A Letter From Rimbey 2

August 24, 1936

Dear Margaret,

What do you suppose would be the best thing to do with me.  I have a notion to get behind a wicked horse and ask him to kindly oblige by giving me partly what I deserve for neglecting to write.  I received your letter about four weeks ago and I certainly was glad to get it.  I’ve been pretty busy and haven’t had a  very good opportunity to write but of course that’s no excuse.  I suppose I had better start at the beginning and tell you some of the things that have been happening.  We went to the stampede in Rimbey and it was really good.  I was thinking I’d like to go and ride some of them but I had my good clothes on so I didn’t try it.  It was a good excuse, anyway.

English: Blindman River, near Rimbey, Alberta

English: Blindman River, near Rimbey, Alberta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, kid, how’s it going with you?  Have you got a school, etc.  I hope you don’t have to say no.  I just hired with a dairy farmer here the other day and he wants me to stay all winter.  Should I should, or should I shouldn’t?  I wonder.  If Marg is going to be away from home, I might just as well be.  I haven’t decided yet but you’ll let me know what you think, then I’ll decide whether you’re right or not, eh?Last Saturday morning I got a telephone message there was a wiener roast in Springdale and oh boy did I have fun.  I almost forgot I wasn’t with our own crowd at home.  They’re surely full of fun here and everybody enjoyed themselves.  There is one big trouble with this country and that is the mud roads.  They’re fine when they’re dry but when they’re wet, oh boy, watch out.  The car just goes about where it wants to.  Harold and I were going into town the other night in the rain and we were driving pretty carefully behind another car and that other car took the ditch over the river bank.  Well that gave me a start, and how.  Nobody hurt – pretty lucky.

They all piled in with me and we got to Rimbey and home again safely and was I glad!  I thought I did pretty well to keep on the road when the other fellows couldn’t.  On the way home from the wiener roast the rain came down in torrents and I was alone so I stopped for a while.  When it was over I started on again but the road was so slippery I got square across the road and had to back into the ditch to get going again and nearly didn’t get going.  I was afraid to go down the river hill when it was so slippery in the dark so I stopped and went to sleep in the car until daylight.

Then willy wouldn’t start!  Oh oh!  I got a guy out of bed and he gave me a pull with a team and I got home about ten thirty.  Did I get razzed or did I.  That’s enough of muddy roads for me.  If it gets wet, I stay home.

I think I’ll sign off for tonight and go to bed.  Maybe I’ll think of something more to write before another evening, so Good night kid.   Hank.

****

Smithson Museum in Rimbey, Alberta

Smithson Museum in Rimbey, Alberta (Photo credit: Sherlock77 (James))

And here I go again.  Nothing much out of the ordinary happening, except that I was the object of an accident yesterday while riding the plough.  I was standing on it striking out a land when i hit a stone pretty solid.  I fell forward and hit my face on the iron rigging in front and you should see me now.  I look somewhat different.  It doesn’t hurt anymore but still looks bad.  Of course it isn’t nearly as bad as your accident with your hand last winter.

There is supposed to be a dance in Springdale tonight, so I guess I’ll go.  I don’t know what a person would do in this country if they didn’t dance.  Things would certainly be dull.

I’m going to try another page.  I surely wish I could write letters like you do, kid – they’re great.  The crops aren’t  very good out here, in fact they’re so poor that the boss and I invented a rig to use without twine.  We have a platform fixed on behind the binder and there I ride and fix the stuff into a coil then shove it off.  It was rather hard work the first day but I got used to it and it’s nothing but a day’s work now.

We don’t believe in hard work out here, they even have rigs to put hay on a stack without using the wagon.  It is pulled into the stack by a large rake affair and put on a stacker which throws it about twenty feet high.  All the forking is in making the stack.

Say kid, do you know if Newton is going back to the same school?  I’d like to see him.  I wouldn’t go to see him if I didn’t know for sure he’s there.

I can’t think of anything more to write except I’d like an answer lots sooner than I wrote.  You can send my letters to Rimbey in care of Irwin Budd, or to my farmer address – either one will get me.

I guess there’s no use writing when you’re out of things to write, so signing off for this evening.

With love and kisses, I remain, Hank

Living in Other Countries

Since W refuses to get himself even such a simple thing as a passport, I think it’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever leave Canada for a holiday, never mind actually move away and live in a different country.

My one experience going across the ocean and travelling for a couple of weeks in England and Scotland doesn’t make me much of an expert on what it’s like to live there year round. Scotland in the fall was beautiful, but I expect their winters might be just as drab as the ones we have here. Good thing our other three seasons are delightful.

Even living in another part of this country is a stretch, although both of us are from Ontario and our siblings are there. Now our kids and grandkids are Albertans and it would be very hard to go off and leave them behind. Living two or three days drive away from them makes 6 hours sound like nothing.

And if we moved away I would miss the jackrabbits. Tonight on the way home I was stopped at a red light and watched one of them dart up the lane to my right and then zip left across to the far sidewalk (with the green light) in front of six lanes of traffic. Crazy rabbit.

I have no idea why there are so many of them around, but there’s one that periodically visits our backyard. He’s no cute little bunny. Kind of homely actually, with his long face and long legs and mottled grey-brown fur. He’ll look a bit better in the winter when he turns white, but then he’s harder to see. Which is the whole point of course.

Too bad I don’t seem to have any real point for even bringing up the subject of hares in the discussion of living in another country. I was just kidding about missing them. But I felt like posting a white-tailed jack-rabbit picture, so I did and there it is.

These topics are just suggestions to get us talking, right? Tomorrow maybe I’ll work cloudberries into whatever we’re supposed to be going on about. I’d sure hate to move somewhere and never see another one of those.

Powered by Plinky