happiness

Driver’s License, Concussions, and Fire (FGK-22)

I’ve always loved hearing my uncle tell stories – he has a way of telling them that makes me picture the events in my head quite clearly like I was a fly on the wall.

A couple of weeks ago we had a fire just west of us, and the ranch brought out their fire brigade to help bring the flames back under control. The ability of the people who live out here to fight fires has always impressed and humbled me. I remember Grandma telling of the time when a huge fire came from Jumping Pound Mountain area (is this right?) and was headed their way. She was pregnant with my uncle and my aunt would have been a toddler. She escaped with the car while others stayed behind to fight the fire. I think that one did end up going all the way to Bowness.

There are only a couple of letters that were written on a typewriter, and this is one of them. Given my dependence on autocorrect, I was quite impressed by how few words got scratched out. (Seriously, I just retyped that sentence three times – if I was on a typewriter there’d be no paper left)

Mount Royal College

Calgary, Alberta

April 9, 1953

Dear Margie:

Well I guess that it is about time I wrote you a letter isn’t it? I had one all wrote out last week but I forgot to post it. What do you think of my typing? I am bringing this letter up with THUNDERHEAD and GREEN GRASS OF WYOMING. I am sorry that I did not get them up to you last week.

I am sure scared about the Easter exams coming up next week. My math is something terrific. Sure has been bad weather lately hasn’t it? This will be bad for the little calves that come at night won’t it? I sure miss being out there every night to ride through the cows and claves.

What did the Easter Bunny bring you? I didn’t get a dog goned thing. I guess I must be on the outs with him.

Reese and Betty have quit and George and Mary are going over there in their place.

We have a better chance of getting a ball team this year because Ken and I have been lining out some players that we think would play. There still isn’t much chance of getting a team up though. I think they are going to play inter-house baseball here this year instead of touch rugby. The other years the boys played rugby while the girls played softball but I think they are going to play baseball for boys this year. I sure hope so because baseball’s as good a game as was ever played.

Today Fred Kelly and I were fooling around in his room, I was pretending I was dead and he picked me up in the fireman’s hold and tried to pack me out o f the room when he fell over to one side knocking my head against a light switch which broke both my head and the light switch, but it was my lucky day that it hit my head because I might have gotten hurt if it hurt me any other place. Well, my head’s kind of got a sore lump on it now but I guess I’ll live.

Last Friday, while we were deworming, mom came out to the yards to tell us that there was a fire over near the tweed hayfield. We haven’t used any of the hay over there and Dad was kind of worried about the hay, so we rushed over to Brushy Ridge to find the fire. When we got there the Brushy Ridge guys had it out. The fire started behind Curly Rown’s garage and luckily there was an east wind which blew it against the road and put itself out. Just as the fire went out the wind changed to the west. Dad said that if the wind had changed when the fire was going it would have gone clear down to Bowness.

Buckles is in his glory now because I kicked him and the other colts out to 21 to finish up the sheaves left in the crop field. I guess he figures he’s out in the wilds again. He sure is going to be a big hunk of horse flesh in a few years.

I got my driver’s license yesterday with mom and when we went to go downtown she asked me if I wanted to drive but I said no because I didn’t feel like it. Ever since I was ten I have dreamed of the day when I would get a driver’s license and when I finally get it I don’t want to drive. I think that mum pretty near fell over with surprise.

Well, that’s all I have to tell you now.

Dearest Love

Marshall

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happiness

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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Burn This!!! (FGK-20)

Today’s letter is from Janet who lives in Lethbridge, and as far as I can tell was in the hospital with mom at one time. It seems as though that time was during the King Tut, Pig Latin phase of the ward as the end of the letter appears to be in King Tut. I managed to understand the first little bit, then my eyes got tired. So if there’s anything horribly inappropriate I apologize because it was clearly stated at the bottom of the letter to “burn this”! I figure after almost 70 years we are safe, but I always try to edit out anything that is too personal or inappropriate to share.

Mom would have been almost 14 when she received this letter, so I’ll assume her friend is around the same age.

June 6, 1954

Dear Margie

You’ll have to wait till summer for any real letter from me now. With only seventeen days before departmental I’m pretty much up to my ears in books. Thanks a lot for your letter.

I wrote my grade II theory yesterday afternoon. I was shaking like a leaf when I went in and was still doing so when I came out. by the time music and school exams are over I’ll be a nerves as well as a physical wreck. I went to my music teacher’s after the exam as he had asked me to come an d give him an idea of what I got and then he could estimate the mark. He thinks I got around 84-90% so my knees have stopped shaking at last. My piano exam isn’t far away though so I’ll start biting my fingernails again before long, and keep biting until the end of June if there is anything left to bite. What a life!!

Do you know the girl in this picture (enclosed) <there was no photo in the envelope>? She looked familiar to me and I thought she just might be that Betty gal that came into see you once while I was there, but I don’t remember what she looked like. Anyway, the picture was in the Herald some time ago and I got curious.

Guess that’s all I had to say. It was sure good seeing you that day of days. I was supposed to be coming up tomorrow to get some more exercises, but put it off till later. See you soon

Bushels of Love,

Janet

Please excuse this writing I’m in a terrific rush

PS I love you

The following passage will be a good thing for you to decipher in your spare time.

Can you do this puzzle? I can’t understand it myself now!!

Dud o / yum o u / rurie mum bug e run / kuki nun gug / tut u tut’ shush,/ I / Hash a vuv e tut o / pup rur a cash tut i cash e / i tut / sush ! Mum e wow hash e rur e / o rur / I / mum i gug hash tut fuf o rur gug e tut / i tut / tut hash e rur e i sush mum’tut a nun yum o nun e / wow hash o / cash a nun / u nun dud e rur sush tut a nun dud / i tut/ hack e rur e.

NUN A TUT U RUR A LUL, squared YUM!!!!!

Lul o vuv e

Joy’ a nun e tut

BURN THIS!!!!

I’m as bad as our sisters!!!

I included the last page of the letter so you could see what King Tut looks like written out properly.
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A “Gang Letter” from school (FGK-19)

Today I’ve got a “gang letter” sent from the little one room school house mom and her siblings used to ride to. Many of the names I recognize as they’re cousins of hers, or neighbours, and I was delighted to discover this is where “Rose” is from. I still don’t know who she is, but at least I’ve got her placed with where she came from.

It’s kind of fun to read the handwriting on these letters, some of the kids are so young and either just learning handwriting or mastering printing, the older ones are perfecting a much more stylish kind of writing. I thought it was kind of interesting to get the perspective of 10 different kids, of varying ages, about what was going on in their lives at that moment.

RR#2 Calgary, Alberta

March 30, 1953

Dear Margie:

Well Margie, the Easter season has rolled around again, and we are sending you a gang letter. The last letter we sent you was a gang letter, and we hope you enjoyed it, so we are sending you another one. Be sure you get the letters read in the correct order.

The letters were all numbered, so I’ve written them out in the proper order. As far as I can tell, they go from the older kids to the younger ones.

We are sending you a Easter surprise Margie, so don’t be surprised if you see a rabbit or chicken come hopping into your room.

Well goodby for now Margie

Your friend,

Elaine

PS You will be minus one letter, Margie, for Raymond isn’t here today

#2

Dear Margie,

We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago and in it we decided to have a penny march. Our pennies marched across both blackboards and the Red Cross Corner. today we counted them and found 422. Beforehand we had all guessed how many there would be. Elaine guessed 421 and won the contest. Her prize will be a chocolate bar.

Margie, our club has put in more money per person than any other school in Alberta!

As it is turning spring we decided to have a chart showing the signs of spring. We called it our “I saw” chart. Among the signs found are bluebird, blackbird, robin, green grass, ants, butterflies etc.

How are you coming with your schoolwork? I would kind of like to know.

Well, until I write my next letter. Adios

Your friend, Lawrence

#3

Dear Margie:

You remember our Red Cross corner, well Grade V and IV made a ski hill. It is excellent work. Especially for them. Ha ha. We have a slanted board about 45 degrees slant with imitation snow and men on toboggans and skis coming down the hill.

We are going to the hall to wash dishes tonight and try and clean the hall if possible.

I’m going to the dentist in the Easter Holidays and staying in town overnight.

Hope you’re making good progress.

Your pal

Rose

#4

Dear Marg

We will soon be hunting for magpies. The magpies and crows campaign will open April first. I think there will be lots of magpies . I think that south of the school will be a good place for hunting magpies.

The magpies feet and the crows feet are five cents a piece.

I hope you are feeling fine.

Do you like your doctor?

Do you like your room?

Sincerely, David

#5

Dear Margie,

The ice is getting weaker every day. The water has been running over the ice for about five days.

One Sunday, Elaine, Bill, Dad, Mom and I went shooting gophers. Dad took the first shot at a gopher 5 yards away. We were shooting for and hour and got ten gophers. The roads are fine.

Yours truly, Jim

#6

Dear Margie,

We are making flowers out of coloured paper to put on the windows. Grade one to nine have a window of their own. When it gets nicer we are going to put up the window boxes again. Grade four and five are against seven, eight, and nine.

The weather has been good this year. The flowers are coming out. we have seen a crocus up on the hill.

We haven’t had a trip up the the rocks yet this spring. We are going some of these days to scout around. When we get up there we are going to have a debate.

Do you like the room you are staying in? And do you like your bed? Is it nice and soft?

Sincerely, John

#7

We are having a rabbit contest and who ever wins the rabbit contest gets a basket of Easter eggs. We are going to see who can colour the nicest Easter egg. We are having a reading contest too.

Your friend, Lynn

#8

Dear Marg,

Grade one are having an Easter test. They are doing better than the last time we wrote. I am going riding with dad to 29 Saturday. I hope you are doing alright.

Your pal, Joan

#9

Dear Marg,

We had a game of basketball yesterday.

We are hoping we will hear the frogs soon.

We are having a reading test for Easter.

Love, Mary

#10

Dear Marg

I saw a redwing blackbird and a calf. I am going to a show next week.

Bill

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Speaking in Pig Latin (FGK-18)

When I was in elementary school there were several instances where either mom or dad sent in a note for the teacher. It became normal practice for little Melissa to get called up to the teacher’s desk so that I could read the note for my teacher, as I was the only one around who could read my parents’ handwriting. They both joked about how it was the downside of having gone to law school and taken so many notes, their handwriting suffered because of it.

I found a gem of a letter to share today. It’s one started by mom to her friend Rose. I don’t know who Rose is- anyone?? Anyway, I can confirm from this letter that the handwriting was not a bad habit picked up in law school, but was firmly established by the time mom was 13.

1820 Richmond Road

Calgary, Alberta

Nov. 21, 1953

Dear Rose

I’m sorry I didn’t write sooner but…

Thanks so much for all the magazines you sent me. We enjoyed them very much. I liked your letter too (what I could make out of it).

I have a strange feeling this is going to be a dumb letter so you’d better stop now and prepare yourself for it.

Honestly, if you knew all the things we did in here! Right now the whole ward is talking in Pig Latin and King Tuts it’s really fun. I’ve got so that whenever a nurse asks me a question I answer her in King Tuts then the whole ward starts it. The poor woman goes out feeling dizzy.

I wish you could see me now, I’m under a stack of comics we borrowed from the boys down at hall to give to the big boys for their checker game. We discovered we hadn’t read them so we are reading them now. We got the checker game anyway.

This letter made me laugh, I could see mom’s strong childhood spirit shining through in every word. It also made me think of when we lived in Quebec and the boy went to the all French school. He got so frustrated trying to learn French to keep up with his friends, that he spent recesses and lunch teaching his classmates English. I know this because I was called into the school and scolded for having such a rebellious son.

I’m familiar with Pig Latin, but don’t know about King Tuts. I’ll have to look that up.

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A Real Hay Day (FGK-17)

Today is Mother’s Day, so I decided to post a letter to my mom from her mom. I can hear not only Grandma’s voice, but her “mother voice” throughout this letter. It’s so full of love, and also carries the mother reminders (did you write the thank you letters?), and also includes how she’s got mom’s back and is so proud of how well she’s doing.

I also had a little laugh, because it does not seem as though family conversations about the Stampede have changed at all in 70 years – lots of grumbling about how it’s not so great this year and we’re just not going to bother with it, then we all go down and have the time of our lives. Same. Thing. Every. Year.

RR2 Calgary, Alberta

July 9th, 1953

Dearest Margie

Just thought I’d scratch you a few lines so that Sheila can post the letter form the Old Timers Hut at the Stampede tomorrow ‘cause I hear they stamp them with some special stamp from there and thought you would like to have it.

Sheila and Ann rode up to the school and the rocks this morning while I made cookies and weeded the flower garden. It sure was a beautiful morning an the newly cut grass smelt so good. The weather is staying perfect for the Stampede and that is a good thing because there is a terrific number of tourists in Calgary.

Did you write and thank Aunt Annie for that nice box of eats yet? Hope my cake didn’t make you sick.

Marshall is busy plowing up in the homestead with Bill, and Ken and Dad are building a hay slide in Grand Valley. They are going to camp over there for the three weeks it will take to put up that hay and Mary is going to cook for them so Sheila and I will really be alone here. I have been trying to coax Sheila to go to Banff with me to take a course at the art school but she is not interested. Marshall is just not interested in the Stampede this year and doesn’t want to go at all, we have tickets for Saturday night by may not use them.

Is Smokey ever glad to have Anne here – he’s just showing off all the time. I took a snap of Anne holding him in your room this morning but I doubt it will come out very well, it’s none too bright in there now that the leaves are on the trees.

Aunt Ruth phoned this morning to say she heard Aunt Agnes’ Mother had died so Claude and Harry are coming back from the coast right away, they motored over together. I haven’t been talking to Winnie for a long time, have you thanked her for the mice yet? I guess I should phone her one of these days.

Marsh said that Shirley Norman is in the hospital again. He said there were 24 men there, the barn is over a hundred feet long, and they didn’t get it finished. He and Richard worked together and he said Hazel really did have a field day – they served them a swell afternoon tea – ice cream etc.

I owe Margaret Rowland a letter for ages now, I guess I should be writing her instead of you but I sure get terribly lonesome for you these days, just pray and pray that you will soon be able to walk and then you can come home for holidays at least. We sure have lots to be thankful for though – you are progressing really fast for the length of time you’ve had treatments.

Well I guess it’s time I made afternoon tea for Marsh & Bill, Sheila & Anne want to take it out to them I think so I’d better get to work. I’ve cut out quite a few things from the paper for your scrap book. I’ll take them in on Sunday.

So long for now dear – will see you Sunday

Loads and loads of love

Mom xxxxxxxx

The fancy stamp they put on the letter at the Stampede Grounds. 3 cents to mail a letter!!
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Christening, pageant, banquet, and first steps (FGK-16)

I’ve found a beautiful letter from Auntie Gertie. You know, it’s funny how things evolve. I started this wanting to know more about mom and her life before me – stories were so rare about her life before and particularly during polio. But I’m finding that along with discovering more about who mom was, I’m really learning a lot about our community here in Jumping Pound, what rural life was like in the 1950s, and the power of love and faith. Somehow it seems fitting to me that I’ve found these letters and these memories while we are stuck at home because of Covid, and I couldn’t imagine writing this anywhere besides From Grandma’s Kitchen.

Cochrane, Alta

October 25, 1953

Dear Margie,

We’ve certainly thought about you often, especially since you were home at thanksgiving. I’ll bet you felt as if it was the best thanksgiving you ever had. Even the weather co-operated. Sorry we didn’t see you then, but perhaps next time you are home we’ll have a chance.

To-day we went to church again and it was a christening Sunday Service. Vernice Wearmouth had her baby christened and she had the hiccups so bad we all got the giggles. The babies were all good as gold and stayed right through the service.

Last Thursday I went to a pageant on the Growth of Christianity. It was held at Western High School. It was quite good, one scene had all real Japanese actors and I really enjoyed them. the girls were ready pretty. The play went back in history to the pilgrims who came over in the Mayflower and took us through scenes up to present times in such countries as Scotland, Holland, Africa, Japan, and ____?. The costumes were very interesting and added quite a lot to the story.

Last Wednesday George and I went to a banquet at the Nag-Hey(?) a rather picturesque restaurant built of pink logs. The main room has a huge fireplace at one and over which are hung crossed ski poles. On the walls are show shoes, skis, and other sports equipment such as fishing rods, etc. There are some beautiful pictures of Indians painted by Gerda Chiristofferson. the skin looks so real it makes you want to touch it. Back of the long guest table is a huge drawing of a bucking horse and various brands. At each side of this are old fashioned ox cart wheels. On the table is a church wagon illuminated inside by a green light. There are many curios about, stuffed animal heads, a snowy owl, a model Indian teepee etc. The one side of the room has very large windows that command a beautiful large scale scene of the mountains and the sunsets.

First of all we had cocktails or ginger ale as we preferred. Then we had a scrumptious chicken dinner. Later after a speech by Clarence and one by Edith Edge we had a sing song. Mrs Sam Scott played the piano. Then we had a dance. Everyone had lots of fun and it was sure fun to be out with friends again.

The W.A. had a fine Floral Tea a couple of weeks ago. Mrs. Whitburn lectured on how to arrange flowers and care for them. Later the bouquets were given to the holders of lucky tickets. Then we had a tea and ___ of home cooking. I sold tons of the lottery tickets. One was to Nellie Bapti and another was to Mrs. Barkley. Georgie Copithorne won a lovely bouquet of roses and mums. By the way my sweet peas stalks and holly hocks are still blooming. Every day I expect to seem them frozen down but so far they have survived.

Last Friday the school children had a very interesting sports day. They had standing and running broad jumps, high jumps, foot races, and relay races. Then they put on a first aid show, demonstrating various bandages. It’s as rather cleverly done. Each child went over a high jump and purposely fell. At a signal from Mr. O’Brien certain students ran forward and gaven the patient a certain kind of bandage or a firemans lift etc. Done that way in a natural setting the first aid was quite effective.

Mrs. Cornelius Buckley married Art Koher lately. This Wednesday Edith Sibblad is having a small shower for her inviting only her well known friends. It should prove a very interesting party too.

Patsy is 5 years old now. My sister Sibyl(?) had a birthday party for her in town. None of our children ever had a real birthday party with guests and presents before. They always had a birthday cake but that’s all, so you see Patty had a pleasant surprise on her birthday.

I made rather a pretty punch work cushion cover lately. The design is made by pink roses and is done on black velvet so it is quite effective. Punch work is fun to do and I enjoy it.

Well Margie it’s time to get supper again. Seems as if all I do is cook. Food disappears at an alarming rate around here.

We are all glad to know you are improving and putting on weight.

Love and best wishes to you form all of us

Aunt Gertie

Edna just phoned to tell me you got some new shoes and took several steps today. We are so thrilled. Do keep up the good work. We are really proud of your progress.

That last part may have made me tear up a bit. Gosh, Aunt Gertie was a wonderful woman.

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Stampede Parade and Alberta Roses (FGK-15)

Today’s letter is from the Barkleys. There are several of their letters in this box, all are written so kindly and are quite delightful to read, but I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I don’t know who they are. I know someone reading this knows, so please tell me!

Anyway, we are once again in the midst of Stampede week 1953, always a fun and busy time in the area. I’ve mentioned this before, but the quality of handwriting in these letters is quite phenomenal.

July 10, 1953

Dear Margie

Have you been comfortable this past week? Hope it hasn’t been too hot for you. The country certainly looks lovely even tho’ the crops aren’t as high as usual.

Suppose you have listened to the radio and know all the stampede doings. We just listen to the Chuckwagon races. Look as tho’ no one from here is going to attend and not too upset over it either. We had a man from Montreal here last night and he said he had travelled around quite a bit and had never seen so much for his money before and thought it was quite genuine.

There are some beautiful roses along this west side road now. I took lunch back to the ?? Place today to my men. Edna gathered me some blossoms the other day so I have quite a rose bowl. They certainly look better this way.

Bernard was leading his father around today, one tractor ahead of another. They didn’t get stuck so feel quite pleased with themselves.

Haven’t seen anyone from your house for some time now. Suppose they are busy.

Best Wishes,

The Barkleys

July 16

Morning

Clarence was in Monday evening on his way home from the city and said he had seen you at the Parade. Sure glad to hear you had seen it. I guess you would be plenty excited. Nice to hear you are looking so well. He tells me your latest report is walking. Keep the good work up. Surely they will let you come home then and go in for treatments.

I remember mom telling me how the hospital took some of the kids to the stampede while she was there. In fact, this story was shared with me when I was a little kid and was begging for money from my mom to play games on the midway. She told me how the only time in her life that she’d ever won a game (and then she won all the games) was when she was there as a patient. Mom believed the games were un-winnable and that the sick kids had won because the people running the games felt so badly for them. Oddly enough, instead of this making me feel upset about not being allowed to play games, or about how the games were fixed (I think we all kind of knew they were), I was so happy that the sick kids had been given the chance to win and be excited about their prizes.

Don and Roy were exhausted with the heat when they stopped. They got up on a chair and just sat.

Buckley and Barkley juniors had a day fishing Sunday. they done well too. Had quite a day I guess.

Better get busy here, Margie and I’m really glad to hear such good news of you.

Best wishes again

The Barkleys

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The True Spirit of Easter (FGK – 14)

Today I’m sharing a letter from mom’s cousin Lawrence. I didn’t know him really besides from stories. He and his family moved back to Alberta in my junior high years (so about 82-84), but unfortunately Lawrence passed away in 1986. My mom adored Lawrence, every time she told a story about him she lit up, I think he was one of the boys who allowed mom to be a Tom-boy and play with them. In fact, when mom told her version of the Firecracker story , his name was mixed up in it – I just can’t remember if she was trying to impress him or if he helped egg her on.

Box 58, Cochrane, Alberta

14, April, 1954

Dear Marg

Gosh this sure has been a busy day. In fact, it has been a busy week. We had tests sent out by the office, one on Social, one on Science, one on English and one on Math. I haven’t taken my science test yet and I don’t know what marks I have on my math test. I got 68% on English and 52% on Social Studies. My social was a little low and has been all year. I should have good marks on my math though. The test, although very long was seemingly easy.

It gives me test anxiety just to post his grades. Report card time was always a nail biter for me as my grades were usually less stellar than one would have wanted. Grades are an odd thing, when we are in school they are one of the most important things in our lives, when we are living our lives, they are pretty much forgotten.

I don’t know whether or not I told you that the grades one to five were doing an enterprise on Indians. Well, they are. We had a big celebration today. Everyone was dressed up with fancy Indian costumes and we even had make up to make us look like Indians. I borrowed a fancy outfit from the Indians worth about $175.00. It was beautifully beaded. O’Brien took our pictures and if they turn out all right I will send you some.

Say in my last letter I told you that pen pals letters were flowing in a constant stream, well today I got another. She is a girl from New Zealand who seems to be very interesting. Her birthday is on the very same date as Dave’s, May 27. She lives on a dairy farm where they milk 97 cows! She sent pictures and everything. However she stated that her mother had passed away about a week before she wrote. I’m sure sorry.

We are having our house painted at the present time. We are having our men working away on that.

Will you be home for Easter? I hope you will be. I might get to see you for the second time in two years! At the moment I haven’t to say more except to wish you a very happy Easter Marg. May you feel the true spirit of Easter.

As ever, Lawrence

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Aunt Nan goes to the stampede (FGK-13)

Mom used to talk fondly about her adopted grandparents who lived down the hill. She told me how she used to love going down and being spoiled rotten before they had grandchildren of their own. In my childhood, one of those grandchildren, then grown up, used to be so tolerant of me as I was constantly drawn to the creek and would come and help me out when I got myself caught up doing stupid things with my horse. Never once was I scolded, I was just helped out of my mess and sent on my way.

My dear Margie,

Although I don’t write very often I think of you a lot, especially last week. I hope you didn’t miss going to the Stampede. We went on Monday and I was bored all afternoon. I thought it wasn’t as good as usual and decided I wasn’t going again. The evening performance wasn’t as good as usual but I enjoyed the chuck wagon races, but I gut just as much and perhaps more over the radio the remainder of the week.

The exhibits were just the same old thing and the Midway was as smelly and noisy as ever.

I hope next year you will be able to be one of the crowd. I’m so glad you are progressing so well.

We are all complaining of the heat now. We are never satisfied are we?

We had Jean home two weeks ago and it rained each day. she didn’t even get to the ranch.

Uncle Jack is going out tomorrow, taking out a married couple. I guess having will be in full swing in a few days.

It doesn’t seem possible you’ve been in Hospital a year, but I guess it has been long to you, however the next one will pass more quickly.

Heaps of love from Aunt Nan.

Maybe the Stampede wasn’t all that that year, but I think perhaps Aunt Nan was trying to make mom feel better about missing out.

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