Greenwater Report for October 14, 2003


The Greenwater Report for October 14, 2003

fall day

October 12th, 2003: Another nice fall day. It was overcast first thing, then cleared for a few hours. I went for a walk this morning, and it was quite comfortable, though there was frost on the windshield. It was dead calm, too, and I enjoyed the reflections in the water. Later in the day it clouded over again, and it looked like rain coming across the lake, though none has materialised so far.




When we got home a week ago yesterday, the colour here was at its peak - it glowed! Every time there was a bit of a breeze, though, more leaves fell. On Thursday there was a high wind all day, and now, except for the odd tree, the leaves are gone.



We went to Saskatoon Thursday to see our grandson off. Scott Crawford has gone to China to teach Conversational English in a middle school, ages eleven to seventeen. Scott is nineteen, just finished his first year of college at Muenster, and this is his first time to live away from home! There were lots of tears when he left, but just on our side of the window.



13 hour

Friday night, he sent us an e-mail from an Internet café in Hong Kong, and says, in part:
"The 13 hour plane ride sucked. First, I fell asleep and missed the first meal. I was starving!! (note: he left about 7 PM and none of us had an appetite for supper) Luckily for me they had some gross cookies and a tiny vegetarian sandwich. Next, I couldn't get back to sleep because there was about six babies screaming at the top of their lungs. Then the woman beside me puked while I was having breakfast. She didn't get any on me though."




Yesterday, we got another e-mail from him, from his apartment in Yueyang, a couple hundred miles north of Hong Kong. He sounds very alert, so maybe he doesn't have jet-lag problems. I think he is really looking forward to starting work!



We went to the Ducks Unlimited Banquet last night, and had a good time. Stan Hopkins was there; we hadn't seen him for a long time, since they moved to Saskatoon. And, I met Jerome Plaskan from Regina and had a nice visit. There were a lot of people there that I recognised from previous banquets, but never see otherwise; they come from quite a distance.




Len Teale told me about some people who took a tour in the Maritimes to see the fall colour; they were a bit disappointed, especially when what they saw back home was better than anything they saw in the East! There, they have a few more reds, and their colour may last a bit longer than here, but we have nothing to be ashamed of!



nine foot

On our recent tour in Alberta, we toured the Atlas Coal Mine, where we saw the biggest chainsaw I ever saw, nine feet long! It is used for cutting into the coal face in the mine. Then we went to the Big School Museum at East Coulee, close to Medicine Hat. The museum is well-named - it is in a big school building, and many of the rooms have vignettes from history rather than just a display of artifacts.



What really caught my attention, though, was a row of framed black-and-white photographs along the walls of the main hall. A Calgary photographer by the name of Lawrence Crismas took on a project in the late '80s to interview and photograph as many former coal miners (at its peak there were over a hundred mines in the area) as possible. The interviews are the subjects‚ own words (sometimes a bit colourful), and the photos are not snapshots - he used an 8 x 10 view camera similar to what Ansel Adams used, and the quality is evident. Fortunately, the museum realised what priceless assets they have, and gave them pride of place.




Some of the ex-miners hated it, and stayed at it only for the money (which was better than anything else at the time) but a large percentage of them said they loved it underground - it was cool in the summer, and warm in the winter - and stayed at it until into their seventies.



Lewis Reeve dropped in last Monday; he was the Ag Rep in Kelvington in 1980, when we moved here, and since has been in Strasbourg and Wynyard, his old home town. Now he is back in Kelvington. His pet project is encouraging the planting of hybrid poplar for the furniture industry, and he has close to 200 acres planted. The trees can be planted about 450 per acre and should have an average value of $10 each in fifteen years. They take some management for the first five or six years, but input costs are minimal. My arithmetic says that is a yield of $300 per acre, net! How does that compare with the fifteen year average net return for grains? If interested, contact Lewis at Kelvington: 306 327-6260.


Doreen & Jerry Crawford
Box 100, Chelan, SK S0E 0N0 (306) 278-3423


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