Here we go starting another week and it’s feeling a bit like fall is sneaking up on us a little too soon for me. Maybe a good thing we can’t control the weather we just might get it all mixed up too.
September is upon us and it’s going to be a busy month too. The fall fair was last weekend and now the Terry Fox Run for cancer, two big events of importance to the welfare of our community and all of us regardless where we live.
Rick and Marie Hunter of Francois Lake had the most pleasant surprise visit with Rick’s brother Ken and his lovely wife Sharon from Kamloops. We also enjoy their visits as they are the most charming couple. As we all go back a lot of years as good friends. It’s always nice to have visits but they all seem much too short.
I have great memories of growing up on the prairie and harvest time was a busy time and a fun time too. Everyone was busy as the threshing crew would have to be fed. The women would always have helpers among the neighbors to help cook as some times there would be a dozen men who were working on the threshing machines.
Dad would always butcher a beef for the harvest crew. I used to enjoy driving a grain wagon hauling wheat to the elevator. I was just 10 years old when I started to drive a team of horses on a grain wagon. We would haul about 60 bushels of wheat per team per load. A heavy pull. Dad had three teams for hauling.
The grain combines started to come in and that took over from the threshing machines and they took away the big crews of workers. We went to see our neighbors first combine in our district. It was pulled by 20 head of horses and they had to work.
He had 20 horses on the combine and six hauling grain from the combine so they had to care for 26 head. I can just imagine the work.
In our town Evesham it was a busy little town at that time with stores, big school, church, five grain elevators, just a nice busy little prairie town.
Like towns of this size they had board sidewalks on both sides of the main street. When no one was looking I would ride my horse down the sidewalk jump off to get to the hitching rail, this was a no no bit time and I was playing my luck but this one day it ran out and the town constable met me with open arms and a mean look in his eye, pulled me off my horse and shook me up.
He said “Hugh you know better and I will tell your dad,” and I had that figured out, a good licking and my horse taken away for a week. I told him I would never do that again as I knew a horse on the sidewalk would pull the nails etc. I was taking out his pretty daughter so that may have helped me off the hook.
The C.P. railway used to pull the cowcatcher from the railway crossings every winter so you could walk or ride there railway tracks between trains. It was against the law but folks did it and took a chance. Trust me I tried it as a short cut into town. Saved about a half mile. I tried it twice, the second time I got caught by the section foreman and he was nasty and he threw a scare into me and I was in the wrong. I sure never rode the tracks again that’s for sure. It was a bit too dangerous for this kid.
One early morning in late fall we saw our neighbour walking down the tracks and he would step every minute or so and pick something up and keep on doing this for about a mile. What was he doing we wondered so Dad asked him. He had bought a big bag of four inch nails and he had them on his saddle horse. It was a spooky horse and the train sneaked up behind Tom and the horse took off full bore laying nails all along the track so he was picking up his nails to take home. That was a scare. The tracks were for trains not for guys to take shortcuts to save time as it was his spooky horse that time that saved his life. It had heard the train before Tom and got out of the way.
What a pleasant surprise to have my special friend Pastor Herb Larsen and his son Don. We had a great visit. This was Pastor Herb’s last visit this years as he is leaving his summer home on the lake and moving back to his winter home in Abbotsford. We are already thinking about next summer’s visiting and talking over old times.
This little story came to my mind so will pass it on
This happened many years ago in my taxi driving days and in the winter time too. The lake was frozen over and our neighbour was hauling lumber over the lake on the ice to be reloaded by truck into town. His team of horses were sharp shod for the ice. One horse lost a shoe so as he was re-shoeing the horses foot came loose and caught the open nail in his hand and tore his hand wide open, a real mess. Dr. Holmes’ office was in his home so that’s where we went and just 6 p.m. as well.
The doctor came to the door and I told him the story, Hugh he said I am hungry and tired and you are tired so you and your friend go to town have supper and then come back and I’ll fix up your friends hand. So that’s what we did and all went well. The hand healed up just fine. I helped re-shoe the horse and I was very careful too as it was a big horse and also a stallion so it was not easy to finish off the job.
There are many stories about Dr. Holmes and how important he was to us all in those early days. Nothing was ever too much for him, what a man and what a doctor.
A little saying to remember
Treat your loved ones and your friends as if it were your last day because someday it’s going to be.
Always remember God loves you and so do I.