Wednesday, September 1, 2021

August ~ to the prairies and back

The Canadian prairies keep calling us back...
though it had been seven years since we were last there.

The beauty of the sunflowers.  

The golden fields of grain…and that big blue sky. 

But more than all that...
it's the people that we have missed.  

My sister lives in southern Manitoba.  
It has been several years since they relocated to Killarney…
to a new farm, a new house and a new neighbourhood. 

We had an invitation to join the rest of the family there two years ago for my Kathy's milestone birthday…
but decided we would keep my dad company at home and go there the next summer.  
As we all know…there was no traveling happening 'the next summer' (2020). 
So we were thankful that we could make the trek out with the motorhome this at long last.  

We were also thankful to have GPS lead us to their doorstep…
since following directions on unmarked gravel roads can be a challenge! 

Molly showed up on the front doorstep to greet us…
just as she did seven years ago on our last visit. 
That was on another front porch…
in a different town in Manitoba. 
She was also quite willing to be the tour guide as we explored the farm on an ATV. 

We checked on beef cattle scattered across the fields…
In gullies and on the bluffs.  

The USA border can be seen from their back yard. 
There are fences to keep their cattle in Canada...
but they have been known to cross over without permission. 
Getting them back home was not an easy matter.

We spent a few delightful few days with Kathy and Jim.  
It was also nice to see all the nieces and nephews and their growing families while we were there as well.  

And then…on to Steinbach where we met up with good friends. 
I got to know Char and Betty through our involvement with MGCC. 
How special to meet up again...and carry on where we left off last time! 

From there we moved to my cousin’s farm just south of Winnipeg.
Another warm Manitoba welcome!
How nice to visit with Uncle Dave and Aunt Justina and all the Manitoba cousins. 
We had a fabulous dinner, toured their farm and garden, enjoyed a pottery demonstration in their shop, and parked our RV on their yard overnight. 

Friendly Manitoba?  We can vouch for it. 
We left with many good memories.

In Saskatchewan we made a little detour to Saskatoon to visit my elderly aunt that we hadn’t seen in years.  
And in southern Alberta we had lunch with another uncle and aunt as we passed through.  
And there were others...
cousins and nephews that we looked up along the way.
It was so good to meet face to face with so many.  
Who knows when we will meet again?  

Our trip home was a smoky one…
with smoke from the BC wildfires blanketing much of the prairie.
However, by the time we reached southern Alberta it was raining heavily.  
We had plans to visit Waterton Park on the way home...

...but decided to avoid the rain and spend a few nights in the BC Rockies instead. 

We visited Fairmont Hotsprings...
where we  hiked up to the original outdoor pools and bathhouse. 
Really quite lovely!

We soaked in the public pools and camped not far away.

We spent a few days in Kimberley...where we had never been before. 
Once home to the world's largest lead-zinc mine (the Sullivan Mine)...
it is now mainly a tourist and ski resort.  
We took in the farmer's market, strolled the brick pedestrian plaza, ate at cute eateries, cycled the rail trail...

...and hiked the Marysville Falls trail.

The deer have the run of the town! 

Two weeks on the road and 5500 kms was time to head for home. 

As we got closer...the smoke got thicker.  
The rain we had in the prairies had not fallen here.  
Now as the month ends, we have finally had some rain...
though the fire situation is still dire. 

These two will be back in school shortly...
so we went golfing together last week.
Our kind of golfing...
on a putting course.

Lucy may never have golfed before...
but she is a pro.

Maggie always aims for the highest score...
which doesn't work out quite so well when one is golfing.
Though she seemed quite content to be on top!

We celebrated our 50th anniversary with our family on July 31st...
and had moved on.

But our friends threw a surprise party...
and we celebrated some more!

How nice to be able to get together again...
to mark the milestones...
to eat together...
to share our joys. 

These are the special times. 

That was August 2021...
and autumn is just around the corner.

Thanks for stopping by...
and have a lovely September!


  1. How wonderful to have so many loved ones to visit along the miles. That's funny about those cows crossing the border without permission. You saw some beautiful areas of Canada. Glad you were celebrated again. 50 years is worthy of a few celebrations. Happy September to you and yours. It's starting out with another wonderful celebration!

  2. What a glorious August you had!! SO happy you were able to see so many friends and family after being so isolated in 2020. My favorite pic of all was YOU in the middle of that field.....second favorite was those sunflowers. Oh, my!!!
    I love your end of month posts! Thank you for sharing your beautiful life with us!

  3. What a lovely August you had. It's so good to see those beloved faces once again. The cows and their illegal border crossing made me smile. Love the photo of you in that golden field.
    We're heading to the Rockies next week, and with the change in the weather, I'm packing for all seasons! We'll be camping in our trailer and enjoying the sights as you did (although we're taking the number 1).
    Happy September days, Judy.

  4. You (or Elmer) takes the best photos. My family is thinking of traveling to Canada, though I believe we must give it another think. It looks highly unlikely for this year, though Adam is considering a run for it for the coming holiday weekend. The family has been divided for quite some time by that artificial border yet things elsewhere are wide open.

    It is beyond wonderful to meet up with family and friends once again. The photo of you in the field (wheat?) is marvelous and, if course, those with Elmer are great, too. Good to see those Mennonite Girls once again as well.

    Have a blessed and happy September!

  5. Such a great trip - reconnecting with family and appreciating the freedom and beauty of the prairies! 2021 is such a special year for you! I loved the collages and especially the picture of you standing in the wheat field. It was so nice to see the picture of you with Charlotte and Betty! I pray that the autumn season will bring the much needed rain.

  6. Happy Anniversary! Congratulations on 50 years. What a beautiful trip. You always do such a good job of sharing the beauty of whatever environment you find yourselves in. What a blessing to see so many family/friends. If Covid has taught us anything, it's taught us to live (at least a little more) in the moment since it can change quickly. Hope the fire situation is resolved swiftly. Here in AZ we had fires earlier, but fortunately we've had a good monsoon for the first time in a decade. California is having a terrible fire season. We do get their smoke when the fires are in Southern CA, but are not too affected by the current fires. Enjoy September!

  7. I just love those photos of you at the surprise party! And your trip to the prairies looks like a wonderful time! You sister's flowers around her home are beautiful and I'm so glad you got to see Tony and Char and John and Betty!! I remember that Fairmont Hot Springs Pool ... we stayed in the hotel while our MB cousins stayed at the campground. So happy that Elmer was well enough again and you could do this trip.

  8. Hello Judy!
    I enjoyed seeing all your beautiful prairie photos. How wonderful it must have been to visit your sister and see her new home and ranch, as well as to travel on to see other relatives and friends.
    My husband was very grateful we traveled to Italy a couple years ago to visit aunts and uncles as a few have passed away since then. We treasure the time we spent with them now as memories.
    We visited Waterton Pafk a few years ago and a bit of Manitoba--all very beautiful places!
    We have also been suffering with very bad air quality all summer from western wildfire smoke and ozone from hot temperatures. I bought Hepa filter air purifiers to help indoors.
    Happy and healthy new school year for your grands! Happy Anniversary again! Looking forward to autumn...

  9. I have never met you personally but as someone with a Mennonite heritage I've enjoyed reading both the MGCC and your blog for over 10 years. I've loved reading about all your trips, which have inspired some of ours. Also the recipes I've made that you've posted have all turned out great. Just felt it was high time I wrote and said thank you to you! And congratulations on your 50th wedding anniversary!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson