When I was nine years old, in Northern Montreal, I used to take a shortcut through a field to get to school. One winter day, crossing the frozen field, I crashed through the ice. Luckily for me, it was not deep. It was scary and freezing. I managed not to lose my boots which were weighed down with icy water. I walked in those wet soggy boots for the rest of that winter, they never dried up. I told no one, especially not my mother, for she was a very strict and incredibly thrifty woman, perhaps not by choice. Those boots were meant to be worn until I grew out of them. Raising three children on one measly salary, was a feat, requiring sacrifices and creative solutions.