"I’VE SEEN FIRE AND I’VE SEEN RAIN..’. (James Taylor)
One of the special outings that sister Carole and I enjoyed was going with our mother to the Inverness company store for groceries.
Once the groceries were purchased our mother would borrow the net loft cart to load our groceries on for the trip home. The cart was used to move nets around the dock. It’s platform was about four foot square and it ran on the railway tracks along the cannery dock
Our mother would load the groceries and Carole and I on the cart and push us along the railway tracks the one mile home. Quite the shopping cart! My father would return it to work the next morning. As a treat Carole and I would get a box of Cracker Jacks each or the small yellow carton with handles, festooned with animals, that contained pink-tinged popcorn. On very special occasions we would each receive a small glass of Coca Cola.
Another memorable moment was the time my mother and I went to the neighbours to feed their chickens. My mother detected a movement in the bushes and saw that a wolf was closely watching us. We remained locked in the chicken pen in a state of high tension. Eventually, to our immense relief, the wolf lost interest in us and the chickens and ambled off as mysteriously as he had arrived.
Sometimes the moments of high drama and tension were self-induced. One sunny summer day our mother went to see our neighbour Mrs. Dalgren. The tide was out so it was safe to leave us kids at home alone. After all, what could go wrong?
About then I happened to spot a porcelain circuit breaker with two long insulators and a deep depression in the centre. I thought that this was a piece of machinery needing only a little gasoline placed in the depression to make it go. Having added the gasoline all I had do was strike the match. BOOM!......a flash of fire and suddenly our entire yard of tall dry summer grass was ablaze. Black clouds of smoke were rising to the heavens. I grabbed our galvanized water bucket and charged up and down the ladder to the rain barrels, then ran and threw bucketfuls of water on the flames approaching our storage shed.
Thankfully the shed did not catch fire, due to the combination of water and the fact that once the grass was burned the fuel source was gone. The immediate danger averted, Carole and I went and hid under our foot bridge. Our mother arrived home very quickly having been alerted by the plumes of black smoke billowing up the slough past the Dalgens. I can’t recall what happened when our father got home. I do recall that I was wise enough not to point out to him that he no longer had to cut the grass with his scythe.
When I was little, I grew up in Golden. When we'd go to Calgary we would stop in Cochrane and get Ice Cream. Cochrane is an interesting city. It's a big city but when you are in the historic downtown area where MacKay's Ice Cream is in, you'd think it was a tiny village. It's fantastic and in the beautiful foothills of Southern Alberta. The shops are great and the ice cream is top notch.
I got back to Alberta from Tuktoyaktuk on Monday. My friend Taryn picked me up and we went to her new place. She asked what my plans were for the next day, I didn't have any so she proposed a road trip to Cochrane for ice cream! A couple years ago when I found out that Taryn and our friend Hannah didn't have their driver's licences I tried to bribe them with a road trip to Cochrane for ice cream if they got their licenses. Taryn finally got hers but we never got to Cochrane.
We stopped at Save On Foods for snacks and drinks and picnic food before heading out. We took Highway 2 down and it was full of traffic that couldn't figure out that the right lane is for passing not for going slow.
Once we got to Cochrane, the line up at MacKays was CRAZY. They don't close until 10 so we walked around and poked in the shops. We got great posters at The Vintage Verandah, Italian Sodas at Cochrane Coffee Traders and I got a really cute pair of shoes on sale at The Shoe Closet. Where the service is top notch.
Once we decided to get in line for ice cream it moved pretty fast. I got Cherry Custard and Haskap Berry. Taryn got Colombian Coffee and Cookie Dough. There are a huge variety of flavours, from Keso to Halo Halo to Avocado to Jolly Rancher. As a kid I always got Maple Walnut and Butter Pecan.
On the drive up to Drayton we took Cowboy Trail and a little detour through Highway 471. The roads were empty, though occasionally gravel and the views were BEAUTIFUL. I've driven Cowboy Trail before a few years ago and it's my favourite. We had to stop occasionally to just take in the view. It made us feel proud to live here in this amazing beautiful land. It was a couple days after Canada Day and politically/historically, it's often hard to feel proud to be Canadian for reasons other than not being American. But this land hat we live on, I'm grateful that my ancestors immigrated here so that I can experience this beauty.