Monday, June 23, 2014

The Life of Ryley . . .

June 8, a balmy Sunday afternoon, while Sherwin and Lorne Booth went golfing at CUC, Gail and I travelled northeast to their farm in Ryley, Alberta. 

Now, I have only seen Ryley in the summer months, actually, only in the month of June, so I have a rather bucolic view of the place. At this time of the year it is green, they have red barns, it is peaceful and quiet... sounds quite inviting.

They even have grain elevators... actually this one is in a farmer's yard!

Gail guided me down a hard-top road to their house, taking me past the farm where she grew up and her brother still lives.

This barn is no longer used for cattle but continues to stand as a reminder of yesteryear.

Love the old windows... and the reflections.

It was great fun to capture as much as possible the feeling of the building.

Gail can tell wonderful stories of her childhood here on this land. It reminds me somewhat of our barn in Peoria. This one seems bigger than the one we had but very similar in appearance.

It was quite dark inside but I was able to get some shots indoors too.

Lots of old treasures...

Imagine the memories held within these walls.

Oh yes, before I say good night I must show you one more photo I took down the road... Gail said, 'you have to see this fellow's artwork'.

The farmer who lives here is making a statement re: some issue in the community I believe. He expresses himself a lot like Salvador Dali.

No dull moments...

Be well.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Class of 1964

"Where the shimm'ring rays of the northern lights
Shine soft o'er prairies of snow,
And the em'rald lakes like tranquilly still,
And the winds from the northland blow.
Where the lordly mountains raise their heads
Far off where you scarce can see,
Is the school that we have learned to love.
Our CUC.

Oh CUC thy praise we sing,
True homage give to thee,
Our worthy Alma Mater dear,
Our CUC."

It was a delightful Sabbath day with our friends of the class of '64. The graduation photo that was taken in 1964 is missing a couple students and I believe there were more at this 50th reunion than the 40 in the above photo. Oops! But it was good to see them all.

We didn't realize at the time we planned this trip that Sherwin's two elder sisters were also in honoured classes. Rose on Sherwin's right, class of '59 and Dolores on his left, class of '49!

"Forever ago and yet yesterday."

The Kid In Me . . .

When someone suggests, 'Let's go to the zoo!', I am always game.

The Calgary Zoo is the zoo of my childhood, chalk-a-block with fond memories.

So we were off... we still had some hours to play with before we had to be heading north for the reunion at CUC.

Marilyn took the morning off work so we made a party of three and enjoyed an early morning walk. If you were to take the main entrance to the Zoo on the north side of the Bow River you will come to a large egg shaped sculpture at the gates...

Stand inside the egg and you will get a whole new view of the world.

It is a magical start on your way into the Zoo.

Before you get your tickets look to your left to enjoy the metal sculptures of animals escorting you in.

Where all the little 'darlings' came from, I do not know, but it seemed that all elementary classes from southern Alberta had been let out for the day at the Zoo.

So, since the competition was very thick at the penguins home, I quickly got a couple 'snaps' and we were on our way. Love the penguins.

We sauntered past this old goat moulting his winter coat...

now, isn't he attractive?

We are particularly fond of owls around here so we were happy to see this fellow. He could whip his head around Very Quickly! If I were to try that, I would have to see a therapist... as in physio.

Not a great shot of the caribou but he was hiking over to his shelter to get out of the warm sun. Wonderful set of antlers, though.

Great wooly beasts, right?

And a very handsome kitty.

Nothing quite like Alberta lilacs for colour and scent.

We walked through the aviary but the only photo worth anything was a nest. At least it sat still.

Nice roof... but I wonder what all it harbours among those reeds?

From stem to stern these rhinos were awfully cute. Of course, they were dozing and behind a fence so no threat to me.

Handsome fellow...

And a very lazy King of the Jungle, snoozing with his ladies.

Extraordinary flamingos... colouring out of this world.

I am not the only one who loves this happy elephant...

It was a warm day; what can I say, the wart-hogs were all played out from the sunshine.

And of course, we cannot miss the gorgeous tigers. They started off very aloof, over on the other side of their enclosure but before we left they romped over to say hello, rolled around on the grass and then calmly walked off again. Great beasts. They know how to play their audience.

 This fellow heard the click of my camera and looked at me very intently... 'not impressed', he said.

See what I mean about the Happy Elephant? Sweet photo.

Even the Hutteritte kids got a field trip today.

To end our trip to the zoo we had to find this dinosaur. Both Sherwin and I have somewhere in our files, photos of us as children with our photos taken in this very spot. Now this relic is at the back side of the zoo, surrounded with weeds and nobody seems to care. He no longer is the focal spot of the park.

There is more Alberta trip to come. In the meantime, be well.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

For All My Prairie Lovin' Sisters . . .

Early on the morning of June 4 we got on the road heading east. Our final destination was to be the Dinosaur Park north of Brooks, Alberta. My heart thrills to be on the flat, skimming down the road...

When I looked at the map I was more interested in two stops we would make on the way. Just a few miles into our trip we came to Bassano. That was our home when I was in grades 4-7. Father had worked at Bud's Service right on the corner of the highway as it swept on towards Brooks. But in the past 55 years or so they have changed things... the highway has moved. Bud's is no longer on the highway but I saw only this...

as a reminder of yesteryear on a frontage road in town. That was all I saw that looked familiar... no more Lassiter Feed Lot right after the big corner, nothing twigged a memory. I did see a sign that said that it was only 9 km to the Bassano Dam. Seemed farther away all those years ago.

We picked up our lunch at a grocery store in Brooks and then headed north. Before long we came to Patricia, a wee small blip on the map where Mother was the Principal for a year in a 3 room school. I was in grade 3 at that time, fresh from the Peace River country.

There was no sign of the school. Found out it had been demolished a couple years ago because people were using it for a grow-op. Mother would like that!! :)

It was a raggy little town back in my day, now it appeared truly down on its luck, but then so many small towns on the prairies have taken a beating. This place was small to start with.

But they still have a rodeo!

Please go to Sherwin's blog to get his full expose on the Dinosaur Park. I just have to show you what the sky looked like when I laid down in the grass to get a 'snap'.

And then I rolled over and got this...

Now for my Kandt sisters... this park is just minutes from where we lived in Patricia. Scratching my memory I came up with a few names... the Sears family, the Conners family... Billy Conners, right? and of course Victor and Gordon Gold, the twins in grade 2 that loved to tease me. I think they admired me for picking all the fresh putty out of the windows in the entry to the school. You don't want to do that when your mother is the principal!!

We hiked for a few hours, enjoying the topography. We were there for the countryside much more than the dinosaurs.

After hiking around on a few of the trails Sherwin suggested we drag our sorry asses out of there and get on down the road. We were tired. It was warm and the trails were longer than we expected when we started.

Well, Marilyn wasn't going to be home for a few hours still so no use heading back into Calgary and since I had always been curious about the prairie town my mother-in-law had grown up in and I could see it on the map, I thought that would be a good next stop.

Sherwin had never been there. He had been led to believe it was close to the Saskatchewan border closer to Medicine Hat so he was as unfamiliar as I was with this part of the country. Not far north though the land got flatter and flatter...

and it was just like Charlotte had told me. She said you could look a long time before you saw a tree.

I stopped and shot a couple 'snaps' just for her. (Snaps is what she called photos.)

Pollockville was a delightful little stop. It seemed this community, though small, had an air of prosperity about it that I was not expecting. There were oil pumps dotting the landscape that we hadn't seen south.

Now we could head back to Calgary to put up our feet... more tomorrow.

Be well.