Whiskey and Soda

Artwork: Jenn Ashton

Artwork: Jenn Ashton

by Doreen Ramus

We were moving at last, leaving the Island and starting afresh on the mainland. Loaded into the Austin station wagon were my three children under the age of five, myself, my patient and versatile husband, essentials (and more), the black and white beloved spaniel named Whiskey and the pure white devoted cat named Soda. Onto the ferry we drove with all this clutter. First one child wanted out, then of course the next. Luckily the last was in a car bed.  Then out escaped Whiskey followed closely by Soda. I guess they thought that this was their new home! My husband corralled the children and I was left to catch the animals. As I tore through lines of cars frantically calling “Whiskey, Soda” a kind gentleman stopped me in my search   “I have some vodka, would that do?” I stared in amazement. Why would I need Vodka when all I wanted most were my dog and cat? I shook my head smiling benignly and continued my frantic search eventually corralling both animals.

When we finally arrived at the rented house in Brackendale, which was to be our home until we were able to build our own house in Garibaldi Highlands. Our neighbour, keenly eyeing this menagerie falling out of the overloaded car, shouted across her dahlias, “ Don’t let any of that lot near my garden”. A welcoming gesture I’m sure. After all its best to lay down the rules right away! After a year our house was built at the end of a track called Ayr Drive, which we shared with much wild life! That street now of course is paved and has expanded due north and further development due east has progressed as far as the Quest University.

Forty-six years have passed and those years could not have been happier.  Whiskey, Soda and my ever-loving husband have long since passed on from this world. My children, though scattered, call Garibaldi Highlands their home and rum and tonic have replaced my Whiskey and Soda! 


Doreen Ramus, who passed away in Squamish this January at the age of 92, was one of the founding members of the Squamish Writers Group and delighted us monthly with her writings on home, and early life as a young woman arriving in Canada from England. Dorothy eventually published a book of memoirs in June 2016 titled My Life's Journey. Available on Amazon.ca. The back of her book reads "I was an English girl with the strongest of roots. I became a Canadian woman leaning on, and pulling from those roots." Read more about Doreen here ->

The painting accompanying this story was created by Jenn Ashton and printed with permission.