One of the signs that spring was coming was when all the maple sugar camps scattered across the countryside were once again in use. There were lots of sugar maple trees in the area and many families looked forward to supplementing their income by boiling down the sap to make maple syrup every spring. It was a lot of hard work trudging through the woods drilling holes into the trees and setting up the taps and pails and then checking them every day, dumping the sap into a tank that they pulled through the woods on a sleigh and take it back to the camp where they boiled it down to maple syrup.
We didn't have very many maple trees on our little acreage so we weren't too caught up in all the action. We had our own things to do to prepare for the season. Daddy would try to make a lot of extra furniture to show at a booth in the annual Maple Festival in a nearby town.
We children had to take turns every year to go along to the festival with Mom and Daddy on Saturday. I could hardly wait until it was my turn to go. There were so many things to see. With booths filled with every imaginable craft and homemade things and of-course plenty of maple syrup and and maple candy.
In the afternoon we were able to watch the parade. I enjoyed seeing the different bands but what I looked forward to the most was the float with the Maple Queen. She always looked so pretty and happy as she rode by smiling and waving at everyone. I wished I could do that some day but knew I would never have a chance to fulfill that dream.
At school children would come and share maple candy that they had made. Recess was spent licking the pieces of sticky maple candy. Some of the more daring boys would try to chew it and would always end up with their mouth stuck shut for a while, while the others laughed at them.