Saturday, May 29, 2010

Our trip to Florida

We would now have time to travel , we were having a sale of farm machinery Max had decided it was time to sell our out dated machinery after I could had been hurt.I was on our older tractor pulling the baler as Max was hauling the bales into the barn yard.The power take off
broke & I had to stand up to avoid being hit.I had quite a time keeping my foot on the clutch to stop the tractor. Max heard the noise & rushed out to help, afraid I would be badly hurt,
or even killed. I was shaken but OK. Max stated that now was the time to have a farm sale to get rid of our out dated farm equipment. Our sale was the last sale of the older farm equipment as other farmers were buying bigger & better farm equipment.
I had a habit of keeping in touch with my relatives in USA.We got a phone call from my cousin Ralph Gay in Illinois.He was telling me that he & his wife had just gotten over a bad flu & why didn't Max & I come down & take them to Florida to the area where they had gone for several years. I just handed the phone to for Max to give him the answer. I was so surprised when Max said we would see if we could get a neighbor to look after our few cattle we still had. Marvin who lived on the next farm agreed to do that for us so we were off for our trip to the sunny south.
We drove to my cousins & picked them up.Ralph & Lottie Gay had two of a family, a son Clarence & a daughter Clara so stopped to see them both on our way down. Ralph & Lottie had farmed in Canada before returning to the States. Years before, Cecile & Harry Johnson & the Pritchard's & I went to these services have church services in a country school house near Milestone & their family had accepted Jesus as savior at that time. Clarence & Clara were both married so Clara & her husband had 2 daughters & they traveled as a singing family in many churches in the States.Both of their daughters married Minister's & were pastering in different churchs in the USA.
It was good to meet their family on our way to Orlando Florida. We rented a trailer with my cousins in a trailer park & spent a month enjoying the warm weather.We saw many parts of this state & met another cousin further south. We enjoyed a trip on a glass bottom boat, see many kinds go fish in the sea world. We went through the Ford muesum & also visited Diseny land in that state. We returned in early March, leaving Ralph & Lottie Gay to their home in Illinios. When we arrived at our home at Oak Lake Man, it was still mid winter own farm yard was
filled with deep banks of snow drifts espectally in the barn yard so it wasn't easy to get to the barn to look after the cattle.

Friday, May 28, 2010

More about our family.

Our family was getting married , first Gail & her friend Carol Roberson move back to Brooks & took jobs at the Horticulture center which is near Brooks & they had a rented suite in the town. Gail met her future husband here. We were still farming,so that fall we drove to Alberta to meet Bill & his parents,Jock & Agnes Mc Killop who lived on a ranch in the Big Stone area.Bill & Gail were planning to be married in the United church in Brooks.We made plans to supply the turkey for their wedding dinner.Bill's parents later moved into a rented house in Brooks. While Bill & Gail lived on the ranch where they raised their 4 children.Jonathon Maxwell Micheal & Jolene. they all attended school at Seesford school. We would come out to visit them each fall.
Colleen continued to live in Banff & after working as a waitress.She & her girl friend opened a ski shop & bike rental business called Ski Tips. She married Ed Ram & they have a new home in Banff near the river, Ed was employed & had worked for via rail for many years, until it was changed to go through Edmonton. He has ever since worked for the Brewster bus Company & has a place in that area selling lunches & other needs for travelers.
After Colleen left us , the Campbell boys returned to be with family & Kevin came & stayed with us until he got a job in the north.
Our large stone three story home seemed very empty. We heard of a plan for farmers in that part of the Manitoba who lived on small farms. We attend a meeting to see who would like to use their farm homes for where city folks or even people from other countries could come & have a vacation with us. We attended this meeting in Brandon Manitoba,I met several other couples who were interested in this Manitoba Farm Vacations plan.
I don't remember how many years we did this, but Max decided to quit farming but to cash rent our three quarters of land to a neighbor.
After our family were on their own I was working with Max to do all our land work, so the first
of our vacationers were a couples & they enjoyed the times, we would take them to the near by river to fish, some were there when our sows had piglets born etc.
We took them with us to many events in the area. We were also were helping with church services on the Sioux valley reserve, so they went with us & became a part of our life.
We had people from Europe, two German student who were learning English so they didn't quit understand our slang words , "such as you guys". We took them fishing & they caught a cat fish , which we never ate but they said it was good. They hung the fish up & carefully skinned it & soaked it in salt water over night then used some spiced & we baked it in the over, It wasn't too bad but Max said it was still just cat fish. The guests who came summer after summer were two boys from Winnipeg, their mothers brought them & stayed over night left the boys to spend over a month during July & August with us. They went fishing, helped with chores etc. I am still in contact with them to this day, in fact their parents came to visit us here in the lodge to see how we were doing & were very impressed with New Brook Lodge here in Brooks AB. where I have lived for over 5 years.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More of our family leave home to earn their living.

I will now go back to when Gary finished high school with a very good marks & his principal recommended for him to attend university but we were not financially able to pay the entrance
cost. Gary really only wanted to go get a job in Brandon to earn his own money.He decided to take a drafting course. He was accepted & we found a boarding place with a widow & took his course & got a job. His friend Harvey Paterson rented a apartment started house keeping on his own. Barb & I would supply them with our farm produce ,when they came out on week ends. They often stayed in the city & attended church at Bethel Temple in Brandon.
He later was moved to a job in Medicine Hat but only for a short time. Gary had met his future
partner for life at Bethel Temple, Shirley Kipling . They were married in this church before his job made it necessary for them to moved to Wpg Man. When I cooked at camp Jim Mickie was one of my helpers in the kitchen, so when he found out Gary & Shirley were coming to his city
he welcomed them to Grace Gospel church in Wpg & they became close friends .Jim also was married to a Shirley also . These couples became close friends for many years.
It was when I had returned from my trip to visit America to visit several of my mothers family which Mel , Max cousin told us of a special on air travel for 100 dollars to visit America. Max sent me on this trip after my mother passed away for she had lived with us for seven years
after my sisters Clara had passed away.I flew to visit all my cousins in the mid states & also to my cousin Betty in New York city & they drove me down town through the business area.
Our first grand child arrived just shorly before I arrived home. I was asked to come to help out after Shirl was home with their son Darin Christopher who arrived Feb 19,1976.
Gail graduated from high school then she spent a year at Eston Bible College. That spring after her return home, Gail needed a job. I knew that my sisters girls,Sharon & Darla had gone to Banff for their first jobs. Ernie knew the Nudd brothers who hired girls from the church for the summer months. I contacted them as I knew their daughter from my Bible school days ,Grace Nudd had attended that year.
Gail had a friend from her Bible school year, Carol Robenson .Gail & her friends rented a place in Banff & worked there for several years.When Colleen graduated she need a job so moved to Banff to room with Gail & the girls . Both Girls worked in Banff there for several years, in face Colleen married Ed Ram so she has made her perment home in Banff.

Monday, May 10, 2010

When our family left home for their future. life.

Time seems to pass quickly when the family start to leave home to make their own living. We first went through a hard time for the three foster family. Their father Jack was working as a
Welder in a mine in northern Manitoba. He was down in the mine welding on a repair job when some one at the controls accidentally hit a wrong switch & Jack was killed. This was very hard on all his children. His father & brothers & sister lived near by so many were effected. There was a large funeral to which we took the children. Lynne (Jackie)was very upset as she was the eldest & only girl in the family. She was moved to a different foster home, but we continued keeping in touch. Tim became restless & wasn't doing as well in school, Kevin seemed more settled, but their aunt Barb Paterson wanted to keep the family together so it was decided that the aunt who lived in the Stated who had taken the youngest, Bradley,would take Tim & Kevin. The move seemed to help with their the death of their father. We kept in touch through Barb Paterson.
There were other hard happening in our family. While the Campbell family were still with us
We had all gone to my brother Cliff Lincoln's for Christmas day in Regina, Sask.I have pictures of that good time we had together that year. Then another year the Campbell children spent Christmas's with some of their family & we drove to Alberta to spend Christmas with my sister
Clara & Ernie Siggelkow. She was to have a operation in January. Ernie's & Clara were pastoring a church in High River AB. My brother Cliff also came to have Christmas & my youngest brother Ralph came from B.C. We decided to have a family picture taken, the first for our family. Mother wasn't to well & we were all together , each of us lived in different Provence's Max & I lived in Man. Cliff in Sask, Clara in AB & Ralph lived in Vernon B.C.
We hadn't gone far when I noticed we had forgotten something. We went back & Clara came to the door with it. We said a loving goodbye as I said we would be praying for her, this the last living memory I have of my sister. The middle of Jan she passed away, a Dr mistake , he left her to bleed to death. The end of January my brother Cliff phoned me inform me of her passing. Clara & Ernie also had a family of three foster children. Max & I took Gail and drove to Regina, where we went with Cliff & Nell to attend her funeral. Her funeral was very large as Ernie's large family & our family all attended.It was a cold dull day as she was layed to rest in the High River grave site. Mother had been placed senior's home while while Clara was having her operation, Ernie had her back to his home, but their foster children had to be placed in new homes.
Max & Gail went home & I stayed to be with Sharon who was home from Nurse's training to
help her father, I believe I went back home by bus. Doug was to leave for Eston Bible school
when it next term was to start. Carolyn still had her grade twelve to take so Ernie's large family now was just himself & youngest daughter Carloyn. & his ill mother in law, who was ill.
Hilda Muller & her sister of the Paoc church had worked together with Ernie & Clara for childrens camps in northern AB, Hilda & her sister Minnie attended my sisters funeral. My brother in law was having single ladies in the church taking great interest in him .He decides he would pick his own choice of a wife ,with Gods guidance.
After dating Hilda that summer & then talkes with his family & a letter to mother & all Clara's family, Ernie & Hilda set a date to be married that fall in Edm AB, where she lived. Harry & Cecile Johnson drove mother& our family to their wedding. The newly weds continue the ministery at High River AB until Carolyn left for Bible school in Eston Sask.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Our larger family go to camp & I teach 4H sewing.

Gary & Gail started their schooling in grade 1 at our country school but one day we were asked to come to a meeting in Oak Lake about sending our children to the larger school in the town of Oak Lake. At first each family were responsible to drive the school age children the 7 miles
to school in the town of Oak Lake. There were several class rooms here as well as a high school as several students were ready for higher Education . Colleen had attended kindergarten several times a week as I had driven her into town, where the Dr wife & I had helped several of these small children to learn to play & learn together. This was held a couple of times each week in the towns rest room.
Our neighbor's had a meeting & decided we would use our own cars to transport our kids to school in town, I think there was two or three car loads which were transported, to & from school daily. Another meeting was held by the school division where it was decided to purchase school buses and hire drivers for each area. This was better for the farm family's. The country schools were closed & school bussing is being used to this day. I still continued Cooking for the church camps & would take our larger family with me each summer during the first 3 weeks of July.
We were in need of more cooks at camp so Barb Paterson replaced Mrs Kieth. Barb was in charge of the deserts & pies, but we worked together to get each meal .For the youth camp I would make buns & bread doughnuts. I believe Barb & I cooked each summer for this camp for at least 12 years. The cook stoves were out dated so we now had gas & one electric stoves .Then the camp board bought their own power plant, they also had to put in the flush out door toilets.
many Young people attended camp & there were children services & youth meetings in the after noons with some sports for the younger campers.
We had summer fair in Oak Lake, which is still going. Max & I took a vegetable collection &
the family often help get the vegetables ready. I have showed my home made quilts & the school children had their entry's as well.
Max cousin Lena Taylor asked me to help to organize and start the first 4H sewing club in our town ,many of these items were shown at the fair. I taught 4H sewing classes for 10 years. Our first class was for each girl to sew an apron then the next year they made them selves a skirt & one girl made herself a pair blue jeans. I helped with the first class on Public speaking when two girls went to Brandon to give their first 4H speech. I also taught a tailoring course to a class of twelve Lady's in Oak Lake.These years were very busy years,I had to quit going to the Oak Lake fair when I started cooking for Camps.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Life on the farm.

Max & I had always worked together from the beginning of our marriage even when we started living in the same house with his parents ,most of his brothers & sisters still at home.We
would start each day reading from the bible and taking turns leading in pray for guidance & the needs of each day ,with thanks giving. We attended church on Sunday & prayer meetings.Our neighbourhood consisted of many of Max relatives who were a close family.As his family left to be on their own and his parents had their own home in town.Max & I did many farm chores together. I learned to help with farm chores such as,helping in the field work when needed. I learned to drive the tractor and the grain truck during harvest time. I chose to drive the self propelled combine while Max backed the truck up to the auger to empty the grain then return to harvest another load. I found it hard to back the truck up the the grain auger but found it easier to drive the combine for a few rounds in the field.
Max loved doing his farm chores & we had lots of evening & morning chores. We kept 200 laying leghorn laying hens as we sold eggs year round to our customers in town. Each year we
sold the hens, oven ready to friends in Brandon for a dollar each ,then each spring we bought another 200 baby chicks.
In a few years later we bought 200 baby turkeys which took a lot of care. We also killed cleaned & marketed them to our customers in Brandon. We also worked together with two of our neighbors , the Paterson & Johnas familys as we took turns working at together at each farm also having great fellowship as we worked.The last few years the Paterson bought a picker which helped to get the birds feathers off quicker & easier. Our way of making a living can not be done this way now days as it is not legal to market your produce this way, as all farm produce has to go through a government inspection board. We were working every fall well into November & Dec to market our poultry for the Christmas market.We were putting the grain we grew on the farm through our poultry in order to receive a better return for our produce thus making a better living for our children also teaching them to work together in helping us. Max had several hives of Bees, to help when sugar was rationed in war time. We all worked together to extract the honey, first in our large kitchen .Max had built a wash house which was used in the summer when his folks were still on the farm. we would now used to extract out honey. We also sold this honey in 8lb pails to customer's in both Oak Lake & Brandon.The family all helped with the sale of the honey.The money became theirs to spend for as they pleased. We all learned to work together as well how to spend their money wisely.
We are still keep in close contact with one another as a family.

Friday, April 30, 2010

How we became foster parents..

The children's welfare from Brandon Manitoba were looking for foster homes in places besides
the city.I don't remember just which family in our area applied to take care of children other than their own. We first had to have our home licenced and then be excepted to become foster parents. There were several family's who applied in the Oak Lake area. I know a number of the Gompf family's who became foster parents. Max brother Charlie & Evelyn,had one daughter Ferne applied first, then his older brother Elmer & Edith had three children, Beverley, Donald & Marjorie, were excepted. Next Max & I , who had one son & two daughters,Gary, Gail & Colleen relieved our licenced to have a foster home. Max parents Harry & Lena Gompf whose, daughter Eileen, was still living at home also were able to have their home licenced to look after children in need of care.
Children received foster care for different reasons, such as illness . I don't know for sure was the first to receive their child or children. We all saw the need and believed it was a way to help those in need of special care.
We were paid a small amount for each child as none of us were able do this on our own with out some help ,for these were years when cash was scarce. We all raised large gardens , had chickens, pigs & cattle which gave us our meat supply. Elmer,s lived on the edge of the town of oak Lake. Max folks lived in town & Eileen loved children.
I believe Charlie & Evelyn may have been the first to receive a foster child, they had several during the time they were foster parents, thus Ferne had a play mate thus being company
for each other. Elmer & Edith had many foster children pass through their home, which were either adopted out & they also adopted two of their foster children. Max parents Harry & Lena recieved two small boys who were brothers. Eileen loved to help care for these boys but due to Eileen's sudden death, the boys had to be given another home.
We had several children for short terms who returned to relatives or were adopted.
Barb Paterson, a neighbor & a close friend asked us if we would take some of her brothers Jack's family as there were five children in need of a good christian home .The mother Betty was too ill to care for them . Jack worked far from their home & wanted them placed in good homes. when their mother was hospitalized. Barb took one boy Rickie & Kevin was to be placed in our home. The youngest son Brad went to live with his aunt in USA. the two eldest Jackelyn and Tim live for a time with neighbors in Kenton. Later we were asked to take them so Lynne(she was called then) and Tim came to live with us,thus keeping the family closer together, by being with relatives & friends of the family. We now had a larger family as every summer my mother would spent with us in Manitoba but the winters were spent with her other daughter Clara Siggelkow in High River in Alberta..