September 11, 2013 · 5:13 pm
Word arrived yesterday: we are moving again. It is early spring and only a skiff of snow remains. There was lots in Grande Prairie in October when Ralph had his first birthday. Then shortly after that we moved here to McLennan.
This is a very interesting town. It is a major railway maintenance centre. The population is close to a fifty/fifty split between French and “Anglos” (the latter covering anyone NOT French). Many of the French people work in the railway shops, or in one way or another for the Catholic Church. A block away from our house is an imposing, very large cathedral. Close to it are clustered several buildings, a Catholic Separate School, and residences for students, teachers, priests, and nuns.
The Anglos make up the merchants, professionals, owners of small businesses and municipal workers. Sometimes it seems to me like two separate towns living very close to one another. The seismic crew and their families are welcomed warmly by both factions. We found our little old rental house in an area mainly French, not surprising as we are so close to the cathedral and the schools. However it is convenient for us, too: our tiny United Church is two blocks away. Sometimes the bells ringing in the cathedral almost down out our singing, but we persist. Thank heavens for the Mission and Service part of the national government of our church. Its subsidy keeps our small church going. Continue reading →
December 24, 2011 · 11:01 am
This had been quite a year. In mid-summer Dad moved Mom, Doris and me from the farm into Calgary. They were determined that we were going to have a chance to get a good junior- and high-school education. A suite was rented a half block from Haultain, a junior high, and a few blocks east of Central Collegiate Institution, a high school. All of this produced major changes in our lives – urban living, rented suite instead of the comfortable farm home, large schools instead of a one-room school with a handful of students. Nothing, absolutely nothing, was familiar save our parents’ love, encouragement, and the belief they had embedded in us of the importance of “an education”. It was a very steep learning curve, but we gradually became comfortable in our new life.
However, Christmas was almost here and we could hardly wait. All our lives we had celebrated Christmas Eve with our neighbours. We gathered at the home of Dagmar and George Nygaard, as did Emil and Hansene Dam, Chris Dam, and sometimes a few others. Dagmar, Emil and Chris were siblings, so it was a close group. The plan to attend was wonderful, but fate stepped in. To our dismay Dad developed a flu/cold condition complete with a fever. The doctor ordered him to go to bed and stay there until his temperature returned to normal. Between worrying about Dad and trying not to show our disappointment, Doris and I were a sad pair. Continue reading →