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Canadian Life as I Found It
Chapter XXVI April, 1906

I HAVE had another stroke of ill luck, one of my horses that I worked all last year turned baulky, impossible to get him to work, so I brought him into town and tried to sell him, but all I could do was to exchange him for another, and pay 45 dollars as well.

The horse I have now seems a good one so far; it is a heavier beast, more of the farm-horse type, so I hope to get on with my work. All my stubble is ploughed ready to seed down; I shall seed it and then get the garden in order. We should be glad of some cornflower seed, the mixed kind; it would make our place look more homelike, also some vegetable marrow seeds; we got seeds last year and had a few marrows, but they were put in too late, and the plants got frozen; still we know that they would grow, and if early would keep nice and fresh in our cellar. We are glad that the long winter is about over; it has been very long but mild during the greater part of its duration, but all the same, these long winters, through which one never knows what the next day may bring forth, are very trying, and I dare say we have not seen the worst yet that Canada can show us.

I brought wife and child into Saskatoon this trip. I thought that the complete change would do them good, especially my wife, for what with the blizzards and a continual dread of prairie fires, she has somewhat lost her nerve, and has had many sleepless nights.

When we reached town we found the hotel quite full, so we are staying with friends who are always very kind to us. Hospitality is practised out west in a real genuine manner; it is one of the things that strike a new-comer most vividly, and we have found it given us ungrudgingly on all possible occasions, and we have tried in our turn to repay it by acting in like manner towards any and all of the people who have passed our way and needed it, and by so doing we have been often rewarded by making pleasant acquaintances, and passing some hours in conversations, that have helped to break the monotonous sameness of our daily life.

We were rather glad to get back home again, for the roads are very soft and slushy, which makes it unpleasant driving, and there is always some amount of anxiety as to what may have happened during one's absence, when one leaves a certain amount of stock behind. Up to now, I am thankful to say, we have always found everything in perfect order after one of our rare absences all together.


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