A few things have happened since my last report, most notable being the purchase of a newer motor home. This one is about four feet longer, fourteen years newer, and has a bed that either of us can get into and out of without having to crawl over the other person. It also has a slide-out that increases the width of our living space by about eighteen inches. When Freckles visits, we can walk around him instead of tripping over him.
We gave it its maiden trip a week ago, when our Sunseeker group met with other chapters at Manitou Regional Park for a Mini-Samboree. Our new buggy performed beautifully. The weather was terrible for the first two days with some very heavy rains; we did find one little leak but it should be easy to fix. The only time it leaked was when it was pouring, and even then it was just drips. But it kept us warm, dry and comfortable and was a joy to drive.
We took our old motor home to Grimson's at Mozart on the 5th for storage, hoping that Bryan and Laurie will get a chance to use it a bit, and were appalled at the water in the fields.
For awhile, Bryan and Laurie had to drive through water whichever road they took from their place; one day it actually ran over Highway 16 just west of Gardar Road, which is the approach they usually use. I think Bryan has pretty well given up on any possibility of a harvest this year; he hasn't even been able to do much haying. They are far from defeated, though – when the Lord hands them a lemon, they make lemonade. They bought a kayak and have been spending the late summer exploring the creeks and streams that are usually dry, and having a grand time.
For most of our buddies, the Mini Samboree was the end of this year's camping season and they have winterized their vehicles and put them into storage. We, on the other hand, are planning a trip to Alberta, leaving at the end of this week. Cathy and Freckles are coming too, in their rig, and we are meeting Sandy and Blaine at Drumheller. Sandy and Blaine just bought a different motor home and are anxious to try it out.
Alex Dunlop was in hospital in Saskatoon for surgery; Brenda phoned to let us know, but by the time we got the message and were ready to go and visit him, they sent him home. Major surgery on Tuesday; zipped up and sent home on Friday. I phoned him a few days later and he was seriously considering a visit to coffee row at the Beach Cafe. He sounded just as strong and full of devilment as ever.
On talking to him, I learned that Les Merriman and Marilyn Hood had also been in for surgery, but we didn't get to visit them either.
It has been a rather somber summer for us – our very good friend and neighbour, and fellow Sunseeker, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the end of June, after feeling rougher and rougher and losing a lot of weight during May and June. All the time that we weren't travelling, we spent calling in on Jim and Gerry to try to give them what support we could. On Wednesday, he went to palliative care at RUH, and on Friday morning he died.
Hela McDonald, of Archerwill, is going to be catering for a dinner theatre at Langham in November. We have attended for the past two years and loved it. This year, we canvassed our Sunseeker friends and wound up booking four tables – that's over thirty people! Hela's twin sister, Sela Balzer, runs the dinner theatre, and some of her family are going to be playing in it. That will be the high spot in our November.
Bryan Bjarnason is back at coffee row! He and Evelyn moved to Red Deer a year and a half ago, but found it wasn't what they wanted so moved back to Saskatoon. It's great to have him back – we missed him!
We are having visitors from the USA the next few days, Herb and Karen Till. Herb and I went to school together in Winnipeg, and were best buddies, back in the early forties. Seventy years ago! We made contact again about ten years ago; they visited us when we still lived on the hill south of Greenwater, and we returned the visit a year or two later, to their home in Wisconsin. I hope Doreen and Karen can find something to talk about – they must get awfully tired of hearing Herb and I “Remember When”!
While Herb is here, we will get together with Don Johnston, who also went to school with us – in fact he took piano lessons from my mother for awhile. Says he didn't learn anything. Don was with the RCMP; spent some years in Foam Lake and Kelvington and finally retired to a bee farm at Lintlaw. We cross trails about once in two or three years.