My family lived on a Ranch full time from 1993 until 2015. We were a 5th generation family farm.
I am writing this blog to share my experiences living there. It is best to read the blog chronologically by going through the archives, starting with the introduction in January of 2010.
The blog starts with the arrival of my great-grandparents to the farm in 1947 and will follow the families to the present.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Home Spun Fun

This weekend my daughter and her friend created a ski jump in our back yard. It had the spectacular backdrop of the lake on a sunny day and involved a few hours of snow hauling due to the greatly reduced snow pack. 

The snow had to be hauled in to create the track. Just like the Olympics at Sochi.
The snow making machine.
The Ski Jump.
The activities caused me to reflect on how isolation can lead to a creative innovation. The Ranch has seen many ski jumps like the one created today over the years. Although not always as spectacular as the ski jumps at the commercial hill there is a sense of satisfaction having created something yourself. The biggest ski jump I can remember was made at the bottom of the “short cut” which was a steep road at the entrance to my childhood home. The road was long enough to gather speed and the jump was built over a fence at the bottom of the hill. 
Over the long winter the evenings on the farm can become tedious. It is not appealing to drive into town on the dark winter roads which makes going out for dinner or a movie a rare winter event. An alternative is to create an event in your own home. We have hosted many New Years parties and Christmas dinners as well as neighbourhood sledding parties. One dinner that I recall vividly was in the early 1980s. My Aunt and her family had come over from New Zealand for a year and lived on the farm with us. I had come back that summer from  Switzerland which inspired us to create a French evening in remembrance of my foreign experience.  We all dressed up to what we thought resembled a night in Paris and created a french menu. 
A French evening

My mother in the fur coat with her sister, Karen.
Summer also brings many opportunities to create your own fun. There are of course many amazing toys to play on in the lake. Our current favourite is the “lily pad” which has seen hours and hours of use.
IMG_0530The Lily Pad
Despite the appeal of this toy the children have also spent hours playing with debris that has washed up from the lake, everything from an old raft to a log.
Playing on an old logCirca late 1970s.
There is something very satisfying when you make your own fun, and even better when you are creating something from nothing in your own home.  

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