As the story goes, after growing up on the family homestead in Saskatchewan, my grandfather struck out to find his fortune. His searching would lead to a manufacturing job in Toronto, where by all accounts he did quite well and was rapidly rising through the management ranks. One day he received a missive, instructing him to return to Saskatchewan and take over the family farming business. Not wishing to disobey his father, Grandpa packed up his wife and newborn daughter and abandoned his career in The Big Smoke for the family farm in Big Sky country.
During the War, Grandpa volunteered to go overseas, but was rejected due to his eyesight. As the story goes, the recruiter assuaged my Grandfather's disappointment by telling him that his work on the farm was just as important as those in the trenches. I cannot say for certain if this was any consolation, but back to the farm he went.
It was here that three more sons were born into the family, including my Dad - the youngest and the apple of his mother's eye. Grandma and Grandpa lived in town for many decades, spending winters in Florida, until Grandma's passing.
Grandpa then moved to the farm and continued to snowbird down in Florida for many more years. Later in life, he moved back into town and "commuted" to the farmstead with his red pickup truck. He'd then either jump on the tractor or the quad and head out to his enormous garden. I will always remember digging carrots and potatoes in that garden, and enduring his admonishments and scorn as I accidentally forked a root vegetable.
The dinner table was always furnished with the fruit of his labour - a home-raised chicken, potatoes from the garden, creamed peas of which he was very proud, and inevitably a strawberry-rhubarb pie for dessert.
Since my grandfather passed away last year, the farmstead has been completely abandoned. As you can see from the photos, some of the outbuildings have long since been unused and fallen into disrepair. As we walked about the yard, my Dad told me stories about these old buildings - stories of his childhood, growing up in a small town, his schoolmates, siblings, pets and animals.