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Neil B. Stratton Columnist

Sorry I missed last week’s column; I was having some needed R&R. I took a couple days off…with Canada Day on a Wednesday; I figured I should take Thursday and Friday off also. That would give me a “five for two” holiday…five days for taking two off. Outdoor adventures raced through my mind. On Canada Day, I raised a brand new Canadian flag up the pole. But other than that I didn’t get out and join any of the community celebrations. I did get some things done that needed to be done around the home front, although I did think a lot about Canada Day. I am a proud Canadian, as we should all be proud…we have come a long way to have the country we now call Canada home. Canada Day 2015 was Canada’s 148th Birthday. One hundred and forty-eight years may be a few lifetimes, however, in the scheme of the world and time we are a very young nation. We are even almost 100 years younger than the United States of America. What we enjoy today was a struggle

Billi J Miller Submitted

Since my move into the “ farming ” community in 2010 - I have been taken aback by the amazing contributions of Farmwives, not only in their homes and in their families; but also in their commu-

Around The Campfire

for many and many died for what we also enjoy today and we are changing all the time. In fact, until 1982, what we know as Canada Day was called Dominion Day. Politics aside, there is no place on earth I would rather live. It was almost 100 years ago now that my own grandfather helped map out Alberta’s waterways and trails. He was a true frontiersman. To him his outdoor adventure was day to day life; something with someone I wished I could have shared more of in our vast Canadian wilderness. It’s hard to grasp how hard things may have been… yet so simple. Even in my day as a young man instructing wilderness survival in schools, colleges, and universities, wilderness survival was reality in much of Alberta and Canada. I can remember telling students that someday there would be portable twoway radios or maybe even phones that will even have the capability of locating one’s exact spot anywhere in the world. I also predicted that these portable devices would be super small like the size of a coffee cup. That was way prior to the cell phone and GPS [Global Positioning System] and other advanced systems with our technology today. I had no idea, as I believe most didn’t,

that in our lifetime we would see such technology. Most don’t realize today that there is more technology and computer systems in our common cell phone then there was in the entire Apollo 11 mission to walk on the moon. I travelled over 300 miles as a teenager just to watch Neil Armstrong take that first step on the moon, on a big modern black and white television. I marveled at the technology. Modern technology has let us explore and undertake outdoor adventurers in almost every peak, valley, and wilderness area in Canada, and as inhabited and over-populated as Canada is getting. There is still wilderness and outdoor adventures you can’t find anywhere else in the world. There are still even places one can go where no man has stepped before, in modern times. I found myself dreaming of these Canadian adventures as I spent an entire day cutting grass, another crossing a few things off the “Honey-Do” list, and keeping busy in the archery shop and ranges for a couple more days. So real outdoor adventures were at a minimum…that is until I thought about it… my home is in a rural setting where neighbours are miles away and can’t even be seen. I shot my bow on my outdoor range.

Farmwives in Profile

nities. These women have been pillars in their communities for a very long time, and they continue to be today. I have been so moved by this tireless devotion, in fact, that I’ve just completed writing a book, which profiles and celebrates them. My aim is to give them the recognition they deserve, and to honor their legacies to the larger patchwork of Canada’s Heritage.

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Prior to the release of the full book I am releasing brief excerpts from each interview. The full book contains 17 in-depth questions and answers about their life, photos, as well as, a recipe from each of the women. Here are just 3 of the questions from my third farmwife profile: Interview - Dorothy Wright 1. How long have you been married, and if you have children - how many do you have? I married Ralph Wright in July of 1950. We had 2 boys… Darrell and Keith. 2. What has the role of the farmwife meant to you? All the inside work…. cleaning, cook-

The Vermilion Voice | July 13, 2015

Went quading while taking Miss Pickles for her exercise and even went on a few hikes and exploring areas with her, ordered her a dog sled for winter and even got in some fishing. So I guess I am living modern outdoor adventures. Did I mention I am so proud to be Canadian? Speaking of fishing… looking for a FUN, FREE family activity or outdoor adventure this upcoming weekend? This is your great chance for your family and friends to give fishing a try! Albertans and visitors can fish for FREE, this weekend only, Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12. NO licence is required. Don’t pass up this opportunity to get out and enjoy Alberta’s natural resources and outdoors together with your family and friends!

When The Smoke Clears Isn’t it funny that it is the youths’ understanding of technology that teaches us adults modern technology?

ing, kids. But, I also looked after chickens, milked cows and sold fence posts. 3. Do you have any words of advice for women who may be marrying a farmer today? Teach them to take off their boots at the door, hang their clothes up and don’t “plan” for anything! Dorothy Wright shares a lot more in the Farmwives Book, as well as, her recipe for chocolate cake! Are you in awe of a farmwife in your community? Tell her today. Watch for more interviews, photos, and recipes in Billi J Miller’s book profiling farmwives coming out later in 2015 www.farmwivesbook.com

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Dorothy Wright in April, 2015. Photo Billi J Miller

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