In “Our Bull’s Loose in Town!” Tales from the Homestead, I call this horse “Blacky.” That was not his real name. He was actually called (brace yourself) “Nigger.” He was the second “Nigger” my grandparents owned (they also owned a black horse called Darkey). So why did I change his name for the story? Continue reading “About that horse’s name . . .”
“Our Bull’s Loose In Town!” Tales from the Homestead
A tiny shack in a vast prairie. Spooked horses and run-away pigs. A town half-destroyed by fire. The year with no crop. An untimely death.
Little did Addie Wright realize what she would face when she came west from Ontario in 1910 to marry her fiancé, Abraham Hanna. Based on entries in Abraham’s diaries, Our Bull’s Loose In Town tells the story of the author’s grandparents as they built their farm and raised a family in the Meyronne district of southwestern Saskatchewan. Through trials and triumphs, sorrows and successes, the horrors of the Great War, the prosperity of the Roaring Twenties and the dark years of the Dirty Thirties, they found strength and courage in their faith, in their indomitable humour, and in their family and neighbours.
This is also the story of the rise and decline of a prairie village, and of the political and social turmoil of a province and country in the first half of the twentieth century, all as Addie lived it.
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What Readers are saying about “Our Bull’s Loose in Town!”
Margaret was able to present us with a wonderfully rounded, factual account of what it was really like to pioneer near Meyronne in 1911. . . In spite of Margaret Hanna’s outspoken revelations about the darker side [of the 1920s], I still maintain that Our Bull’s Loose in Town is the most realistic look at life in southern Saskatchewan in pioneer days that I have ever seen. Kay Parley, author, The Grass People
[The author has] a marvellous way of making history come alive. I think the secret to her success is having the book told from Addie’s perspective. Not just dry historical facts, but real life drama. Frank Korvemaker, co-author, Legacy of Worship: Sacred Places in Rural Saskatchewan
Margaret Hanna’s story of her grandparents’ journey as prairie homesteaders is a classic! It is cleverly written in her grandmother Addie’s voice. Addie provides a several decade play-by-play of her resilient family. The story unfolds concurrently with the initial settlement and development of rural southwest Saskatchewan. Improved finances, two world wars, a drought/depression and new technology are all woven in. Accordingly, whether you are a history buff, or just someone who grew up in a rural prairie community and can thus relate, “Our Bull’s Loose in Town!” is a must read! David McCaslin, former Meyronne resident
I really enjoyed the voice of Addie Wright/Hanna and her exploits through historical Saskatchewan. I really loved the first person point of view and thought it lent a personal touch to the story. Vanessa Hawkins, author
This was an interesting semi-historical about a family on the Canadian plains. The story is seen through remembrance. There was laughter and sadness, and seeing the history of the recent past through the writer’s eyes fascinating. A good read. Janet Lane-Walters, author
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Sun-ripened red berries
Distilled to sweetened memories.
Summer in a jar.
Of the scores of photographs Grandpa Hanna (Abe) took, this is my favourite. Addie is standing proudly at her Delco electric washing machine – see the electric cord snaking across the floor to the outlet in the pantry. Mind you, she still had to heat the wash water on the cook stove, hence the copper boiler in the lower right hand corner. Continue reading “The Modern Electric Home, ca. 1920”
A belligerent platypus knocked on my door,
He flummoxed me when he cried, “Excelsior!”
I told him, “Perdition is on the fifth floor,
And ask for St. Pete, he’s the new janitor.”
(the challenge – use the following words: belligerent, excelsior, flummoxed, janitor, perdition, platypus. Inspired by Edward Lear.)
What does it do to your soul when your hometown disappears? When hedges border vacant lots, trees cast unused shade, grass grows unmowed, a lilac bush blooms unsmelled, a breeze scurries bits of paper down untrod sidewalks? No laughter of children playing on the school swings and teeter-totters, no dogs barking, no cars and pickup trucks driving down the street, no people talking in front of the post office, no clang-clang-clang of the hand bell announcing the beginning of the school day.
Only silence. Continue reading “The End of a Dream”