Someone’s Living In The Bush, Mom Part III

(Continued from “Someone’s Living In The Bush, Mom” – Part II)

Scamp and I raced home.  “Mom!  Someone’s living in the bush!  She needs help!”

“Is someone hurt?”

“No, but she needs help!  Come with me!”  I grabbed some wood, paper and a box of matches.

Thankfully, mom saved all her questions for the dash through the bush to the little house.

When we arrived, I knocked quickly on the door and said, “Hi again.  I’ve got my mom with me.”

The woman opened the door and studied my mother.  As we entered the house, mom transformed into a soft, soothing healer of hearts.  She held out her hand in greeting and introduced herself.   I watched a sheen of relief wash over our new friend as she hesitantly smiled and nodded.  She took my mother’s hand in both of hers and said in a voice that could have been mistaken for an angel, “Olivieria Weissaur.  La Pas, Bolivia.”

"Hera" by Francis Picabia

“Is that far from here?” I asked.

“We’ll talk later, darling, it’s not polite to chat in our language in front of someone who doesn’t understand.”

Mom walked over to the stove, peeked into the opening, and reached for some of the papers I brought.  Olivieria moved closer to the stove and watched.  Mom put the crumpled paper under my twigs, struck a match and soon had a small fire blazing.

Olivieria nodded and said, “Vielen dank.”

As we waited for the fire to take hold, each of us focused on the flames more out of embarrassment than concern.

Finally I was able to add the small pieces of wood I’d brought from home.  Mom found a well used saucepan amongst the clutter on the bureau and filled it with water.  She placed it over the open burner, directly over the flame, ready to bring water to a boil.  She said, “I think Olivieria will want a good cup of coffee.”

Olivieria reached for my mother, embraced her and wept.  Mom held her as though they’d been friends for ever.

Mom helped Olivieria to a chair and handed her the handkerchief she’d stuffed in one of her pockets.  Olivieria burst into more tears so I decided to go outside and find some dry branches.

When I brought the wood inside, the coffee was boiling in the open pan and Olivieria had regained her composure.  Mom and she were sorting through the contents of her trunk.  In a grand display of charades, the two of them seemed to find many items of basic need and necessity.

I watched my mother’s efforts to camouflage her concern.  She may have been able to hide her worry from our new friend, but I knew what she was thinking.  How on earth would this woman survive the winter?

Once Olivieria and mom had their coffees and it was evident that Olivieria had what she needed to feed herself, we made sure the fire was burning well and headed for the trail home.  As we walked, I said, “She can come and live with us when it gets cold, Mom.  I’ll share my room with her.  What language was she speaking?”

Mom explained that the woman spoke German.  “Since she lives in Bolivia, she would also speak Spanish, but she was speaking German words to us.”

“What is she doing here all by herself?” I asked.

“Right now, there is a big fight going on in Bolivia.  I think she would have been part of a German family that had lots of land in that country.  People who were born in Bolivia are demanding their land back from people like her family.  They may have been in a lot of trouble with the Bolivian people.  Olivieria may have come here to be safe.”

“Wow!”  I really felt I had hit the bonanza of important affairs.  “Where is Bolivia?  Is it by Germany?”

“No.  It’s a long way from Europe.  Bolivia is south of us and Germany is to the east.  We’ll look it up in the Atlas when we get home.  We’ll visit Olivieria regularly to make sure she is alright.  You can invite her to our place for meals to start out.”

“Can we get someone who speaks German to come and visit her so I can ask her over?”

“That’s a great idea.  We’ll also need to make sure she has an account at the General Store.  Perhaps the person who brought her here already did that.”


“What, sweetheart?”

“You know when you were talking with Olivieria right at the beginning when you shook her hands?”


“And you know later when Oliviera hugged you and you held her while she cried?”


“I think it helped me know what you mean about “class”.

Postscript:  (My mother and I returned the next day.  Olivieria proudly served us a piece of pastry with apple, cinnamon and sugar loosely sitting on top of the knot of dough.  I suspect it was meant to be a strudel.  A few days later, when we arrived, Olivieria was gone and the boards were back on the windows.  Town people did not know the house existed and, as there was no Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman in our town at that time, the episode became overgrown with everyday life.   If my mother had not been involved, I doubt anyone would have believed me.  I have remembered Olivieria.  I often speak her name aloud, trying to say it like an angel.  There have been times I have used her name when I did not want someone to know mine.  I often think of Olivieria as I prepare my fires.)

Next:  Continue to Someone’s Living in the Bush, Mom – The Guides Respond

31 thoughts on “Someone’s Living In The Bush, Mom Part III

  1. Pingback: Someone’s Living In The Bush, Mom! Part II « Soul Dipper

  2. Good Morning Souldipper….this lovely. Am so sorry I have not been over for a while…will catch up just now.
    Thank you so much for the good advice…I am going to use it…not sure if it will work in this country but I will give it a go.
    Have a lovely day.

    • The truth, presented honestly (that’s not a joke :)), is powerful. I’m pulling for you. And about the visits? Don’t worry about that…I discovered today that I had unsubscribed somehow. I wondered where you had gone! It’s fixed now.

    • The Guides have something to say about it, but aside from that, rural Western Canada had become used to people coming and going. It was not an easy life clearing land and producing enough crops and food during short growing seasons. So it was not a big issue for someone to come, scout out the land, stay for a short time and disappear without anyone knowing their story. Life was about the people who settled and had made a home.

  3. What a wonderful and intriguing story. Wonder what happened to her, kind of sad she just disappeared but I think there’s more to that, maybe your guides can shed light on that.

  4. Pingback: Someone’s Living In The Bush, Mom – The Guides Respond « Soul Dipper

    • I learned so much from all of these different “neighbours” that when I went to Europe as a young woman in the 1960s, I was amazed at how much I understood about cultures. Even knew some language. Wonderful confirmation of my appreciation for all these people who patiently told me stories.

  5. So touching, Amy, there are so many and many and many instances in which I think I behave like my mom or would like to act like her in some situations.. I can’t even begin to tell you! Thanks, I love the little girl and her mischief, I hope she has some more of her stories to tell !!
    And I was the only one who that it was impolite, but no, you are also with me on this one! “it’s not polite to chat in our language in front of someone who doesn’t understand.”

    • Some people act as though good manners are passe and old-fashioned. But I know one solid truth. People with class have good manners. And there is an old soul from South Carolina whose voice and accent tickles my memory: “Many a relationship has been saved simply by using good manners.”

      • I know! Can’t wait for when Cruel and Indifference will be old fashioned.. He he he.. And the jaw breaker thing, if I have to confess here and now, had quite a few of them pre motherhood.. A LOT of them, because they were a novelty when I came here for the first time to US after my wedding 🙂
        *blushing bride*

    • Yes, I certainly was blessed, Jamie. And, unplanned, but comforting, on Thursday, the 14th of October, she was released from this stage of existence – eight years ago. She spent 6 years before that in the hospital after a stroke paralysed her and stole her speech. During those six years, I never knew if she really knew who I was, but even if I was “new” to her, I saw how those eyes lit up and how she would cock her head and purr when I walked in the room. I’d say teasingly, “You better know who I am.” She’d laugh and I’d remind her of stories we shared. If you never watched Jill Bolte Taylor on, it is well worth the 20 minutes. She gave me hope that those six years were not torture for my mom.

      • And, Jamie, I cannot resist sharing this. Yesterday, my oldest nephew phoned. He said, “Auntie Amy, I cannot tell you how much I enjoy the stories about Grandma. You describe her so well. That’s who she was.” Who better than one of her grandchildren to confirm the character?

    • My mother was an old soul. A lot of life’s demands were put aside for the sake of nurturing someone’s heart or soul. Though she was a teacher and always occupied, she seemed to always have time for my heart and soul. (Typical of family dynamics, since I am the youngest, my older siblings feel that that I got the ‘best of mom’. Sobeit, I experienced what she gave.)

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