That’s what my Oma (grandma) said to us last night. She said that even Surrey is getting too big for her, “I’m not a city girl”. She grew up in a small village in what was then Yugoslavia. After meeting my Opa (grandpa), having my aunt and mother, the family moved to Canada in the 1950s.
They started out in Regina then packed up the car and moved out west. They lived in East Vancouver (Renfrew area) and before the turn of the decade they had started building a house in Surrey. “It was the forest!” Oma said, “I thought, he builds our house in the bushes?”. My Opa being a carpenter with great dreams.
104th Avenue was merely a dirt road and still my Oma commuted to Vancouver to work, as a housekeeper, every single day. “I worked on Dunbar, MacDonald… all over – I left the house at 7am and I wouldn’t get back until 7 at night”. Yep, even in the early 60s commuting to Vancouver from the burbs wasn’t pleasant.
She would even work in North Vancouver on occasion, “I would RUN up and down those hills to catch a bus – that’s why I have bad knees now.”We’re celebrating her 85th birthday next week, and man – this woman has seen everything. Aside from her experiences during the war, which I can’t even begin to describe on my blog, she’s seen Vancouver change over the last 50 years.
On the drive home last night she kept commenting how the city’s changed. The buildings, the roads, the construction… we really need to capture some of her experiences (in her own words) on the podcast sometimes, they’re just amazing.
I’ll try to put some pics up when I get home tonight (of the house being built, of my Oma etc.) but for now, try the pics I have from my Bay experience yesterday that I have up on Metblogs :p