March 14th, 2010:
Our anniversary! Fifty seven years ago, we tied the knot at Knox United Church here in Saskatoon. Of course, we were just kids at the time.
Early the next morning we got on the “Flyer” for Ontario, where we picked up a car (stripped down Chevy with 2 doors, no radio - $2,200, above) and made our way back home. Most motel rooms were from $2 to $5 per night; they were hard to find, as most closed down for the winter back then.
We hit a storm approaching Minot; travel was tough all the way to Regina, where we checked into the first motel we saw. I think it might have been the only one in Regina – it was down south on Albert. I think that was on Friday, and we were storm-bound for the next two days. I can't remember what we did for meals.
On Monday, we could finally get around with the car, so we bought a little camper trailer (bottom of page) and started out for Saskatoon. It was reported that a snowplow had left Regina but that's all we knew. We saw no sign of it all the way to Saskatoon, and there was just a single lane between snowbanks.
When we got to Saskatoon, we were concerned because there was a bumping and grinding noise every time we hit a bump. We were going to turn in at Krushelnicki's garage, but the car wouldn't turn – I couldn't turn the wheel. I stopped on the road, and Mike came out to check – he brought a big screwdriver with him and used it to pick the ice from inside the fenders.
We were okay from Saskatoon to Glaslyn, where we spent a couple of days, then headed back to Kelliher via Number 14 highway – where Number 16 now runs. Most of the way, there was a single cut by a rotary snowplow between eight-foot snowbanks; luckily there was the odd wide spot for meeting cars, but for the most part, the cut wasn't much wider than our trailer.
Our marriage almost ended that night: we turned south at Dafoe on Number 35 Highway with Doreen reading the road map (it was strange country to us), then she insisted we make another right turn where there was a snowplow cut. We did, but the cut ended about a hundred feet in. I had to back the trailer out with a couple of inches to spare on each side, and no experience with a trailer. Somehow, we managed, but there wasn't much conversation from there to Kelliher.
That little trailer was our home for the next six months or so – it was about 6½ feet wide and 14 feet long, from where the rear bumper should have been to the front of the hitch. The dining table folded down to make a bed, and there was no heater. I added a little oil heater later, after we almost did ourselves in using the hotplate to heat the place. I was working a lot of nights, and taking up half of the trailer when I went to sleep.
We were about thirty feet from the railroad track at Atwater; main line CNR with about eight trains per shift all day and night, most going through at sixty miles per hour plus. We never even heard them.
Enough about the olden days.
Yesterday, we went to the Antiques and Collectibles Show at Prairieland Park. I had enough after about forty five minutes, but Doreen was just getting started. I got my Sudoku book from the car and went to the cafe for coffee. I was joined there by our friends, Jim and Jean Berg and we had a very pleasant visit. By the time Bergs left, Doreen was about done. She didn't buy a thing!
We didn't do a thing for our anniversary – no gifts, no cards, no romantic restaurant meals. We thought we might go shopping for a new dishwasher as ours was leaking every time we did the dishes; instead, I pulled the thing out and found where it was leaking. That took most of the afternoon.
We'll wait until our 60th – then we'll celebrate!