Saturday, August 24, 2013

Another missing piece

I stopped at the local cemetery the other day, just 'cause it was a quiet, peaceful day, and because I was in an introspective mood, I guess.  There are many stops to make there.  My mom's parents, four of her siblings, two of her brothers-in-law, Clem's parents, his grandparents, his great-grandfather, various aunts and uncles, some cousins, and quite a few close friends.   So many memories came literally hurling back, so many fun times, sad times, difficult times, all of them a part of me, of us, and of who we are now.  I cried a bit when I got to grandma's grave, as I always do, cause I miss that amazing woman every single day.   I also took a few extra minutes at the grave of mom's sister, Bea.  She was one of a kind, and larger than life, it seemed.  They lived in BC when I was young, and often came home to visit.  She would always grab us kids and hug and kiss us - so annoying, but man, would I like one of her hugs right now.  She worked hard, partied hard, was always dressed to the nines, always smoking, and grabbed the center of attention wherever she went.  She said whatever was on her mind, and had a wicked sense of humour.  She was always great fun at whatever family gathering was happening, and let me tell you, this family gathers at the drop of a hat.  I was shocked to realize she's been gone for 27 years.  I thought of all the gatherings we've had since then, and how many times she's been missed.  The ties with her kids, my cousins, have loosened, too, as is natural, I guess.  I have forty-five cousins on my mom's side, many of them quite a bit older than I, so I've lost touch with some of them, as happens in life.  But I was still shocked to learn last night that Aunt Bea's son had died of a heart attack at 61.   I haven't seen him since I was a teen-ager, so I really don't know him, but still, he is my cousin.  Blood is thick.  Another piece of our huge, boisterous, loud, annoying, loving, giving family is gone.   I'm happy for him that it was quick - that's how I want to go - but heart-broken for his siblings, who were in the midst of preparations for their dad's 90th birthday celebration.    And for his aunts and uncles and cousins who are mourning not just his death but all the missed time with him.  But I can just hear his mom:  "What the hell, Rod?  What are you doing here?  I was expecting your dad!!"   And it makes me smile.  Laughter through tears.  It's what keeps our family going.   That, and anticipating the finished puzzle when all of the pieces are together again.

Monday, August 12, 2013

After the mist

The mornings have been so damp and dewy this summer.  Sometimes there is a mist in the distance and hovering over the dugout.  Feels a little like Scotland!  One morning after the sun chased away the fog, I looked out the window and saw a fairy garden - so out I went with the camera!  The dill looked particularly amazing!


The hostas were just starting to bloom, as well.

And here's that lovely-coloured begonia again!

Saskatchewan is truly a beautiful place to live!

Thanks for checking in!

Thursday, August 01, 2013


I'm grumpy this morning.  I got up early to work in the garden before going to work (haha - catch that? Work before work??).  I've always loved working outside in the early morning (once I actually get out there, that is - my bed is awfully comfy!) - the quiet, the birds singing, the ducks floating on the dugout, the sun coming up and warming the earth, everything green and peaceful.  Today all I seemed to notice was the noise of trucks on Pipeline Road.  Oil traffic, pipeline traffic, but probably not a lot of farm traffic.  Later, as I pulled out of the driveway, I again saw the annoying stakes for the new well that is going in right across from our yard - on our neighbour's land, but it is a horizontal drill and will go under our farm.  You know, like, where our water well is.  The same company was supposed to drill on our land, too, down-wind on the other side of the farm (another horizontal drill going under our farm, and well), but I guess we raised too much fuss over silly little things like noise, and air and water quality.  Silly us.  So the neighbours get a big fat cheque and we get a lawyer's bill.  Silly, silly us.  I'm not blaming the neighbours.  Perhaps you didn't know that oil producers can pretty much drill wherever and whenever they like.  Well, they can.  And they do.

I guess I'm just feeling a little conflicted.  I'm all for progress, and I know the world needs oil (mostly because we're not too interested in checking out other forms of energy!).  But I'd really like the world to get that oil in another place, in someone else's backyard.  Or on our land that is farther from our house.  Yes, that would be best.  Because we moved here for a reason.  Clem's grandfather broke the land we farm, and there have been Schraefels on this land for over a hundred years.  When life was getting too crazy in the city, we knew it was time to bring our little boys out here and give them the freedom we had when we were growing up.  It was so quiet then - I remember them being able to ride their bikes for a mile or more and we didn't have to worry about them.  Now we can't even take a walk down our road without fear of being run over or choking on dust from the oil traffic. (And let's not even get started on the roads when it rains and the 4x4s have lots of fun!!)  That makes me sad.  I really did hope that our boys would have the opportunity to raise their children in this peaceful little spot.  Alas, I do not think it is meant to be.  I'm not really sure if any of them even want to farm, but if they do, it will be a different way of life than they will remember.

And so it's off to work I go, to pay for the private school Derek wants to attend (because our small population - bigger farms, transient oil workers, etc, etc - can't offer the educational opportunities he desires), and for the new vehicle I need to navigate our lovely roads (did I mention there's lots of oil traffic?).

Hmpff.  Progress.