Family Stories of Survival


Have you ever discovered something unexpected about a family member, a secret, a talent, a mystery uncovered?

When my mother was 3-months pregnant with me her grandmother, my great-grandmother passed away. Sadly, I never got to meet her but as the years passed I heard stories about her personal strength, courage, and ingenuity during hard times. I learned as a new-comer to a foreign country she managed to make ends meet through a creative endeavor.

My great-grandmother left Europe when she was a teen to come to Canada. After a few years she began to develop a reputation as a very talented baker. Everyone loved her cakes, pies, and cookies, all the baked goodies were a hit with the entire neighborhood.

Prohibition: From 1916 until 1927 the prohibition of alcohol was enacted and enforced in Toronto, Canada.  


During those early years, when she was still fairly new to Canada she and her husband struggled financially. And so to make ends meet Great-granny had a plan. 

She baked pies, cakes, cookies, breads, rolls, fruit danish, and more.  She invited the neighbors and their friends to her kitchen and offered the goodies for free––as long as they paid for shots of her home-made Bathtub Gin! Brilliant solution!

Because of this was she was able to pay the rent and buy groceries. Her little “business” thrived and the community had a happy glow about them as a result.

There is strength and fortitude that some people carry within their bones and if/when hit by hard times or misfortune they find a way to carry on and make the necessary adjustments to ease through the challenge. 

Do you have stories?

What are the gems told about family, ancestral stories that stand out as something special? What have you learned about your family that gives you pride, brings a smile to your face, or makes you blush?