A History in Photos 42 (FGK 199)

Street photography!! I think they used to take photos on Stephen Avenue? I know I’ve been told all about it but now it’s kind of foggy. Anyway – here’s grandma all dolled up.

Lydia – a girl who worked for me. And Edna Copithorne
I know it looks like my sister went time travelling again – but this is mom. Margie Copithorne just before polio struck 1951
Edna Copithorne. Gosh she was stylish!!!


A History in Photos 26 (FGK 183)

How fantastic is this first photo? I know I’ve seen it in other publications, and probably read the story behind it, but I’d forgotten until my uncle told it again at Christmas. Margy Buckley – the only person left standing during the 1918 flu pandemic. There she is out feeding cows and looking more stylish than I will look at any point today.

Remember the summer Uncle Marshall fell off the bailer and broke both his hands? As a kid these things seemed huge and I couldn’t believe he fell off one- as an adult they still look gigantic and I can’t even imagine what that fall must have been like. There’s a lot to be said for the inner strength and toughness that one needs to be a rancher.

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


Working together 

Today was dedicated to remembering the importance of my tribe, of keeping connected to a group of people in my life, to working together.

I had an old friend come out this morning and give me some help with Drishti. Both he and I needed a crash course in the importance of ground manners, and I needed to be reminded that I am the boss and he needs to respect that. She spent a lot of time with him reminding me of what I needed to be doing to make sure I have a decent horse to bond with. My relationship with him is important and it’s vital that we have clear boundaries and that he understands the rules. For me it was remembering that I need to jump in without fear and with love.

The afternoon was spent on some work things which also involves building relationships and having faith in myself. This evening I went for supper with a dear friend and we talked about everything you could possibly imagine – the poor server at the restaurant. Then we went to Women Empowering Women in Cochrane for a very powerful and emotional evening. Mental health was the topic, and there were lots of messages and emotions that came out of the evening for me – but the thing that stuck with me the most was how important it is to be vulnerable. If someone is brave enough to share their story it opens the door for others to share theirs as well – also for people to ask for help. People opened up tonight in ways that brought me to tears. We have had our own share of difficulties in our home, but everyone certainly has their own struggles and pain. Some of the stories are heartbreaking.

But the important thing is that we were all there sharing, being vulnerable, learning, not judging. It was magic and powerful.

We all depend on each other and when we can open up enough to let someone in – that is happiness.


Too many cats

I celebrated a birthday lunch today with a girlfriend whom I’ve known since forever. We both grew up doing the Pony Club thing and many of the shared fondness and horror stories – Robert Coates’ manure pile anyone?

Her past year has been a difficult, growing journey as well as she is letting go of her marriage. We talked about many things at our lunch – but one of them was the weird rebellion that the two of us went through at the end of our marriages. We know other women who have rebelled in many different ways – dating different men, building careers, being angry, feeling freedom – but we both ended up doing much the same thing. We celebrated by allowing dirty dishes to be left in the sink without worrying about getting in trouble, and by adopting cats. Then we laughed about what badasses we are. Which is funny because back in the day we used to actually be badasses – how did we ever allow ourselves to become so lost?

How can you not love these guys? They remind me all the time of what real love is.

The divorce thing is not a lot of fun, it’s painful for everyone involved. But I’m so thankful that there’s this smaller tribe of women in my circle who have been through the same thing and that we are there to lift each other up. Mostly though, I’m glad that I am back in an area where I have lifelong friends like this that I can celebrate the joys of life with.

It was a fantastic happiness moment – enjoying a beautiful fall day with a dear friend. We know so much of each other’s history. We reconnected this summer in a way that brought all of our defenses down and put us in a place where we rebuilt our friendship in a very raw and authentic way. There is a lot to be said for a friendship where both people simply accept each other exactly as they are and show nothing but loving support. All relationships should be like that.