Haying and Strawberries (FGK-21)

Thanks to some of you, I now know who the Barkleys are. I sure wish I’d known Mrs. Barkley, her letters sound so thoughtful and loving. And I know that I keep commenting on the handwriting, but hers is really quite fantastic. I can’t explain why exactly, but I really liked this letter, it made me feel warm and happy inside like a good cup of tea. Oh, and while I am thinking about tea – notice where she says they broke a saucer. Honestly, it never occurred to me when they’d bring food to the men in the field that they’d have tea cups with saucers. I don’t know what I’d imagined, but I just never thought of cups with saucers. So much work, but it does make tea taste better!

Although this letter is about daily life in Jumping Pound, the letter itself was mailed from Phoenix Arizona – it cost 6 cents to mail a letter from Arizona to Alberta in 1954 apparently.

So, where was Auntie Sheila off to that was giving her butterflies? Interesting to see that there was yet another polio outbreak in the area at this time – mom had been in the hospital just a few days short of 3 years by now. Kind of puts things in perspective for me with our current situation.

Sunday August 30 (1954)

Dear Margie

We haven’t heard any report of you lately and surly hope you are moving around now.

Sorry, I have been so slow in writing lately. Hope everyone else hasn’t neglected you so.

We are still at this hay job but hope to be finished in a few days. Our garden is producing a little now so it makes my job a little easier. Mr. Barkley’s brother from Longview came and helped us and we have had quite a good boy to drive the tractor or the bailer. Carmen and I had to get pulled thru a creek at the Kaster place one day and I got stuck in a creek in Mr. Wallace’s field yesterday. Just broke one saucer hitting the bumps in all our trips that really was not too bad the way we had to go at times. I guess they will come to the house for the few dinners left.

Have been expecting some more good strawberries but as yet they haven’t arrived. The raspberries I believe were better than ever. I just had to go to Cochrane for them. Irene and Clarence met the at the school to get theirs.

Have there been many new patients coming in? Surely too bad there are so many cases again this year. The man and wife we know are in isolation yet but are evidently showing good improvement already.

My niece and her husband were here for a few days a week ago and expect some friends from Vancouver for a few days this week so hope this haying is finished before they arrive

Guess Sheila will be having butterflies today. Sure hope she likes her choice. We’ll all miss seeing her at the weekends. She really looked well and nice when we saw her a couple of weeks ago.

Hope to get some barely swathed this week. Plenty of green grain around yet. My men are talking bailing some hailed crop at the Kaster place.

Be a good girl Margie and hope I hear another “forward” report on you soon.

Best Wishes,

The Barkleys


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