Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Little Family History

Hanging out in Swift Current has got me thinking about my family history. I remember my father referring to this town as the nearest "big city" to Herbert: his home town. My great grandparents and grandfather homesteaded in this region - building a dwelling out of sod until they were able to construct a wood one.

I have several photos from this time because my grandfather was an amateur photographer. He would lug the glass plates, chemicals, and camera that were part of the trade at that time. This one is of the Penner homestead near Handsome Lake in 1908. Margaretha Penner was my grandfather's first wife. She died in the flu epidemic of 1919.

I particularly like the ones of the threshing crew he worked with and the long "train" of tractor,  grader,  boxcar, and model A that he used to work and transport his family around northern Saskatchewan in the summer.

This was the region that produced his story of his trick to get to sleep in (see It was also highlighted for me by the photo of my parents out on a date - with my father pausing to clean the spark plugs along the way. I guess I shouldn't feel bad about our own pause to fix a failed ignition coil.

Looking out on the expansive fields and dried grasslands it is hard to imagine what life would have been like in those days, but most of the stories I grew up with were cheery ones.

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