Winter – winter where is thy home?
As the winds swirl and snow blows in.
In winter we build snowmen, ice-skate or sleigh.
Just the same as yonder days.
But many things now have changed.
Did you know they rode by horse driven sleigh seventy years ago?
Well they did.
And many people lived on farms.
My grandma Helen was one such girl – in 1945.
She was just twelve years old at that time.
She lived with her family on a farm in Saskatchewan.
That farm kept the family fed.
Eggs, milk, meat and vegetables all came from their farm.
In autumn, her mom canned fruit.
That way they enjoyed fruit year round.
Fruit is boiled in canning jars on stoves.
Lids “pop” after when sealed.
They stored foods in cellars or pantries.
Peter, her father, would travel to Herbert every week to shop.
This time Helen was to come along for a doctor’s appointment.
On this Friday, it was snowing steady as they readied for their trip.
It was cold out at -16 degrees.
The town of Herbert is twelve miles from their farm.
In Herbert, Peter traded his farm eggs and milk for food supplies.
Items he needed, to buy, were flour, yeast, cereal and sugar.
Trips to town were prepared for the day before.
Before leaving, they would need to heat stones in an oven overnight.
Those stones kept their feet warm in the sleigh.
A jar of hot Postum Peter placed near the stones.
Postum is a coffee drink made from wheat.
Back then thermoses had not been invented yet.
They used ceramic or thick glass jars instead.
A sleigh is a fully covered seat with an open front.
The skis resemble the bottom of ice-skates.
Along with hot Postum they would bring toasted bread too.
A German twisty bread, rawcougon, made the day before.
This was to be a memorable trip for dad and Helen.
It was snowing steady while they were in the town of Herbert.
The wind was blowing. And the sky dark as they readied for home.
Traveling back home had proved difficult.
Dad couldn’t see where the road began and the pastureland started.
But the horses with their God given common sense kept going.
Despite traveling through the snow, in the dark, they returned us home.
Animals, do, have a good sense of direction!
But Helen and dad needed to be strong and brave.
They remembered God is with you wherever you go.
This cheery verse children, back then, often sung:
“Good morning to you”
“We are all in our places with sunshiny faces.”
“And this is the way we start the new day.”
When roaster’s crow farmer’s rise.
His day always speeds along.
As he gathers, clucking, hens eggs.
And milks the, mooing, cows.
And Feeds the, neighing, horses.
While mom rolls out dough to bake.
Farmers use good common sense each day.
So stubborn goats don’t have their way.
They ask the hens, “do share your eggs.”
And say, “cows line up to be milked!”
They work hard to clean manure up.
Farms require a lot of upkeep.
Maybe chose another livelihood instead.