“Every mile is two in winter”, wrote the English poet, George Herbert. I couldn’t agree more. And if Georgie had lived in Canada and not England – where winter is pretty much over – he might’ve replaced two with three – or five.
At this point in February I’m fed the eff up with it. Like a lot of you, I’d guess – at least the you in the northern hemisphere. Of course for you lucky Antipodeans, it’s nothing but bonnie summer days.
I’m cleaning out the office this gloomy Saturday afternoon and got side-tracked flipping through an old photo album; one that belonged to my late Uncle Robert. I came across one gem that reminded me how lucky I am – or how lucky we are – to live when we do. It’s a photo of my father, William, probably taken with a Brownie camera around 1936. Scrawled on the original in my grandmother’s hand, “Bulwer school bus”.
Bulwer is a small farming community in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. My father’s family settled here in July 1929 after emmigrating from Scotland courtesy of a World War I veterans’ program (I can’t imagine it was called a “program” in those days).
Anyway, some school bus: a horse-drawn sledge!
It looks pretty, um, basic to me: there appears to be windows and, well, horses. And that’s about it. Brrrrrrrr. I guess it beat the one or two mile trudge in the snow from farm to school but the horse-drawn sledge reminds me that winter in rural Canada in the 1930s probably wasn’t all that cosy – or easy. It would’ve been very different, wouldn’t it?
No afternoons at the mall, or the “food court”, or the movies, or the PlayStation, or the Internet …
But, then, there was dashing through the snow.
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