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Canadian Life as I Found It
Chapter XXX August, 1906


I THINK that I shall be cutting my crop next week, my neighbours are cutting theirs at present. Round here the crops are good, but near the town they do not look worth cutting, they are so full of weeds. In this district we shall be in full swing next week. My oats are not bad, but they might have been better; anyhow, I hope I shall have enough for food and not have any to buy, for oats at 45 cents a bushel take all the gilt off the gingerbread.

I have been over all my ploughed land twice with the disc. I shall have to go over it again twice, but I must stop now as a neighbour wants to use the implement and I can finish later on.

My heifer is due to calve soon. She is a beauty, quite a picture, and my last calf is equally good, so they will set me up in stock. The cow gives us all the milk we require and more butter than we can eat, so we salt it down in earthenware pots, for use when perhaps we might not have enough.

We are sorry you do not think much of the photos last sent to you. With houses all round you the situation looks very lonely, but it is not really so desolate as it looks. We have nice neighbours if a little way off, some of them are always dropping in. Why, last Sunday'# we had over twenty visitors.

A few nights ago we hitched up at 6.30 p.m. and went to the store for mails, then drove by moonlight to the D----'s, our Scotch friends, woke them up at a quarter to eleven, had some tea and got back home at midnight. It was a lovely drive. I suppose that you at home would think us crazy, but at this time of the year night is the pleasantest time, cool and no mosquitoes.

Yesterday it was 88 in the shade at 8 a.m., so that the cool nights come as a great boon.

It is rather hard to give you an exhaustive list of all our neighbours, they are so scattered. There is an English family 2 miles east of us, husband and wife, three girls, and two boys; then we have three other families, 3 miles east also, they are Americans; a Canadian family 2 miles north; these with the captain and his nephew, our Scotch boys and the R----'s, form the nucleus of our colony.

We all meet at times, either when we go to the store or to church at a place called Car, 2 miles distant, where a service has been held lately by a young student. Our school-house is nearly built; it is supposed to open on September 3 next, and it will be used as a church on Sundays.

I have been very busy the last few days taking the old shack to pieces. I am going to build a larger kitchen with it; the one we have is too small for the hot weather; the cottage will perhaps not then look so cramped. We were quite offended at your saying that it looked cramped. Why, it is one of the largest places out here.

I regret also that you think that I look as if I had not enough to eat. I assure you I get plenty, and besides I have an uncommonly good appetite.

At present I am feeding up two pigs with a view to eating them in the winter. In the summer one does get pulled down a bit what with the intense heat, a good proportion of hard work, and the constant and forced eating of salted pork most of the time.


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