Monday, 14 November 2011

Introducing the family


In order that you can fully appreciate my stories, you need to know the characters in them.   You need to know my family and the backdrop to all my stories.  The stories are true experiences that were part of our lives on our farm.  So come  join me as I introduce you and walk with me down my "MEMORY LANE".

Our small family farm was located in central Manitoba, three miles from Ethelbert, forty miles northwest of Dauphin.  Basically we specialized in grain farming on one section of land and ran a herd of about a hundred and twenty head of beef cattle, with a few milk cows. 
To round out our family circle, there was my husband John, myself, three children, Jim (John Jr.) our oldest, and the two girls, Carol, three years younger than Jim, and Connie, our youngest, a year younger than Carol.  Then there was "Dido" (grandpa) and "Baba", (grandma).  They were John's parents and they often helped on the farm.  Baba was a constant babysitter when the kids were small as I was out working in the fields.  Also, John had an Uncle Leon, - Strayo, we called him - whose very unique personality inadvertently brought much mirth to our family, particularly to me, who often got paired off with him during harvest time.
In some stories, you will also meet my brother, John, nineteen months younger than I, and Betty, my next sister, seven and a half years older than I.  They shared my early adventures.  John and I grew up together as our other siblings were much older and working out in the city by that time.
Besides the human members of our family, there were also the special animals that played an integral role in our farming operations.  There was Bimbo, Rascal and Kennedy, the dogs; Dolly, Mitzy, Tommy and Silver the cats; Little Mite the saddle horse; Dukey and Pokey the ponies; Spotty, Suzy, Jessie and Faline, the milk cows; and Jacky the jackrabbit.  The beef cattle also all had names, Lucky, the steer, Tweety Pie, the calf, who thought he was human and would gladly have followed us into the house had we allowed it.  Then there was Rita, Mabel, Jessie, just some of the cows, and Charlie, that notorious big white Charlais bull who was such a typical philandering male that he would jump any fence just to see a new face, yet he was a total wimp because he had to be penned in for vaccination and he bellowed like a baby when you gave him a needle.  He was unlike Joe, his predecessor,  a much smaller Hereford bull, who was so docile, we could come up to him anywhere in the pasture, rub his rump, jab the vaccinating needle home and send him peacefully on his way.  Each of these members of our family had their own fascinating personality and an interesting story to tell.  In this blog, you will meet them all.
Some of the stories and poems are about my own years growing up, first on my parents farm in Ukraina and later Kulish, northwest of Ethelbert.  Most of the stories, however, deal with events that happened after I was married and are set at our farm in Loon Lake area where our kids grew up.  However, after we moved to Dauphin, I had more leisure time on my hands, particularly when I started traveling. Hopefully, as you skim through my stories, you will empathize with our tragedies, cringe at my indiscretions, laugh at my absurdities and revel in my triumphsMany of my idiosyncrasies came later in life, when I really should have known better but I did learn something new each time and became smarter after each mistake.  Such is life!

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