Greetings from Kindersly library, Saskatchewan Canada, June 6th, 2012
We arrived 2 days ago with a strong southeasterly wind at our backs, a wind that grew with force and determination. The kind of wind that brings me inside. And inside Claire and I are, at the home of Kim and Melody Lamont. I have gone from “the ditch to the Ritz” as they have put me up in a lovely enclosed gazebo complete with a wood cook stove and decorated in western decor. The horses are in separate corrals not far across the road and I can see them from the many windows of the gazebo.
The ride up from Swift Current could not have been more pleasant. Dirt roads not gravel but soft dirt, silent hoof tracks, doted with ponds and water from spring rains make riding carefree. Plus the smiles and handshakes from these friendly Saskatchewan country folks makes the ride so unbelievably pleasant. As I have said, “this is, in my humble long riding experience, premier long riding country”…
I rode these back roads to Cabri which was a fun action packed stop. I feel like I met most of the town. Had lunch at the House of Heart Cafe. OH such good food!!! I met Paulette Gehl owner of the Cafe and her mother Eileen Hartman who lives in Lancer 20 miles west of Cabri. She offered a place to stay and after much visiting I headed for Lancer with a stop in Abbey where I was able to visit the school and see the 4-H exhibition. 4-H has a special place in my heart and played a very important role in my life as a young girl growing up on a small dairy farm in Minnesota. Am always glad to see the young people still learning and growing through the 4-H programs.
I must mention that this is Hutterite country and I have stopped to visit at several Colonies along my travels both in the states and now here in Canada. I stopped at the Pontiex Colony a few weeks ago, south of Swift Current. Mr. Josh Hofer invited Emily and I to visit and spend the afternoon.(Emily will post her story with photos soon). I have always found the Hutterite’s a delightful group of people. The women dressed in colorful homemade clothing and always so pleasant, curious, interested. The Colonies that I have made tours of have always been the most modern, efficient and clean facilities I have ever seen. Emily and I met the elder Hofers, had lunch ( all homemade food from the Colony) before heading out again. I mention this because between Cabri and Lancer, I had car after car of Hutterites stopping to visit offering smiles and pleasant conversation and of course more food. I said to one Elder Hutterite that as long as I stayed in Hutterite country I would never have to fear starving to death…
I rode into Lancer late afternoon. Mr. Lloyd Hartman was waiting for me. I camped in their back yard and Lloyd had liver and onions already in the makings as Eileen was not yet back from a trip to Regina. I found out that Lloyd, now in his 80’s won the World Senior Pro Team Roping championship in 1989. We sat on the veranda and talked until dark that evening. When I asked him how long it took him to feel like he’d gotten good as a Roper and he said, “after 50 years of the Rodeo circuit, it took twenty five years to feel good at it”. Um I thought I wonder if it will take me that long to feel “good at long riding”. In the morning as Eileen was making “perogy” a pastry filled Ukrainian delicacy, we visited and she told me she had just retired from a 35 year career as a teacher and now was involved in the school system at the provincial level. I reflected on my sister who has also retired this year from a 35 plus year career as a teacher. Both women having devoted their lives to the education of other children. Dedicated and involved for so many years in the school system. Now it is to these women that I say.. ” my hat is off to both of you”. (and I have a big hat)
Clayton, Lloyd and Eileen’s son hauled me to the ferry crossing where we safely made our way over the Saskatchewan river and continued on north for Kindersley. And again several people from the Springfield Colony stopped to visit as I rode in to town and then it seemed like it was one car after another stopping to visit until I got into town and made camp on the south east corner. Ron Lamont came out to visit and then his son Kim came out and said “that his wife and He would love to have me come stay at his place”. It rained and blew hard that night and in the morning I did just that moved inside for a couple of restful nights as the wind raged outside. But one can not complain about the wind. You can not fight it or cuss at the wind because as soon as you do it will be gone and you will be left with bugs and heat and praying for the wind to return. I have been visiting all morning. Have seen an extraordinary doll collection that Ron Lamont’s wife, Stella has. I have picked up a few things at the Salvation Army that Ron and Kim run.Kim is a man of many talents, a licensed farrier a very fine leather worker,welder, and he and his father have traveled extensively working with the Fish Game and Wildlife dept. He is also a devoted animal lover, as is Melody. Melody’s and Kims home was a lovely blend of old and new. I have only seen one similar when coming thru Texas at Holly and Tommy Nixon’s home. Homes, ranch houses and railroad houses that have been refashioned with creative antiques and new ideas, beautifully done to welcome visitors and also I think to stimulate the mind.
I must still pick up a package at the post office and pick up a few things at the grocery before heading out in the morning. Kindersley is a busy town, the oil fields and grain/agriculture has the town prospering and growing. A friendly town, another stop and another huge slice of hospitality so like the Saskatchewan’s– they are famous forit.
Ende Home Base