Oh Canada

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So this happened….

I don’t know, is there anything more Canadian than two RCMP officers dressed in red serge mounted on magnificent black horses in a Starbucks drive through? Well yeah, they maybe should have picked a Tim Hortons, but still. Lots of weird stuff happening during our country’s 150th birthday year.  This was in June (click on pic for link).

The only reason I know about it is because I looked it up on Monday morning after I was walking through my living room on my way to somewhere else and heard the clippity clop of big horse feet, and thought that’s pretty weird shit for this or any random little residential street.  So I looked out my front window as two mounted police went by my house.

This is the kind of thing that makes you wonder if you’re hallucinating, insane, deluded, dreaming, or all of the above.  I could so easily have missed it.  There was no time to grab my phone to take a picture because although they were going at a very leisurely pace, they were there and then they were gone in the time it took for me to pick my jaw up off the floor.

The only thing I could find online was this coffee run picture from a month ago.  I guess they may very well be doing these patrols intermittently all summer around here.  And I would have been oblivious to this news if it hadn’t walked by my front yard.

So, here’s a list of things I have seen this summer although I don’t live in a rural setting or by a pond or in a forest:

  1. A big black and white cat.
  2. Many dogs on leashes walking their humans
  3. A coyote
  4. A pair of mallard ducks checking out the neighbors driveway mud puddle
  5. Two jack rabbits. Or could be more, they all look alike.
  6. The resident squirrel and the encroaching squirrels he chatters at and chases away
  7. Many big black crows
  8. Lots of gorgeous magpies
  9. A few bluejays
  10. HORSES for the love of God.

So what’s next, elephants and UFOs?  I’ll keep you posted.

Hey, speaking of posted, I read in the local paper that postal workers want to bring back door to door mail delivery here.  Maybe not-so-disgruntled mail carriers will be the next thing I see from my very own front door.  Not holding my breath for that one though.

Last Letter From Rimbey

W will be heading home this week from his extended stay in Ontario.  I’m not kidding with the ‘extended’ part.  He’s been gone for almost six months.  My comfy, lazy, living alone days are about to come to an end.  The huge difference between 2012 and 1936 – when my dad left for his extended adventure in the wild west – is that we can phone and text daily if we feel like it.  For my mom and dad there were only a couple of letters back and forth in a month or so.  I think that must have made it feel like their time apart would go on forever as they lead their separate lives.

In this letter (the last one I have) dad seems to be winding down and wearing out from working hard and playing harder.  He’s sounding ready to head back home.

Rimbey, Alberta

October 1, 1936

Dear Marg,

I received your very welcome newsy letter last week and was I glad to hear from you, or was I?   Well I’ll say so.  I’m so glad you got a school.  What’s Marguerite doing now?  You didn’t say.  I suppose Newton is still at the same school.  There are so many questions I would like to ask it would take most of the night so I’ll quit.  I hope to see you before Santa Claus comes and when I do, Oh boy!  Won’t you see a happy boy.

I wouldn’t try to fool you by telling you I haven’t been enjoying myself here because I have really been having a whale of a time and am only half decided on whether I want to leave or not.  I told Alvin Boetger I’d call for him at Moosejaw on the way home, so I guess I’ll strike out anyway, although I haven’t any idea when. It will likely be some time yet because this job lasts for at least a month if I’ll stay.  I don’t know my own mind for any length of time.

The night I posted that last letter I broke the axle of the car and I rode to Springdale on horseback and what a night.  Twelve miles both ways.  I left here about ten and got there for three dances, then rode back again.  I let the horse walk and the sun was just coming over the edge of the hills when I arrived home.  I certainly felt great the next few days.  I was hobbling around like an old man.  It’s all worn off by now of course.

There’s another dance tomorrow night at the same place, so I’ll say goodbye to everybody just in case I take a notion.  The way I did when leaving home.  I don’t know whether it would be safe for me to land in home now or not.  I might have some difficult questions to answer.  Oh well, I’ve had lots of things to figure out for myself all summer.  Harold tells me I’ve changed a hell of a lot this summer – what do you think of that?  I hope it’s for the better.  I sort of have my doubts though.  I’ll ask you when I see you.  (next spring??)

Threshing Scene

Threshing Scene (Photo credit: Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons)

I hear nearly everybody is getting married up there.  I hope you haven’t any such foolish notion!?  I think it’s too much fun this way myself.  I’ve been disking the last few days with six horses abreast and is it dusty.  I got in seven days of threshing – wasn’t that a lot?  Oh well, I’m still living.  We certainly had a whale of a time threshing.  Harold was the life of the gang.  He sure was foolish.  Well I’ve been talking here for a long time and forgot anything I was going to say, so I’ll sign off for now.

***

Another night.  How are you doing, etc.  Saturday in fact.  I’m waiting for my boss to bring back my car from town and then I’m going places, to post this letter, etc.  The dance last night was a howling success.  A big time, but not so much fun today.  They tell me I’m getting thin, but I don’t believe it.  I haven’t had a good appetite for the last three weeks but I’m still feeling not too bad.  They tell me I’m  homesick.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re right.  You’ll have to try like a school teacher to make connections in this letter.

Smithson Museum in Rimbey

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

There really hasn’t been anything overly exciting happen and I don’t know what to write being you don’t know the people here.  There’s a girl here wants to go back east with us.  She’s taken a shine to Harold I think.  I told her we had a load, sorry, etc.  I’m getting good at saying things I don’t mean – I guess that’s bad, what?

Well kid, I’ll have to call this a letter.  Anyway, I made a stab at it, which is more than I did during the summer.  The car is coming, so toodeloo.

With loads of love and kisses,

Hank.