A Long Overdue Visit

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Jo-Anne and Jaap's yard

Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Thursday, April 15, 2010

One of the 'must do's’ of this trip was to stop in Brooks for a long overdue visit to Jo-Anne and Jaap. It was to be a short 225 mile relaxing trip but it had snowed overnight in Medicine Hat and started again soon after we left. After battling sloppy snow and wind gusts we hobbled into their yard by mid afternoon. About 1/3 of Brooks was out of power because the weight of the snow and the wind had taken out a dozen hydro poles in the area. J&J had been in the dark since 7:00 in the morning. Lucky for everyone we were able to make tea in the View! After going out for supper we joined them for a wonderful Mime production that they had booked. Later that evening we turned on our furnace and played cards and visited till after midnight.

What a glorious visit. We talked about our families, kids, reminisced about old friends and acquaintances. We shared travelling stories, business adventures and family tales. Although I grew up with Jo-Anne they have lived out here all their married life. It is flat rolling land with a big open sky and a long horizon that you could look out on all day. Other than beef on the long rolling grasslands the crops need to be irrigated. The elaborate ditches and canals are vital to the success of the crops. Life is different when you have to buy water for the cistern under the house and the crops in the field. J&J are fortunate to live on fertile land and can get water from Lake Newell the biggest man-made lake in Canada. Jaap is an experienced, knowledgeable farmer who knows his land and can fab anything together when he needs to. It was good to get all of our ‘farming in the west’ questions answered.

The next morning after a couple of cups of coffee from the View (still no power) we headed on west. Thank-you Jo-Anne and Jaap for an awesome visit. We are looking forward to perhaps visiting  Dinosaur Provincial Park and seeing the green fields in the summer.

Everything is big out here. Big pick-up trucks, big farm equipment, big silos, long trains and semis. A wide load is a really wide road.  It is difficult for us southern Ont. people to get used to the huge distances between towns and major cities. 3 days of driving and no mountains in sight.
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Mom W. on

Nice to know that you were in Brooks already.Not nice driving with wet snow.I just called Joan's mom and told her about your visit. We might get some snow tonight too. We sat on the balcony yesterday, reading a book. Very relaxing Looking forward to the next edition, love mom& dad.

Jo-Anne on

We had a great visit with you. Just to let you know that we finally have the power (hydro for the Ontarians) on again at 2:00 this afternoon, Friday. The snow is beginning to melt. Temp today was 17 C with lots of sunshine. Hope that the sun is shining for you.

Sarah and Peter on

We have just caught up on all your blogging, great, love hearing the descriptions of where you are, takes us home a bit too! Looking forward to the blogs about the rockies and further into BC.

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