October 2nd, 2005: Itís a cool, drizzly, heavily overcast
day, just not pleasant. I havenít a clue how much rain we have had in the past two
weeks - our rain gauge broke and swung around upside down. Doesnít hold water worth
My combining may be done for this year. We woke up Saturday to find an overcast sky
and a damp feeling; before long there was a mist, then a drizzle which settled in
to an all-day rain, though light. Bryan said we were within a day of being
caught up with combining; there is quite a bit of oats out, seeded when the season
got too short for other grains, but it isnít ready yet.
I had a good season - didnít break anything, didnít bend anything, and doubt if I
spilled a bushel of grain. Iím either getting better or luckier. (Or maybe Iím getting
better and Grimsons are getting luckier!) Of course, there were those belts
I burned off when I plugged the combine, but thatís just a normal operating hazard.
My face is red! When I mentioned the people I was combining with, I named a non-existent
Edward Chitty - that should have read Edward Chaskey. A million apologies!
At the time, we were working on the former George Chitty place at Mozart
and my mind transposed the two names.
There is something satisfying about combining. The day usually starts with servicing
and fuelling the combines and that gives me the stretches and exercise I need. Sometimes,
it is so cold the grease wonít run and I have to lay the grease gun in the sun to
warm it up. Then there is anything up to thirteen hours herding the combine around
the fields, broken by coffee breaks and lunch in the field. I never seem to get bored,
and Iíve never (so far) fallen asleep at the wheel. I think itís being a part of
the most important job in the world - what Iím doing is worthwhile even if the financial
returns donít reflect it.
Our grandson, Scott, is back home after spending two years teaching and touring
in China. He travelled all the way from Shanghai on the east to Tibet
on the west (though he couldnít get into Tibet). In his final letter, Scott
ďChina is a very decent and ambitious country and I'm glad
that I got to spend two years learning about its people and their customs. I'm
seriously considering continuing studying Chinese culture and language and maybe
that of other countries as well. I feel that I got a somewhat rare, in-depth,
look at the country that foreigners rarely get to see and one that many Chinese people
don't want me to see. In fact, there are some things that I witnessed that I
wish I hadn't.
ďAnother interesting experience that I had while living abroad (and something
that, I think, people rarely experience) was the chance to view the Western
world from a completely different and outside perspective. I got to learn about
how individuals from developing countries view the western world and even how people
from other developed nations few Canada. This insight, in turn, has helped to
change my own view of the world that I live in.Ē
Scott e-mailed us, and all his family, on a regular basis from China.
We got to watch him grow from a boy, fresh out of school, into a man with opinions
of his own. We havenít seen him yet but hope to this week.
There has been a change at the Park - the old Fishermanís Cove motel has been
moved to the south-east and turned ninety degrees. Next year, it will serve as quarters
for summer staff.
Bears are the big story around here. Ron Weber phoned me last night; he was
at Kelly Chaseís house and a bear was wandering around the yard, looking in
the windows and spreading garbage around. The bears were at the Cove, too,
knocking over oil barrels and setting off alarms. They were rubbing against Sherylís
trailer and scratching at the walls, to her terror. When they set off the alarm Sheryl
had to go over to the Cove to turn it off, and that was not a happy experience!
Hopefully, the conservation officers will get some traps out soon. Bears are fine,
but at a distance.
Still no photos. I could have gone looking for that bear last night to take some
pictures, but I just didnít feel like it. In fact, after Ronís call, I locked all
the doors. Maybe this week I will get the camera out of storage and back into action.
Sheryl and Jenny had quite a weekend last week. They went parachute
jumping at Wakaw! Sheryl jumped twice and Jenny once, and both
found it an exhilarating experience. Jenny had done it once before in Ontario,
likely about fifteen years ago; she enjoyed it then but found no reason to do it
again. This time, she found it far more exciting than the first time. Sheryl
says it might be because the modern parachutes give them much more control, making
the fall more interesting and fun.
I wonder if fat old men are allowed to jump? Doreen says ďNo!Ē