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Canadian Life as I Found It
Chapter XL June, 1907


I HAVE been rather slack in my letter writing lately, but I have been so very busy. It has been a frightful rush to get the seed in; it has meant work from sunrise to sunset all along.

All my seeding is done now and the wheat crop looks well; oats are just beginning to show through, and if the warm weather we have now continues they will come right along.

I had to change one of the horses, the oldest one, last week, and traded it in part payment for a younger and heavier one. I have not had time to do any breaking yet, I hope to begin this week.

My hands feel half crippled; I have been driving four-in-hand for the last three weeks, and I can assure you that it is hard on the hands when you are at it from 7 a.m. till 6.30 p.m.

I have 35 acres of wheat and i8 of oats, so I hope that that will give me a good lift out of the monetary mud if all goes well later on. We had somewhat cool weather till about three days ago, but now it is quite hot and the mosquitoes have come out thickly; it was 80 in the shade—rather nice after 58 below zero, but 80 in the shade is a little too much coming so suddenly; however, if it makes the crops grow we must not grumble.

I have heard nothing further about the pupil I spoke of; perhaps my very plain letter frightened him and he intends going in for something more civilized. He is quite right not to come if he feels that he could not put his shoulder to the wheel and bear with all the discomforts that are every settler's lot at first.

Thank you for offering to give me a stable. It will cost about 15o dollars, for timber is very dear now, and is still going up in price. I shall put up one 16 by 26 feet, that will give me four good double stalls and allow a passage behind the horses. For the present, one stall could be used as a corn bin, as I have only four horses and my Indian pony. I shall patch up my other stable for cattle and pigs and poultry. I had to leave all my stock together last winter, but I should not care to continue to do so, it is unhealthy for the whole lot.

I was rather dreading the idea of putting up another sod-barn, for the season is so short this year, and all the time I should be building my team would be standing idle.

We are very busy over the first of July celebration at our school. We are going to have sports, horse races, and a dance at night, to help pay for the school stable which is being given by the ladies of the district to the school.

All the Canadian women ride astride; it seems very queer till you get used to it, then it really does not look so bad and it is much safer, for the western women do not appear to be able to stick on to a side saddle.


 


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