happiness

Everywhere I went folks seemed glad to see me (FGK-55)

What I remember most about Aunt Gertie is that she always had a smile on her face. When I saw her at a family gathering I always looked forward to visiting with her because I knew I would walk away with a smile. What a great way to have people see you in the world – wherever you go people are happy you’re there!

I love her letters, she describes things so well I feel like I’m there, and it was kind of fun to have a little tour around Alberta.

Cochrane, Alberta

Nov 9, 1954

Dear Margie

Well since I last wrote you I’ve covered some 100 miles and had a really grand trip.

The first day we went to Wetaskiwin, Camrose, Banff and Rosalind. It’s this last place we visited my friend Ruth Ballard and her family and stayed there for the night It was so nice to renew old acquaintances and get caught up in the news.

Next day we drove to Castor and Coronation. We stayed here for 2 days visiting Butterfields. Ray and May got me my first tea schools(?) near Veteran. They both teach school. May teaches Household Economics and Ray is the principal. When we arrived at the school Ray was conducting cadet performances outside in the school yard. They were very interesting to watch. Besides the boy cadets he had organized a girls cadet corps. They have smart uniforms too. They wear short black jackets and green and white plaid shirts. They have dark tame(?) with an insignia on the front. Ray was the first teacher in Alberta to have a girls cadet unit. Since then other troops have organized one too and various interesting competitions have resulted.

May showed me through her economics room. It is lovely with such a wonderful kitchen unit with built in cupboards, a gas stove, and an electric stove, a refrigerator, mix master, washing machine, and ironed. On the sewing side they have large cutting tabled, mirrors for sheering, fittings of dress, etc. And some fine sewing machines.

In the evenings we had good companionship. George and Ray got along famously. They went hunting one evening after school but didn’t have any luck. Around Wetaskiwin we saw huge flocks of ducks and geese.

We went back to Veteran where I used to teach and I met several I used to know and some of the students I had, They are nearly all married with children of their own now. It was 23 years ago I taught there so I thought they did well to remember me. Everywhere I went folks seemed glad to see me and I came home with such a wonderful glow of happiness.

When we came back to Didsbury we stopped and visited Alf Allan and his wife. We had such a wonderful supper there and they showed us all through their ____ school. It accommodates 500 students and is truly modern in every sense of the word. What a difference from the schools I attended!

Coming home we stopped at Brushy Ridge for the card party and raffle. It was lots of fun. Needless to say we didn’t get home until 12:30.

It’s so lucky we went when we did. During our absence our hired couple found a new job – closer to town. They had helped us get all caught up and the house was just shining so we were grateful for their help. However now we are on our own we won’t be able to make anymore wonderful visits like this one.

Annie and Ed were here Sunday. They are looking just fine and Clarence David is such a Bonnie boy.

Sibyl and Jack were here too and Albert Shickey and Ralph Kerr so we had a real nice visit.

Well Margie, I keep looking forward to the day when I can see you. I hope it won’t be long now

Lovingly yours

Aunt Gertie

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Going to School in Bed (FGK-54)

Before Covid, I would have thought that it would be a kid’s dream to be able to go to school in bed. And, although I think the girl has come to like the fact that she only has to get out of bed 2 minutes before class starts to go sit in her pjs at the computer, I would have to say that no- I was wrong, these online classes are pretty challenging. Of course, it’s a different situation than the one mom was in, and it’s even a different situation from my own online classes which are set up really well with lots of support. Instead it’s become pretty isolating and really difficult to get help from the teachers. I’m guessing mom hated going to school in bed. The only childhood stories about school I ever heard were the ones where she rode her horse with her brother and sister to the Jumping Pound School. However, pre-covid we used to joke that living life in bed like the grandparents in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would kind of be like a dream come true. Not anymore!

Pearce, Alberta

Feb 19, 1954

Dear Margaret

It was so nice to receive a letter from you because I thought you would be getting so many letters that you wouldn’t find time to write to everyone, but you did anyway and I hope you will continue to write. I received your letter February 12.

Do you enjoy going to school in bed? Are there many children taking the same grade as you are?

Yesterday we went to Lethbridge to the dentist, all but my oldest brother. I had two teeth x-rayed to see if the roots were ok so that they could be filled later if they were.

The wind was sure blowing today. One of our granaries blew part way off its foundation. It hadn’t done that before even when it was empty. There was a tiny bit of wheat in it.

The subject that I like best at school is Science and Home Economics. We sure got a good science teacher. I dislike Social Studies the most because of the teacher Miss Hyssop, who hardly anyone likes. She likes to see how much homework she can give us. We had a test in Social Studies today.

I have got a pen pal down in Burbank California whose grandparents on her mother’s side live in Calgary.

A few days ago my kitten and my sister’s kitten followed us up to the bus. They raced around, laid on the ground and rolled about kicking their feet in the air trying to get some attention. They started to fight once then raced up a light pole. When the bus came they raced towards the yard, their tails awfully big. They were sure scared of what we sometimes call the “Yellow Bug”.

Are you at all lonesome for the farm after being in the hospital? Did you have any pets at the farm you lived on?

That is all for now, hoping to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Mary Ann de Koning

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Career Day and French Class (FGK 53)

We are in the final stretch of the school year for my girl and I have to say the stress level is unbearably high. Compared to the requirements her “in school” friends have, the online expectations are through the roof. 70ish years ago it seems as though the stress on students was about as high.

June 20, 1952

Dear Marg

Gee it’s been nice out. Didn’t do a thing over the weekend though. Went to Eklund’s and played five hundred (Marsh and I). Saturday night Pete and Jeff Norman came down and taught us a new game called “blackout’. It’s sure good. Something like whist.

On Sunday Nichols had a tobogganing party but I didn’t go ‘cause I didn’t feel so hot.

Anne O <this is the friend From yesterday’s letter, she signed it Anne O> went up to Edmonton with a bus full of kids from Tech this weekend. They started at 7am Saturday morning and got back 6am Sunday morning. I guess Anne was dead tired.

Peggy and I went to see ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’ at the uptown staring Clifton Webb. It was really god. All music and comedy.

Mom bought me a white blouse and some more pyjamas. Real jazzy.

I guess Peggy and I came in on time yesterday ‘cause Sonia said that they just had our door open when we were coming up the stairs. They were going to put breadcrumbs in our bed. They did to Barbara and Evelyn and they haven’t a clue as to who did it.

Jan 22, 1952

Well I’m writing this at 8:15am so please excuse mistakes. The Winnipeg ballet was really good. There were three different stories one was the Shooting of Dan McGee. Peggy went at night and she said it was just dancing, no stories at all.

Peggy says to tell you I’ve been feeling stupid all week, and I have too.

Dr. And Mr. Gordon went to California yesterday. Oh Happy day!!

Well must go to school now

Love Sheila

Thurs Afternoon

Well, I went to see Mr. Colette about that career day. There were three of us. Jane Rowan, Doug Hamilton and I. We’re going to have Ken Coppock talk to us on agriculture.

And in French did I ever feel dumb. I was talking about keeping awake in class and about how to do it. I said to Sheila (she sits in front of me) “I wish I could find a formula to keep awake” and Miss Devivona(?) heard me. She was coming up the aisle so she put her hand on my head and started shaking it. “Oh do you Sheila. Let’s see if you can get on without it” or something like that. I blushed like mad.

Fri. 3:00

I was sick yesterday after school.well anyway I went to see Mr Collette about that career day and I might have go to ask Ken Coppock to give us a lecture on agriculture besides interviewing 3 other speakers. It’s good training I guess but Gad!!! I wouldn’t be able to say a word when I am with them. Oh well!! The worst they can do is kick me out.

Well must get my homework done

Love Sheila

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Riding Home in the Moonlight (FGK-52)

I’m not sure who this is, maybe it’s a friend of my aunt? This letter again is a reminder that my social life is totally lacking. Not that I’ll do anything about it, it’s just a reminder.

I’d love to have a beautiful ride home in the moonlight. I’m pretty sure every horse I’ve ever owned besides maybe one or two was too spooky to be pleasant for a ride like that, but the idea sounds fantastic.

I deleted the name of the poor annoying little cousin. I’m sure she outgrew that phase of life – there’s a big difference between older teens and kids. I used to babysit a lot when I was a teen and into my early 20s and I always said it was the best form of birth control because I saw how much little kids needed 24/7 and I knew that I needed to wait until I was totally certain I had the desire to give up so much of myself. That said, I was still totally unprepared for most of parenting.

310-14th st. NW

Calgary, Alberta

Nov 10 1952

Dear Margy

Well, how are you getting along? Goodness I haven’t seen Sheila for ages and ages. So I have no idea how you are or anything. Guess you’re fine though eh?

Well goodness! I haven’t written to you in ages. I went home last – the weekend before last weekend. I sure had a wonderful time. My Dad rounded up on Saturday. Garry was home from Montana and he and I decided to ride home (13 miles) in the moonlight. We got home at 1am but it was a really beautiful night and we had fun. My mom was having a fit because we were hungry when we got to our place so we got ourselves a supper. We made so much racket that it was really funny!

On Sunday Mom and Dad and I went to church in Milo. They’ve been using the church for a school and it is certainly a mess! When we came out all the little boys in town were out picking up beer bottles in front of the church (there was a dance there Friday night). What a place.

They’ve got the most beautiful school in Milo. It’s not quite finished but it’s really a beautiful place. It’s nearly all windows. Gosh! I wish I was 10 years younger. I’d sure like to go to school there. Lots of fun!

I have just gone through a set of exams – three last Friday. Goodness! I was worn out. It was really awful. I was so tired when I got home that I wasn’t making sense. I kept forgetting what I was saying. Goodness! What a time!

My cousin _______ (she’s 9) and my aunt are staying here right now. My uncle is in the Holy Cross Hospital recovering from an operation. They’ve been here for about a week. ______ makes so much noise it’s awful! I was trying to study last week and she kept yelling! It really went over big. I could cheerfully have shot her. It was really bad, what a brat!

I went up to the dance on Friday night but it was a flop! No kidding. The orchestra was awful. There was twice as many girls as boys and there weren’t many of either. Leah and I went together. We’d both turned down dates because it’s usually more fun to go alone. Well did we feel smart. If you weren’t with someone you had a rotten time! Ron finally did turn up so I was ok but Lea’s friend never did. It was quite funny – I was so tired I kept falling all over Ron’s feet. So we danced a couple of times after supper and then we came home. I hope he was as bored as I was but he was the one that suggested we leave so I guess it was ok. Goodness! Next time if he asks me again that is I’ll certainly go with him in the first place. Gosh! I sure do the craziest things. Believe me!

Ron and I went to see the show ‘The Quiet Man’ last Wednesday. Everyone told me it was so terribly funny. So we went, but it wasn’t all the funny – at least I didn’t think it was. Neither of us enjoyed it that much.

Leah and I are going tonight. My cousin was supposed to go but my grandparents thought that since I’d had her all day yesterday it was their turn. So they took her. I was sort of relieved but maybe I should have taken her because they have her all the time. But honestly! She’s such a pill! She talks out loud during the show and it’s really quite an ordeal!

Oh well! Guess I should get busy! I really should have a bath but I guess it’s quite cold out so that’s not such a hot idea!

I sure hope you’re feeling better Margy. I’m sorry that I couldn’t write to you before this but I was so busy it was just a terrific rush! I nearly went mad trying to do it all. Gosh! What a time. I had a great big essay to write for today so I really had a pleasant weekend, believe me.

Well gotta fly

So long

Anne

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Sorry I Haven’t Written, I’ve Been Too Busy Wrestling (FGK-51)

Honestly, these letters make me realize how pathetic my social life is, and not because of Covid. He says he hasn’t had enough exciting to write about, and then describes more activity than I’ve seen in like 3 years haha. I am much relieved though 70 years later to not be the one ratting out my uncle for climbing out the window, instead it was the other kids (it’s always the other kids). Seriously, these Mount Royal days sound like a lot of fun.

Writing Marsh in these letters feels a little bit like the time, years ago, when my son touched my cousin’s husband’s moustache. We were all frozen with fascination and horror, but knew that it was something that shouldn’t happen and never, ever would again.

My uncle would have been almost 16 when he wrote this letter (mom would have been 12.5) and it seems his love of airplanes had already started. I absolutely love that he was going to take his airplane engine into the hospital to show her. I would imagine that would have given everyone there something to talk about!!

Mount Royal College

May 12, 1953

Dear Margie

I’m sure sorry that I didn’t write much sooner but I just don’t seem to be able to think up enough things to tell you that would be worth while to put in a letter. Last night before I got the last card you sent me I started to write a letter but just before that I had a wrestling match with Bernard. We were so evenly matched that the fight went on for a long time until both of us were too tired to fight anymore. I started to write you but fell asleep for the whole study period so I had to do my homework this morning after breakfast.

Last night the other two boys in the suite with Wayne and I crawled out of the window and got in their car and went across the bridge to get some milk-shakes. When I woke up there was a milkshake waiting for me. They’re darn lucky they didn’t get caught. The window to the suite is very easy to get in and out of as they sure make use of it. I haven’t used it yet but I think I will soon, just for the fun of it.

Last Saturday I was plowing with the new John Deere and boy is it slick. To trip the new plow, instead of pulling on a rope you just push the hydraulic lever ahead which pumps oil into a cylinder on the plow and trips it. I suppose that you do not understand all that lingo but it works on that principal. There is only room for one person to ride on it because it is a big high tractor like this:

We just started to plow on Saturday. Bill and Ken are going at it full force now I guess. It’s still pretty wet out there though.

Well, we sure got a big slug of calves now. Must be 250. I’ve got 27 I think and should have three more coming.

Last Saturday I got Red in to ride and he hasn’t been rode for quite a spell so when I climbed on I had to pull leather for a while because every time I went to grab the horn it wasn’t there. Well I sure rode him when I got everything straightened out. He never piled me though, but I guess that ain’t my fault.

I’m truing to sell these Stampede Queen tickets, butI guess I aren’t a very good salesman. That is the most hopeless job there ever was. I’ve had them a month and only sold two of them.

Did I tell you that I bought a little airplane engine? It’s a real internal combustion engine that is like a car motor. It burns high octane gasoline. I am mounting it in a boat which is a model cruiser. It should go about 15 miles per hour. I will bring it in to show you on Sunday. I started it up this afternoon and it sure roared. Tonight in study period I was fooling around with it and I accidentally started it. I sure was scared and I couldn’t shut it off. I grabbed the flywheel to stall it and the thing only turns over about 10,000 times every minute so I slightly burned my thumb but I finally got it stopped! I was sure scared the study teacher would hear because it makes an awful roar.

See you Sunday xxx

Marsh

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The Mumps and Menus (FGK-50)

Having spent a great deal of time in hospitals while Mom and Dad were in dying (I tried to put that more eloquently, but it is what it is) I don’t think hospital food is anything like it was in the 1950s. Not that it would have come close as a substitute for Grandma’s cooking, but aside from the poison they served on Thursday for lunch, it doesn’t look that bad. Thursday’s lunch brings back childhood memories of sitting at the diner table, my piece of liver covered in at least 4 inches of ketchup, and little Melissa crying her eyes out after realizing that no amount of ketchup could hide the nasty taste of the liver. Poor mom, she really loved it and the full on rebellion she was met with meant it didn’t grace our dinner table often (but yay for me!)

Pincher Creek, Alta

Aug 9th, 1955

Dear Margaret

Well last night at this time I thought I would be with you by now. You could have knocked Janet and I over with a feather when we got your message at Macleod. I guess we looked like two stunned ducks. Oh well, we had a nice morning drive. I sure hope you are not too sick with the mumps. Anyway you should be immune after this. Neither Janet or I are afraid of being exposed to them as we have been exposed many times, so I certainly would like to spend a few days with you as soon as you feel you can stand one – let me know.

Your mother seems to be very busy this time of year but maybe I could help her some.

Have a good rest and get caught up on your radio programs. I don’t suppose you’ll feel much like reading but I am sending you a few hints in this card to help you feel amused.

I got through grade 12 all right but nothing exceptional. I haven’t made plans for fall yet, you know they turned me down when I applied to nurse so now I have decided on Pharmacy or Lab Technician. I’ve been working a Drug Store since school ended but finished last Saturday. I am going to Beauvais Lake tonight for a few days.

This is short but I hope to see you before long. Don’t give the mumps to the rest of your family.

Love Verna

I tried to zoom in on the days a bit -so it’s the same menu below
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Fur Coats and Casts (FGK-49)

I had a little giggle at the thought of Grandma writing this letter while at the hairdresser’s. Getting her hair done was one of Grandma’s sacred activities and it was always important to her that her hair was done nicely and she was presentable. In fact right after she died, my aunt in a beautiful act of love and kindness sat down and did her hair properly before the funeral home took her away. I sat with my aunt while she did that, and it has always remained with me as one of the greatest acts of love that I have witnessed. It also was the only time I ever saw Grandma’s hair down.

I remember as a teenager Grandma deciding she needed a new fur coat. I was lucky enough to only be pulled into that process for one day, but trust me- it was not a 10 minute process. It was not even a 10 hour process. It perhaps was a 10 day process, but it felt more like a 10 week process. Aside from my personal ethical issues with fur coats, that experience guaranteed I would never own one! She sure loved it though, and it was certainly the style at the time.

Finally, there have been several mentions in these letters about packs and casts. I did a little bit of research about why these were used And you can read the atricle here. But here is an excerpt from the article “Early treatments for paralyzed muscles advocated the use of splints to prevent muscle tightening and rest for the affected muscles. Many paralyzed polio patients lay in plaster body casts for months at a time. But long periods in a cast often resulted in atrophy of both affected and healthy muscles. Treatment of polio was revolutionised in the 1930s by Elizabeth Kenny, a self-trained nurse from Queensland, Australia. Kenny developed a form of physical therapy that used hot, moist packs and massage and exercise and early activity to maximize the strength of unaffected muscles and stimulate the remaining nerve cells that had not been killed by the virus.” I remember mom talking briefly about how painful the treatment sessions were and this kind of makes me throw up in my mouth a little. Poor mom.

Tues 4:30 pm

Dear Margie

I’m writing this while under the dryer at the hair-dresser’s. We came to town – Dad and I – to buy me a fur coat. Think of that! Aren’t I lucky? Dad said we could easily do it in 10 minutes so I didn’t dare shop around for one but got a very nice one at the Hudson Bay. A Persian Lamb.

Uncle Harry is coming up to visit you with me tomorrow so be prepared for fun and have a few jokes to tell him too if you can – he has wanted to see you for a long time now. I may not wear my new coat in, the car is so hard on it – I’ll keep it till Sunday to wear eh?

Kay Whittle and I are on the refreshment committee for the Eastern Star tonight so I made 2 angel food cakes and a loaf of chicken sandwiches and left them at Aunt Ruth’s. So Dad and I are going to a show now and then go up to Cochrane and not go home till after the Star meeting. Pretty soft life eh? But we’re retired now you know – haha.

It’s sure nice being without a hired man though and Ken likes it too I think. Most of the cattle are over in Grand Valley and down at Springbank so others have the work.

I have been hoping and praying that you will soon have that old cast off, let’s hope soon anyway eh? Maybe tomorrow.

This blouse and skirt are not very expensive but are good enough tor lying in bed don’t you think? Everything is half-price now except the better wool skirts and they cost $20.00 so I just got those. They see you for a long time now. They are rather pretty I think.

We are supposed to go square dancing Wednesday night. Dad has Lodge meeting Thursday night and there is a dance in the Hall Friday night and Winnie and I have to make the sandwiches so I won’t have any dinner parties this week – we’ll be staggering tired by Saturday.

Well I must close now and will see you tomorrow. Sure hope you are well and happy.

Loads and loads of love dear

Mother xxxxx

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Closed because of Polio (FGK-48)

I don’t remember being told about places being closed regularly due to polio outbreaks, but it does seem as though this was happening during these years. This letter, and a few of the others written from mom’s hospital friends make me think that she was one of the last ones left on the ward from their original group. It must have been so hard on both sides, leaving your friends knowing they were still ill, and watching your healthy friends be able to go home. Especially because it seems as though no mental health assistance was available at the time. I think it was because these years were so incredibly traumatic that this entire experience was a taboo subject in our home. The more I learn about it, the more I understand that. Having spent a great deal of time learning about the lasting effects of trauma, it impresses me how well mom was able to function.

Also, imagine being able to buy a swimsuit or blouse for a dollar!!!

1814-31 Ave SW

Calgary, Alberta

August 22, 1953

Dear Margie

Yes, I’m finally getting straightened around enough so that I can write a letter.

I have been intending to write you for quite a while now but have been terribly busy.

I was at the farm for three weeks and sure enjoyed myself. We did quite a lot of canning, washing, ironing, chasing the kids, and visiting and going to drive-ins. I was really kept busy.

Last Friday (a week ago yesterday) was my birthday. I got several gifts. Mom and Dad gave me a flash camera and films and bulbs for it. They also gave me a blue nylon cardigan. I received other gifts ranging from nylon ankle socks to a wallet.

I have not seen any of the kids lately but have talked to Rose, Isabel, and Laurie on the phone.

Did Lillian leave my ?Accitec? with you? Isabel said they left “Not my will” there with so I will be up to get it in the near future (this doesn’t make sense, but it’s what it says).

I phoned Dr Richardson yesterday and asked him if I could apply for a job for Saturdays. He said to apply and let him know what I got he would then tell me if I could have it or not.

I went downtown this morning to look at some bathing suits which were on sale for a dollar. I didn’t like them so I bought a blouse for a dollar. It was regularly priced at $4.95 so I got quite a bargain.

How are you getting along? I sure hope you are making a fairly rapid recovery and will soon be out of there. When you get out we’ll have to hold a reunion of all the kids.

I guess I won’t be up for a while. The radio just said out patient was closed because of polio so I doubt if I will be allowed in. Will you please ask Miss Ried or Miss Baxter and let me know.

Well I’d better go

Bye for now, Margie and please write soon

Love,

Helen

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Everyone Has Television (FGK-47)

Last summer my girl decided she wanted to paint her bedroom. It is the “blue room” at Grandma’s – one of the original bedrooms in the house. I tried to explain to her what a nightmare it had been 25 years ago when my sister and I painted the living room, dining room, and hallway. A nightmare because walls had shifted and the amount of repair work was unbelievable, but also kind of fun because it was like uncovering a time capsule. There were several layers of wall paper, then different portions of the wall were painted. We could even see where one time Grandma had painted around the furniture resting against the wall in a panic because she was having people over. It was an experience, but one I’d be just as happy not to do again.

The girl uncovered at least 5 layers of wallpaper in her bedroom, a mystery door frame, as well as a window on the wall joining her room to my room (Grandma’s room), which made sense as it had once been the end of the house. After several months of work and buckets of frustration tears, she decided to wallpaper over the walls. There was no way we were ever going to get the walls in good enough shape to paint them with our level of expertise. But now the room looks fantastic. There really is something to be said for how fresh walls change a room.

This letter was a little over 3 years after mom got polio.

Cochrane, Alberta

Oct 24/1954

Dear Margie

We’ve sure had a busy week. The paper hanger was out and hung paper in six rooms. Some of it I like and some I’m rather disappointed in, but anyway they look nice and clean. Somehow papers don’t always look the same on the wall as they do in a small demonstration piece.

The school children had their field day on Friday. Brushy Ridge came and competed too to add a note of interest. They did very well too but when the final totals were taken our school was a few points ahead.

Our new refrigerator came on Friday. It holds a lot more food than our old one did, especially in the freezing compartment.

This week the men almost filled the barn loft with hay. Then the children came home and they had a wonderful time playing in it. They built tunnels and houses and played hide and seek for hours. Boy were they dirty and dusty when they came in. They sure needed a good bath and clean clothes.

The boys were getting to be good shots with their shot guns. They bring in ducks or chickens every week and today they had to break the ice in the lake ahead of the boat so they could get the ducks that were shot down over the water. I guess winter can’t be too far of as the ice is forming thicker all the time.

Hector McDowell, who built our barn, was back last week and built a nice sun porch on the front of the bunkhouse. It is 22’x8’. Someday I may use this place as a cook house so I won’t have quite so much work every summer.

We weaned our calves this week and there sure was a racket for 3 days with their eternal bawling. This is about the last of the fall work so we are just about caught up. I’m so glad so I feel like getting out and visiting folks once again.

Everyone around here seems to be getting television sets. We can’t and now we don’t have 110 volt power. I’ll bet you’ll enjoy seeing the one at your home when you get back. George says it sure is a nice one.

Well so long for now. Hope you are already improving

Lovingly yours

Aunt Gertie

PS Last night George and I went to see “Seven Wives for Seven Brothers”. It was quite comical and we really enjoyed it. I want to see “Brigadoon” when it comes too.

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Margy’s Boys Had Little Lambs (FGK-46)

So, I’m sitting here with my morning cup of tea thinking about how I have so much driving to do today – I have to go “all the way” to the far South of Calgary and do some errands. Which means a trip on the TCH-1 and then on the new Stony Trail. The easiest driving you can imagine. I am struck in many of these letters at how much driving they did in the ‘50s, way before the Trans Canada Highway was a thing (I do have a love/hate relationship with that road, it’s sure made life convenient, but man is it loud to live by). But they just zip around all over the place and seem perfectly happy to do so.

I don’t remember Aunt Margy, I’m not sure when she died. But she is someone who I often thought of when my kids were little. In our family history book it was written that when she had work to do she would lasso one of the twins to a fence, knowing that the other one would stay close by, so that she could work without worrying about them. Now, I never actually had to lasso one of my kids to a fence, but it was always nice to know it was an option!! Seriously though, imagine how difficult it must have been for these women, raising kids, cooking for so many men, looking after the house, and doing whatever else was necessary. It impresses me.

RR2 Calgary

Feb 21st (envelope is stamped 1954 and cost 4 cents)

Dear Margie

How are you getting along? Swell I hope. Thank you a million for your nice Valentine. It was very thoughtful of you to remember me.

We had a lovely time at your mom’s and dad’s last night. We missed you there, Uncle Harry was there, and he was the same fun as ever. He won the travelling prize, a very nice pocket knife. I played with him at the last table and he sure was a comic.

Sheila and two girls she had with her had to be in by twelve so they had to leave early. Marshall and Harvey took them back and then we met them above Barkley’s and Harvey came back home with us.

The curling is stopped, till we get more cold weather to make ice. Clarence’s team won in the bonspiel. Harvey and I lost out in the third game. The ice was getting very heavy.

Doug Munn is in, and had another operation for adhesions, he is having a bit of a time of it, that is, his third operation this winter.

Mr Hemming wasn’t very well last week but Mrs. Hemming said he was much better today, she is feeling fine she said and asked about you.

One of Jonny Robinson’s girls had mumps so Clarence figures Don will get it. So what a job they have to look forward to and aunt Irene has never had it either.

There is a few cases of jaundice around here. Wally was the last to get it I believe.

The boys have all the little lambs now. There was one set of triplets – all living. The rest were mostly twins They sure look cute jumping and bucking around.

Must close for now

With lots of love

Aunt Margy

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