Friday, February 11, 2011

Might Could Go Back to Horses and Buggies

My heroes

Everett and I weren't too far from home Thursday afternoon when we went through a snow drift, which packed snow up under the van's carriage and knocked the power steering belt off. I had the lad pull over, then got out and popped the hood. Before I could say Hm, what's this then? our neighbour on his way home had pulled over to see what was what. He attempted to get the belt back on the pulley, but it was difficult because there's so little space in there for man hands. A few minutes later another fellow passing by stopped to help, and the two of them fiddled around under the hood while I busied myself reaching under the vehicle to knock snow out from underneath. Everett is there, just out of the photo on the left, bored. Then Scott turned up and, having done this exact same operation for the same reason just a few weeks ago, before long they had us on our way again. Although Everett and I took Scott's truck, and Scott took the van to the heated shop at his parents' so some of that snow and ice packed up under the motor could melt off. While it was there he took out the tractor and cleared the road.

I think my next vehicle might have to be a truck. For sure it won't be a van.

Being stranded if you break down is rarely a concern around here, unless maybe you're a fool out in a blizzard and no one else is out on the roads. In normal circumstances your neighbours will always stop and help you, and so will strangers (and the last thing that would occur to you is to be afraid of them). It's a good place to live. It was damn cold out there too— my toes were frozen by the time we were headed toward town again— yet those guys messed around out there in the frigid weather for at least half an hour, maybe even an hour, good-humouredly. Probably around 20C-below this afternoon, but supposed to start warming up to just a few degrees below 0C tomorrow. We'll see.

Emil and I will be on the road bright and early. We have an hour-and-a-half drive to have his glasses checked out by an optometrist. In July he got a new pair when he was at his dad's in Edmonton, and he has said from day one that he couldn't see with them, and we've thought he was being stubborn (he insisted he didn't want new glasses) and made him wear them anyway. About two weeks ago when I was cleaning the lenses and they wouldn't come clear, it occurred to me that Emil might actually have known what he was talking about. Shame on me for not giving him the benefit of the doubt six months ago. Usually I would have.

And speaking of horses, a horse rescue farm is taking five of the seven that only a few weeks ago were destined for the auction (on the way to a dog food factory). Friday morning they will be loaded into a trailer and hauled to a new home somewhere west of Saskatoon. That will loosen the feed and pasture crunch here considerably and we'll keep looking for places for the last two— a stallion and a gelding. But in the meantime they can now be put together so the stallion won't be lonely and miserable anymore.

We have been offering these horses for free to horse lovers for years, without takers, but it wasn't until as a last attempt I put the call out to my Facebook friends that the network did the job that was needed. A useful tool, is that Facebook.


  1. Kate, where you live does indeed sound like a good place to live. My grandparents lived in such a place, which I love to visit and when I do it is always a good experience, always like coming home from the storm.
    We live in a rural area that is nothing like what you describe. Extreme and indifferent wealth, side by side with invisible poverty; it isn't pretty in my opinion, although it is beautiful and looks idyllic to the visitor and to the wealthy.
    My true community is non-geographically based, and is a wonderful place to live. People are there for one another when they can be in the physical sense and are sincerely concerned for one another at the very least when distance prevents concrete support.
    Congratulations on finding a haven for the horses!

  2. Helping stranded drivers and helping needy horses -- a good thing!

  3. How nice to have people you can count on to help you out of a jam. In the -20's here too, will it ever end? Good to hear that the horses are finding homes. Take care and keep warm.

  4. That neighbourly atmosphere is like that here, as well. I wonder if it's the extreme in temps that make people so caring and hospitable towards one another.

    I'm so glad you found homes for the horses...and that it will help the pasture crunch. It makes me happy to know the lonely stallion will now have a companion! xo


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