Surprises and Challenges
It was early morning as I walked down the street from the hotel, accompanied by the clerk carrying our two suitcases. As we approached our house I could hear the ring of the blacksmith’s anvil as it hit hot steel. The shop was just a half-block beyond our house, and the smell of the hot coals in the blacksmith’s fire was pungent and unmistakeable. I unlocked the front door. The clerk stepped in, took a curious look around, and departed. His departure marked the end of our nights sleeping above the hotel’s beer parlour.
Shutting the door behind him, I leaned against it and took a deep breath. It was a mess! Where should I begin? I dithered a moment and then started with the obvious. Grabbing up broom and dustpan (some of yesterday’s purchases), I started to sweep up anything that could be swept and tossed it out the back door into the alley. The next tasks followed quickly: locating the gallon can of coal oil and filling the tank on the stove; pumping some water into a basin to wash up some dirty spots on the floor. My spirits started to rise as I made some progress. My thoughts flipped back to the Southern Ladies in the hotel in Saskatoon and I started to laugh. My guess was that they might not even know how to get water from a pump! Being a farm girl had some advantages. Continue reading