Tag Archives: Pacific Ocean

Rocks

rocks

A couple of days ago, Michele at Life As A Garden ….(she has a beautiful blog – you should check it out) (go ahead, I’ll wait right here)…..wrote this comment on one of my posts:

“You could be talking about rocks and I would find the reading interesting and entertaining.”

After reading this one lovely little sentence there were so many thoughts tumbling around in my head that I was unable to form a coherent reply.  Although that’s nothing new.

I love getting comments, by the way, which I read mostly on my phone, thinking I will go back to them later when I’m on my laptop and reply to them properly.  But time goes by and I don’t get around to it and I feel bad about that, so I try to convince myself that the commenter by now has totally moved on and maybe doesn’t even remember what he or she said, or more likely who I am, and how embarrassing would it be to post a reply now, RIGHT??  So it’s not personal.  It’s just me being a super procrastinator.

But back to those tumbling thoughts I mentioned.  Here’s a few of the highlights.

1.  Holy cow, somebody finds me interesting and entertaining.  Yay!

2.  Huh – she’s right.  I rarely write about anything earth shatteringly important.

3.  And, I’m not about to start doing so any time soon, or most likely ever.

4.  Because my best posts are quite often about completely stupid things.

5.  Hey! Wait a minute!  I have a story about rocks!

Way back in 1969 or somewhere thereabouts, my dad was Reeve of our little Ontario township and got invited to go to a Good Roads Convention in Alberta, all the way at the other end of the country.  He and mom decided it would be a great idea to take their three daughters on a road trip.  We would travel to the convention, and then continue on all the way to the west coast.  We were all excited to see the Pacific Ocean for some strange reason which totally escapes me now.

We borrowed my brothers car, because he was a great mechanic and always had cars that could be trusted to drive clear across countries getting great gas mileage and not breaking down.  For me, travelling has always been something one endures in order to leave one place and arrive at a completely different place.  I’m getting better at enjoying the journey, but not much. I should have taken lessons from my mother when I had the chance.

She loved every single minute in that car, pouring over road maps and reading aloud every sign we passed, calculating how far we’d go and where we’d stop for breaks and gas and where we’d sleep.  She wrote down what we spent and the weather we encountered and what we had for breakfast, for all I know.  And every time she stepped foot out of the car, she picked up a souvenir rock.

We were all encouraged to appreciate and exclaim over the special characteristics of each unique chunk of the landscape that mom tucked away in the trunk or under the seats or in the glove compartment all the way to the coast and back. I thought she should write on them so she’d remember where they came from but she said that would spoil them.  I didn’t know that was possible, but I guess that’s how you spoil a rock.

The other thing we collected was a glass bottle full of Pacific Ocean water, complete with some kind of goopy green seaweed and a few shells and some sand.  If we had only kept the bottle sealed we might still have it hanging around somewhere looking all murky and mysterious.  But a couple of weeks after returning home we realized it smelled really bad and dumped it down the laundry tub drain.

You may be wondering what mom did with all those precious rocks she collected, and the truth is, I’m wondering too.  I’m wondering if the fun was in the collecting and she really had no firm plan for them at all.  Maybe she lost track of their numbers or just got tired of hauling them out of the car when we were unpacking.  Or she may have meant to go back for the rest of them and never got around to it.  (I did get a few of her genes).

My brother brought dads car back and picked up his own and drove it home. He probably took it to a car wash to clean it off and vacuum it out, because it wasn’t too long before we got his phone call, wanting to know why the hell his car was full of rocks.

Well you really couldn’t pretend not to know.  We told him they were moms, and he should bring them back, because she worked so hard to gather them up and haul them thousands of miles.  But Dad told him to just throw them out, so that’s what he did.

The funny thing is I don’t know where the rest of them ended up – did mom take any of those rocks out of the car?  She certainly never mentioned them again in all her ‘wonderful trip’ stories.  I guess it’s just one of our family mysteries which will remain forever unsolved because probably no one but me even remembers it.  Hey, it’s a story about rocks.  I didn’t say it was going to be exciting.

Anyway, thank you Michele for your inspirational comment.  If you never say anything to me again for fear of getting me started,  I totally understand.

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A Letter From Rimbey

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

Rimbey, Alberta, June 12, 1936

Dear Margaret,

I received your letter on Tuesday and was certainly glad to get it.  Its the first one for over a month and it does me good.  We only get mail delivery twice a week here.  If I’d stayed in Nanton I would have got it some time sooner.  It was a dandy too – everything in it was interesting.  Well I’ll try to go on from where I left off last time.

We finished our job on the Thursday at noon the day you got my letter and we just bummed around town for the rest of the day and part of Friday, then we decided to come up here.  We got to Calgary as you’ll know by the card I expect you received.  We fooled around there looking at the city until about eleven o’clock, then pulled out to the top of a hill to sleep.  We didn’t get up till the sun was high up in the sky next morning, and then got going again.  We arrived here Saturday evening about five o’clock.

On the way we saw a good many fields of stooked grain that had never been thrashed.  The hail had shelled it so badly it wasn’t worth thrashing.  That’s the kind of country this is, very undependable.  I’ve been driving six and eight horses at a time – it’s quite nice for a change.  I feel as if I’m doing something.A field of stooked grain

As I said before, we arrived here on a Saturday.  Well I sowed grain on the following Sunday and ploughed with six horses on Monday and several days hence.  Oh!  I mustn’t forget to tell you I was given a government job shortly after I reached Alberta.  I was on the road surveying and cutting brush for a few days.  Isn’t that getting up in the world, working for the government?

I was ploughing about two and a half miles from here today and a thunderstorm came up without much warning.  I turned toward the old barn and just got there in time for the hail and rain started to come and did it come!  The hail was no ordinary size either.  I couldn’t get the horses to go around to the side of the barn where the door was because the storm was blowing so hard.  They just stayed in shelter beside the barn.  Of course I had to stay and watch them, and got sort of damp.

There was supposed to be a dance in Bluffton tonight and I suppose we would have gone only the rain made the roads so muddy.  You see they don’t gravel the roads in the pioneer district and they certainly get greasy with very little rain.  The soil is mostly clay.

I guess by the time this reaches Ontario you’ll be home so I’ll address it to Turners.  How was our Blanche when you last saw her?  I guess I’d better write to her, I do so enjoy her letters and I guess that’s the only way of getting one.  That certainly is interesting about the colt and the calves, that’s what I’d call real news.  It’s much better than a lot of idle gossip.

I hope you’ll forgive me kid, something tragic happened to that letter you sent and I only had a chance to read it once.  The boss’s wife says she noticed an envelope in the sweeping but thought it one of her old letters, so it went into the stove.  I guess that’s what happened.  I remember you saying you didn’t want to go out and not enjoy yourself.  That’s swell of you because I feel the same way myself.  I’ve also met a lot of people, of course some very nice girls too, but they’ll have to go some distance yet to come up near the mark of a little girl I know in the east.

We’ve almost decided to go to the coast in July for the jubilee there.  What do you think of that?  Then when harvest is over we can go back home if we don’t land a job here or something.  I think it will be much nicer travelling in July than late in November.  There ought to be more to see while the jubilee is on.  I’ll try to take a swim in the Pacific Ocean.  Won’t that be something.  Of course I’ll send you some cards from Victoria and Vancouver.

King George-VI
King George-VI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I asked Harold if he could think of any news.  He said King George died and King Eddie is now on the throne.  He says to threaten you that he might write to you sometime.  Well kid, my brain is beginning to go hooey again.  I know you’ll be thinking I’ve neglected to write but I couldn’t get it away any sooner anyway, so I guess you’ll just have to wait.  You can keep sending my mail to Nanton because I’ll likely be going back there before long.  I’ll be looking for a letter before long kid, so I’ll be signing off.  I wish I could think of more to write to the best girl in the world, but seeing it’s impossible –

I’ll be thinking of my darling until I hear from her,

with love,

Your Hank.