Friday, March 9, 2012

When the dust had settled (did the dust EVER settle in the great flurry of planting trees,building roads and houses.....) there were still about a half a dozen lots remaining that VLA had not sold.

They were anxious to have these lots cleared and planted to alfalfa to make them more appealing to any remaining veterans who might be wavering in their decision to settle on the Cawston Bench.

Charles agreed to take on this contract.  And at the same time he was changing about eighty acres of sprinklers for veterans who had planted their trees, but had not yet moved to the project.

His spare time he put into building our home.  I moved to Cawston with our three children in April of 1951, and we rented a house on Main Street that was only partly finished.  It had unfinished wooden floors which I washed every day.  Not the most comfortable for our youngest, who was still crawling!!!!  During the summer we were offered the rent of a house adjoining Fairview Heights which we accepted gratefully.

In August I took the children by rail to Edmonton, to take part in my sister's wedding.  (Train fares were much less then they are now, - we traveled comfortably in a private room with enough sleeping accommodation for all four of us for peanuts, or their equivalent in cash).

Charles stayed home and worked long hours, from dawn 'til dark.........

In the summer of 1952 these lots that Charles had cleared and planted for VLA were green with alfalfa and the oat nurse crop.  With the loan of a combine Charles started to harvest the oats.......

In September he fell ill with bulbar polio which was rampant among children and young adults that year.

He was so fortunate that his case was mild, although very painful, and he was left with only a slight dragging of one foot, which after a year or two disappeared.  However, I am convinced that the neuropathy which has had such a serious affect on his mobility now is a direct result of the damage to his nerves which was caused by the polio, so he didn't get off scot-free, alas.

In the spring of 1953 the acreage Charles had cleared and planted for VLA was sold.

And we moved into our own home on Lot 39, which consisted of ten acres of arable land planted to fruit trees and about twenty acres of sage brush, on which we eventually built our first small barn and raised sheep, kept a couple of cows, some chickens, and a prolific sow (up the hill, well away from the house).


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