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About Our Family

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S: About Our Family

FC: of change

3: The more you laugh the longer you live



10: cousins

14: Mr and Mrs Richard Meardi | Mr and Mrs Wilfrid Makowichuk

15: Kim and Ken Chantel to the right of Ken Tamsin behind her and Amber behind Kim | Candace and Michael Rhys is on the right Hudson on the left. | Leighton and Sharon Sharon on the right and Bailey on the left. Behind them Jared on the right, James Clark (Cody's fiancee) and Cody

16: ride the school bus

17: wedding


19: Lasting Memories...





29: When Norah first told me about doing chairs and said we should come to help I was appalled. I didn't have any idea how to cover chairs! But the general reassurance was that if you just did what you are told to do then you are helping. So we went, and learned how to follow instructions, and we covered chairs. There are cutting jobs, measuring, mitering, sewing, gluing, stuffing, stapling, steaming, quality control and so on. There is batting and backing to deal with. Now, I doubt I could cover a chair start to finish myself, but I can sew a half inch seam, and count to ten, and Rachel has learned to staple, and Len is strong enough to stuff, so we all have a job, and over the years it has been a privilege to help make chairs for many many Kingdom Halls, leaning new skills, meeting new people, and eating good food in a wonderful atmosphere. What a wonderful form of service we have enjoyed over the years of going up to the "chair build" in Slave Lake. | Chairs

30: E | 2004

31: We went to a few places, mostly for hall build but sometimes for fun


37: Time marches on

38: On occasion people who knew we had moved from the farm would ask how we liked living the urban lifestyle. On the days I didn’t feel like saying it was the equal of being an unwilling participant in an arranged marriage I would look thoughtful and say, very honestly, “I don’t miss the mice at all.” And I don’t. For whatever reasons, the house was old, the foundation of the addition not rodent-proof, we regularly left the garage door open, we had mice. Bats, too, but that is another story. To be sure, the worst times were in the fall, when the beasties were seeking shelter for the winter, and in the spring when melting snow exposed the safety of their intricate snow trails and runs. Those two seasons brought unwelcome invasions, and there would begin the battle of man (and woman) against the mouse. Now, out of doors a mouse is a cunning, sleek, little creature, sitting up in the grass stalks, as charming as any character in a Beatrix Potter book, clutching at bits of food with tiny, exquisitely perfect pink paws, whiskers bristling, and glistening eyes bulging slightly. In the house, however, they became transformed into disgusting, invasive, destructive, urinating, noisy and unwelcome vermin. It was Rachel’s job, and although she loathed it, the stunning fee of one dollar per tarp emptied and reset was overwhelmingly tempting. Then there was the undeniable shock value to telling her city friends that she made money on a “trap line”. A couple of mouse incidents come to mind; the asthmatic mouse, and the mouse in the dishpan. One summer we were unwilling hosts to an asthmatic mouse. Maybe it was house dust he was allergic to. That would have been easily remedied; he could have gone outdoors to avoid it. Instead he would earnestly wheeze about the kitchen after dark, disturbing the peace in a most irritating fashion. Busy with other concerns, one hot summer evening we somehow neglected to re-set the trap for him, and crashed into bed, exhausting from farm work and the heat of the summer. We both heard him coming. “Dear,” I said kindly, “do you want to set the mousetrap?” Dear fellow that he is, he did not. He considered mousetrap setting to be the domain of his wife and daughter. “What if he comes up here on the bed? I wondered anxiously. “How high do you think a mouse can jump?” he responded condescendingly, turned over, and fell promptly to sleep. I lay there contemplating the answer to that question. I couldn’t begin to specify exactly how high, but I suspected it was substantial. The night was hot, but I pulled the sheet up around my neck as I listened. The wheezing in the kitchen grew closer, and soon it was coming from behind the dresser, around the corner, and then after a brief silence, there plopped squarely into my lap a fat furry hot little body. Well, I am not a screamer by nature, but that night I made up for any lack. My poor husband woke from a solid and well deserved sleep in horror. | We Move to Town | "Toula," I said, "you look...old." | 10028 105 St Westlock, AB T7P 1V2 | 2008 | 2008

39: “It’s on the bed,” I shrieked. “No, it is not!” he said, with much conviction. “Yes it is!” “No it’s not!” “Yes it” and them”Plop!” the sound of a chubby mouse who finally managed to extricate himself from wildly thrashing sheets and fling himself to the relative safety of the hard floor below. “Maybe you could set the trap now?” I thought I had a case. “No,” he replied. “It’s not coming back after all of that. You think it’s stupid?” And he went back to sleep. I lay there a moment or two, considering. Then I got up, muttering crossly, to set the trap myself. Then I went back to bed and waited. I wasn’t totally convinced as to the animal’s stupidity level, but I wasn’t going to take any chances. Sure enough, it was a stupid little mouse. The wheezing started up again. In the kitchen, behind the ‘fridge, around the corner”SNAP!” “Yeah, right,” said I, and finally went to sleep, with the satisfaction of not only having been right, but also having had the last word on the matter. Mice had this dreadfully unnerving habit of climbing the back of the stove and popping up onto the counter. It seemed to be most convenient for them, but it was very irritating to me. I used a lot of bleach in those days. They used the same route as an exit when pilfering cookies, but the odd cookie morsel was too big for the crack no matter how they struggled and pulled. I knew the sound; it was time to take out the traps. One day, as I prepared supper, a particularly reckless mouse thought he would join me, and popped up onto the cupboard. I was furious. Murder in my heart, I blocked off his escape route and gave chase. He ran the other way, nervously dodging measuring cups and mixing spoons. I called our cat, an excellent ally in this situation, and mouse panicked at the sight of her. He miscalculated and plunged down between the pots and mixing bowls soaking in the sink. Horrified, Puss and I watched him resurface. He was a wreck. His fur stuck to him in greasy strings, and one ear was gummed down with soapy residue. He scrambled out and paused on the edge of the cupboard to glower balefully at us. “Get him,” I suggested to Puss, but her whole demeanor indicated disbelief that I would even suggest her dealing with such a disreputable looking character. Mousie flung himself off the end of the cupboard, and, kicking once or twice, squeezed himself into the heat vent and disappeared. I drained the sink and rinsed off mouse germs, the cat stalked off shaking her head in disbelief, and the mouse no doubt tracked greasy soapy water all the way back to who knows where, chuckling evilly to himself about his cunning escape. Tanya, my niece who grew up one farm over and has a mouse story or two of her own to tell, came to visit one day. She asked the inevitable question and was given the standard respond. We traded mouse stories and laughed ourselves silly. Nothing like commiserating with someone who’s been there. Some time later she dropped by with a tiny gift wrapped package. Out of the wrapping paper tumbled something alarming, the size and weight of a fat asthmatic mouse. “I saw it in a gift shop and I thought of you right away,” she smiled. “Now you have a town mouse.” I was appalled for all of two seconds, and became quickly fond of my little cast iron memory. He sits on the top of the cupboards, doesn’t squeak, wheeze, pilfer, or poop. If a person must have a mouse about, he would be the one. Thank you, Tanya

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  • Title: About Our Family
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  • Published: almost 7 years ago