everywhere, and my dad was trying to get it out of the boat before it ruined the carpets, lol.

We used to go with friends to a little place called Little Seal Island. There was a rocky beach where we would have cook ups and spend the day swimming in the ocean. I don’t know how I ever got in it because it was so freakin’ cold! But we loved every minute of it!

The winter was fun. We had a ski-boose (spelling?) that I would get it. Man, was that ever fun! How many mittens did I loose on the way to the cabin, sticking my hands out to grab trees and my mitts would stick to the needles and “boom” gone! Skidooing was my favourite.

My dad was a man who loved fast things, lol. When I was 12 he bought a Mach 1 700 triple and gave my his old skidoo, a 580 Formula plus. It was pretty fast for a 12 year old girl. I couldn’t even pull it over to start it. But I was soo cool, so it didn’t really matter, there was always someone around to start it for me. My very first ride on it, my dad got on the back and we went towards Rodney Pond, in the Gambo area. There were several washouts along the way, which dad would tap me on the back and let me know one was coming up. Well, he forgot one and we went in that going 50 km an hour. He came off the back and I went into a tree and cracked the front of the skidoo. Blood was going everywhere as I struck my nose on the handle bars. I wasn’t going to drive that thing anymore, but Dad made me get back on and go again. I was scared for a while, but I got over it.

After a while, my parents sold the boat and cabin and bought a camper. We would leave it up to a pond near Gambo, called North Pond. When we would go there I would spend my time out by the pond trying to catch a trout. Sometimes we would go to Rodney Pond looking for the big pond trout. Me and dad went alone one time and hit a run of fish. We would catch one after another, big trout (well big for NL), we may have caught a few….but its something I will never forget.

My first moose hunting trip was when I was 13. My dad had a license for Terra Nova. We decided to go to Triton brook just up from our camper and try there. It wasn’t very long into the morning of the first day of hunting season that we saw the biggest bull we’ve ever seen! It just jumped out in front of the truck! Of course Dad has the gun ready and jammed the breaks on solid! He had the window down and took a shot. He hit it but didn’t get the animal to stop. So we followed it onto a cutover where he took it down. He was so excited, it was a trophy animal, and me, well, I cried. I wasn’t really sure if I liked what just happened or not, but I helped him clean the animal and it wasn’t until a few days later that I really realized what I experienced. Looking back now, It was probably one of the most memorable times in my life. I still have the antlers and the picture that we took that day.

Sometimes there are moments in our lives that happen for a reason. We don’t always realize it at the time, but I believe that I live this life for a reason. I love helping people, I love making people happy, I love making memories. The life I’ve lived so far I can share with others, that makes me truly happy.