My typewriter gave me some trouble last week and I couldn’t finish my skink story so I will finish off this week.
Our son Richard has a home overlooking the barn and it was early morning. I was milking the cow and Jo my wife was on the hill feeding Richards chickens.
These were big white meat birds ready to butcher. I heard Jo calling bring the rifle there is skunk in the chicken yard up here. I always have a rifle in the barn so I picked it up and ran up the hill. Sure there’s a skunk and some dead chickens.
Jo had a big long stick trying to keep the skunk in the yard, why she didn’t get sprayed was a mystery. It had killed about five nice big birds. The skunk was a goner but the smell stayed in the yard for months. This was a long time ago and we have never had any more skunks.
This is a prairie story that has been in my mind for a long time and it’s true so I had better tell it, I am no doubt one of the few left who would remember it.
This story happened on our home place north of Evesham in the Eyehill Valley.
This was a lonesome place as there were very few living there at the time. There was government land still open for settlers. It had been mostly for returned soldiers from the great war. This land was about five miles of our place. A couple had taken over a deserted homestead. The wife was very young and her husband was much older and very unkind.
They had a baby as the mother walked up to visit Mother and had the child with her. After Dad took the team of horses and drove her home. Dad was upset when he saw the condition of the place. Her husband was away, good thing as Mom had sent some food home with Dad.
Dad said no way can they winter here. Winter came as usual and a tough one by its start. Mother was wondering what about that girl and her baby. This was November and winter had really set in and big time. It was evening and a blizzard on the way. Just after supper and a knock on the door, brother Peter ran and opened the door and there was this little mother with her baby covered with snow. She had walked the five miles from their shack to our place.
She was in rough shape, the baby was fine though. She was hungry and cold and you could see she had been crying a lot. She had a family in Ontario and her mother had sent her the train fare which she kept hidden from her husband. After she warmed up she asked Dad if he would take her to catch the early train in Evesham going eastbound. She was afraid of her husband as he was very abusive and unkind.
She was afraid for Dad as he was taking a chance as her husband was violent and was not afraid to shoot. Our dad was a tough man too so don’t worry. Next morning early Dad was at the door with lots of blankets and a fast team on the sleigh and that was the last time we saw of her.
Dad made the train in good time and saw her off. Our mother and her mother wrote back and forth for years. It was our mother and dad that really saved her life. The guy she left moved on to places unknown as we never heard of him again. Brother Peter remembers this but we have lost the names but it’s now over 80 years ago. A lot of water under the bridge.
Burns Lake is known for its skiers and for their ski club that’s such a drawing card to their club. When we came to Francois Lake in 1941 there are so many folks taking an active part. It was ever so popular everyone was a skier old, young and not so young.
Lakes District News this past week had some wonderful write ups on this sport. There were also some professionals from Burns Lake who hit the big time. Now we see a number of younger folks taking it up and doing so well, no doubt some of them will hit the big time as well.
My late wife Jo loved to ski and she was good too. I have two pairs of her cross-country skis that maybe some member of our family will take it up. I tried down hill a few times but lost my nerve and called it quits. At one time there used to be a number of cross-country skiers at the landing.
I stayed with horses I thought they were safer but that was a pipe dream as I got hurt bad a few times too.
A little poem
Hope that it will cheer you up when you are blue.
No person has ever added up the value of a smile,
We know how much a dollars worth and how much is a mile.
We know the distance of the sun, the size and weight of earth,
But no one here can tell us just how much a smile is worth.
The wrong message
An 84 year man went to the doctor for a medical. A few days later the doctor saw him walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm.
The next time the doctor saw him he asked what he was doing. “Great” says the old boy “I’m doing what you told me, get a hot momma and be cheerful.” I did not say that said the doctor I said you have a heart murmur and be careful. My remarks why not let the old boy die happy?
Best I close up now. Take care and always remember God loves you a great deal and so do I and I mean it.