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CHAPTER NINE

Closer To Friends

We wanted to move closer to all the people we knew in local assembly, and most of them lived in Langley; so, we rented a basement suite in Cloverdale. It was good to be close to a doctor we had been to before (when we lived at the Greenside Townhouses), and both of us started going to him again.

We had just moved in and our next door neighbors were building a rabbit hutch along the fence that divided their yard from our small basement suite yard...the smell was dreadful. We talked with them, but because they had built it right on the wood fence itself, they didn't want to move it. In the summer it got really smelly!

They were friendly enough; came from India somewhere. They invited us over for a meal but we couldn't go because they always had their company on Friday nights and we had a Bible study that night...so the woman had me over to see how she made their ethnic food and had me bring some back home with me. We visited them one evening...they had an arranged marriage.

I got a part time job through Manpower. I typed a lot of legal letters for a man who was running The Copper Kettle in Cloverdale: he was sueing some people (I had to do alot of aphadavids). I was to start at $7 an hour, but he gave me a raise my first pay...$8 an hour. It wasn't a forever job...mostly until he had all his typing finished. I enjoyed the work...it was all done through the computer and printed (at our home).

Our upstairs neighbors had three pre-teenage children. They had a lot of wholesome "family" gatherings...and were very noisy, sometimes quite late at night. They were Christians and we could hear them singing the "songs of Zion"...many songs that we knew. Then, the Mom began day caring small children...3 and sometimes 4 of them. When their children were off to school and I thought things would quiet down...the daycare kids came!

They had the thermostat in their part of the house and said they always left it set on 20 degrees. I froze...and found out it was because they switched off the emergency switch, when they went out. I heard them do it all the time...once I was aware that was happening. We got a small, electric heater and had to use it all the time.

We spoke with them about the daycare and they said it was their "ministry", to those in their church who needed it. Well, if anyone's "ministry" is at the expense of someone else...I question the "ministry". It just wasn't going to work out. We spoke with the landlord...and he told them that they never had permission from him to run a daycare. Things got very "tight" between us.

The landlord put the house up for sale, sold his own house, bought another house with a basement suite and asked us if we would rent it from him. We liked him and his wife, but he is a heavy smoker and we didn't feel the smell would stay in his part of the house. He even offered to have a filter put in his new furnace, to take out most of the smoke...but we didn't think it would work.

I called The Orchard again, and they said they would hold a unit for us...this time we got #68. We were happy there. Our neighbors were nice and quiet, and friendly. We had more shade than the other two units (there). We were here for 1 1/2 years.

It was during this time that our son Peter was out of work...so he called me a lot. Just in passing, he mentioned how both of us (Joe and I) knew what was happening to them (our kids) on the Graham River Farm...I picked up on his comment and asked him to explain. Well, this was a real eye-opener to me (and to Joe, later).

Apparently, some of our children were beat between 4-5 times a week...sometimes every day. The word that was ministered out there (on the farm), was that anybody could punish our kids, if they needed it...we were a "family". They had told us the first couple of times they were punished by someone other than their Mom and Dad, and we had said that they probably deserved it...so they stopped telling us. Sometimes they were hit with a 2x4, and lifted off their feet. They figured that Joe knew what was happening, because he was an elder. Well, neither one of us knew.

Needless to say we began talking with each one of them, and were brought to the point of tears, over what they had put up with for nearly four years. Peter said that was why they never wanted to do anything with us, as a family, in recent years. He also said that it would take time before all of his siblings would believe we knew nothing that happened out there.

A couple of years earlier...all our family had been brought before a couple of the elders. Our younger boys were asked questions, by one elder in particular..."Did you boys play with each other?" They, being young and innocent...thought he meant "play"...but, he didn't. They said that they did play with each other.

Apparently, one of the much older (and strange) ladies on the farm thought they were doing things that they shouldn't have been - and had reported them. When, in actuality, there wasn't one single minute, in each day, that their time wasn't accounted for. They were never allowed to do anything that was termed "foolish"...and certainly, never say a joke or laugh. This older lady, was forever reporting people whom she thought were doing something 'sexual'.

Once, when our younger boys had jumped off the hay wagon, and wandered around the Beaver Pond (to take a break)...an elder found them out there, hiding behind a bush. Now, my question is..."What was he doing way out there?" Because, this man worked harder at avoiding work, than if he had done the work.


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Pen Name: Aimee Love


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