Mama Took Care of Her New Family of 20 at Christmas in Cramahe Township

In Community, Editor Choice, Local

A Cramahe Township couple had a few more people than they bargained for at Christmas.

Twenty more people than they bargained for to be exact.

But Mina Walker (age 58) who guys by Mama and her husband Steve (age 59) wouldn’t have it any other way after numerous vehicles were stranded on her road in Cramahe Township because of a severe winter storm.

The Walker’s live on Trottman Road, just north of Highway 401 and after supper on Friday, December 23, 2022, they decided to go out for a drive around 8 p.m.

The couple knew it was storming, but didn’t realize how bad it was – until they got to the end of their driveway.

As soon as they rounded the corner of their country home driveway, they saw numerous vehicles stuck in the snow.

Most of the vehicles were flashing their emergency flashers in the darkness.

“There was one right out at the end of our driveway. To the south there was probably six or eight and to the north there was four or five to the north,” said Mama.

A Northumberland County ambulance was also stuck in the snow. They were on their way to a call for assistance when they became stuck.

Because of storm, people followed their GPS north of Highway 401 and to Trottman Road.

“It was just blowing snow and drifts and they’d get stuck.”

“Hubby was out in the tractor with the snowblower from 8 p.m. to shortly after 1 a.m.”

Once they were free from being stuck in the snow they went to the Walker home.

“We got the people (vehicles) off the road so if the plow did come, it could get through.”

The people were from New Jersey, Kingston, Toronto, Brockville, Ottawa and more ranging in age from 17-years-old to 70-years-old.

Someone brought a birthday cake for the destination they were going too.

“That got eaten and coffee, tea and hot chocolate were made.”

“They just chatted and everyone told us their adventures on the road.”

Neighhbours Gwen and Bill Chapman helped out immensely by baking items and bringing them over to the Walker home.

It was a late night for people and everyone got settled in and everyone went to bed around 2 a.m. sleeping anywhere they could, couches, bedrooms, even the floor worked.

But no one complained about the hospitalities of the Walkers.

“We had people sleeping everywhere. It was an adventure, but everyone was comfy.”

“We found pillows and blankets for everyone.”

On Saturday morning, Christmas Eve, Mama cooked breakfast, over three dozen eggs, two bags of hash browns and two loaves of bread.

Lunch came and whatever Mama’s visitors had in their vehicles, they brought in to share with their new family.

Mama’s 12-foot long dining table was filled, “from one end to the other and we all ate.”

Saturday night’s supper was spaghetti with five jars of home made spaghetti sauce and Caesar salad.

On Christmas morning the group had toast and fruit.

During that time spent in the three bedroom home, Mama said her new family played pool, watched television and got to know each other.”

“We shared about cultures and traditions.”

Included in the group were Ukrainians, Russians, Swedish, East Indian, Mexian.

“We learned about cultures and traditions. Some of them had food from their countries. It was a real melting pot.”

Just before everyone left on Christmas, they took a group photo in front of the Christmas tree.

Mama told each person to make sure they text her so she knows they got to their destination safely for Christmas.

Originally, the Walkers were going to spend Christmas at their home with her son, daughter and two grandchildren, but things changed and the Walkers adapted to help and welcome strangers into their Cramahe Township home.

Looking back, Mama said, “this is just what we do.”

“If any of my family were out stranded, I’d hope that somebody would do that for them.”

The plan for the group is to get together in the summer and see each other on better circumstances.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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