We have been fortunate enough to be here on Canadian Thanksgiving Day, the second Monday in October. It is a kind of bank holiday crossed with harvest festival where the main occupation seems to be to eat together, celebrating and giving thanks for this year’s yield. Having helped haul the hay and straw bales in for the winter we can feel that we have contributed towards the bounty this year. Marilyn and Kelly combine and alternate the hosting role so we have been to Kelly’s this afternoon to enjoy a roast turkey lunch. Our contribution was the desert and petit-fours; pear and rhubarb crumble, egg custard and honeycomb chocolates, oh and 3kg of peeled potatoes! I have spent most of Saturday in the kitchen preparing this for 20+ people as well as making the lunch and supper for the day as I was there. Roger had made a lovely slab of honeycomb on Friday for me to use for the chocolates which were very well received.
We did get out later yesterday and were able to go on a lovely ride in the afternoon with Marilyn. She insisted as it was such a nice day, weirdly a balmy 24 degrees! The trees have shed their autumn load so it looked a bit incongruous as they displayed their winter nakedness in summer temperatures but we weren’t complaining.
Roger’s mount April, is a bit of a pain to catch and by the time she has finished running round the pasture it is a relief for him to get a lift on the back of the flatbed trailer and enabled him to make her walk off a bit more surplus energy before riding. Whilst saddling up we were supervised by Small, Medium and Large, the latter deciding to pose nonchalantly with one foot on the gate rail!
We do enjoy being surrounded by all these animals, the horses pass by the bedroom window quite regularly, sounding eerily like phantom riders when its night, their hoof beats muffled by the soft grass. We have to be wary when going out the front door in the dark now as the cows have been visiting and leaving their trademark deposits for us to enjoy! Last night was another Northern Lights display but I managed to stay on the step to avoid any unpleasant contact! They weren’t quite as impressive as the previous occasion but still well worth getting up for, initially. I actually went back to bed but opened the front curtain enough to be able to observe a section of the sky from the comfort of horizontal but it was enough to indicate when it would be worth getting up for a clearer view.
Tomorrow is the actual Monday of Thanksgiving and we are going to celebrate again at Marilyn’s with her family, a mere 15 of us this time, but I’m not solely responsible for the meal, just another pair of willing hands. It has rained today, which is quite unusual and if it does the same tomorrow I suspect there will be plenty of help available. Of the 22 peolple at Kelly’s today, 12 of us were helpers. Both of the women open up their households to a myriad of odd bods, passing through their homes for various periods of time with varying degrees of usefulness and experience. They both have much work to be done on their respective ranches and certainly need help, perhaps more-so on one than the other, but it is still quite an undertaking to do what they do and integrate all their visitors into their lives, lock, stock and barrel. Total immersion would probably be the appropriate term. You are involved in the day to day life of this existence, 24 hours a day, if need be, 7 days a week, highs and lows, tough and easy. We perhaps should be giving thanks to them for allowing us to share their ‘alternative’ existence.