Monthly Archives: August 2012

Wednesday August 1, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

During the harvest, we had to get a full meal plus cold drinks and dessert out to the fields every lunch hour. The hired men needed lots to eat, and real home cooking was expected. When I had the chance to drive the swather, tractors, trucks, or combine, I took it fast. Sitting in an air conditioned cab and going around in circles beat the hot kitchen job any time.

Thursday August 2, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

Driving the combine was like piloting a ferry. These machines are enormous. They grind their way around the fields, picking up swath left to dry and crushing the seed out of the grain heads. The seed is then augured up into a box where it’s stored, and when the box is full, it’s augured again into a truck running parallel. Both machines work in tandem until the work is done. When the weather is threatening, crews work from dusk until dawn. Fields look like harbours as lights from the combines float across them like ships in the night.

Friday August 3, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

One of the pleasures of living on the farm was eating fresh garden veggies. We had fresh meat, too. We knew where it was raised and where it had been butchered. This was all new to someone used to buying groceries in cellophane packages.

Saturday August 4, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

Beth and Don met at university. Don was studying agriculture — planning to work on his father’s farm, and eventually take it over. With marriage in the future, Beth studied Veterinary medicine knowing that it would be a good career for someone who raised and worked with animals. I didn’t show her practice in the strip, even though I worked as her assistant, many times. By this time, I had gone from wondering what to write about to having too many stories — and not enough space to tell them!

Sunday August 5, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

Yes, this was another opportunity for readers to reprimand me for not being a responsible dog owner. Still, one has to wonder: even with all of their good intentions, did these people never have something like this happen? “He who is without sin,” and all that? I always wanted to say, “Folks, it’s a cartoon dog!” When you make a published statement every day, and you tell it like it is…be prepared to be told off!

Monday August 6, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

Beth and Don had a number of mules, at the time, and a donkey called “Roy.” If we wanted to ride, the neighbours had fine horses and all the tack. Although I was invited to do so, I never mounted one of their steeds. I did help Beth sew one up after an accident, though — but that’s another story!

Tuesday August 7, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

In the real world, Aaron and Katie got along well with their Manitoba cousins. At the time this work was done, there were two Cruikshank girls, Lauren and Chrissie; Arli came along later. I wish I could have shown everyone, but there was no time or space for more characters. As it was, I had more people in the strip than I could comfortably write about!

Wednesday August 8, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

Aaron loved playing with the barn kittens. Cats were kept to keep the mice at bay and kittens appeared regularly. He begged us to let him keep one or more, but we couldn’t manage a pet at the time.

Friday August 10, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

The months we worked on Beth and Don’s farm will stay with me forever. When our work was over, Ruth and Tom brought Aaron back down to Miami, Manitoba from Lynn Lake, and we drove back home to Dundas, Ontario. When we later moved up to Lynn Lake ourselves, we were able to visit Beth and Don more often — and knowing the routines, we would always pitch in.

Saturday August 11, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

Farley was long gone when this was drawn. I relied on my friends’ pooches for dog related input, and they were always keen to keep me up to date regarding kennels, shots, skunk encounters, and table manners. There was also a vet in the family to keep me in the know!

Sunday August 12, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

I am actually a pretty good cook (you don’t have to serve gourmet fare to impress the gullets of an average clan). What I made received few complaints or arguments. The strip, however, thrived on sarcasm and conflict — NOT complaining about Elly’s cooking would have been dull. It occurred to me that my family ate as if they were at a restaurant; food arrived, went down, and was taken for granted — along with the cook. I wished my family would compliment me sometimes or at least discuss the menu. After all, a good meal is a sign of love, care, and affection, and should receive some praise! This strip was a personal cry for attention. My husband objected to the punch line — and rightly so!

Monday August 13, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

My daughter, Katie, and I have been going through letters and photographs lately — looking for trivia to include in the treasury books. I found several letters to my parents written from Miami, Manitoba during the time we worked on the farm, and I was surprised to see how detailed they were in regards to the actual science of farming. This was truly a learning experience — and a heck of a lot of fun!

Tuesday August 14, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

When I read strips like this (sarcastic stuff that cuts close to the bone), I wonder if I was trying to create conflict or if I was writing from the heart. There was a lot of sarcasm in our family — some of it was really funny! We never fought…but we did say many a truth in jest.

Wednesday August 15, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

I put some serious stuff into the strip trying to unravel what was going on in my own life, while poking fun at the “Pattersons.” Sensitive issues were out there in the open, but when people would ask me how I could reveal so much, I’d laugh and say it was all a figment of my imagination.

Thursday August 16, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

I can still feel the texture and taste the sweet rubbery flavour of a brand new eraser. I had no restraint when it came to chewing on them, and I did bite them in half. My mother would bark at me for destroying a brand new eraser, but MY reasoning was that I now had two!

Friday August 17, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

Fear of the unknown…As a kid, I relied on this to unnerve my brother; he’d believe anything his older sister told him! As an adult, I found myself teasing my kids as well, forgetting how seriously they take these things.

Saturday August 18, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

The time I remember best is when Aaron was about 4 years old. I had promised him that if he took a bath, I’d make the water blue. He got into the tub and I put a small amount of food colouring into the water. He was thrilled and played in it happily while I watched. The phone rang. Able to hear him from around the corner, I left Aaron, answered the phone, and spoke to a friend for a few minutes. When I went back into the bathroom, he had emptied all of the bottles of food colouring into the tub.

The water was a dark, muddy green. When Aaron stood up, his body was green from the waist down. I tried to wash it off with soap and scrubbing, but the dye did not come off. I laughed and said, “Well, Aaron, you’re going to have a green bum for the rest of your life!” He was horrified! He was so upset that it took awhile before he calmed down, and I realized how frightened he was. I was careful, after that to make sure I didn’t tease my kids about something they could take so seriously. The dye eventually wore off.

Now, before you write to tell me how negligent I was to have left a child in the tub alone, let me say that…I KNOW! Nobody’s perfect…and my children survived!

Sunday August 19, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

Every summer, a travelling midway came to town. When Aaron and Kate were little, I took them down to the waterfront for the rides, the arcades, and the ambience. It was fun to watch them bump around on the small rollercoaster, accompany them on the “Tilt-a-Whirl,” and to walk around the food stalls. It was an excuse to eat hot dogs, corn on a stick, and cotton candy. It was an opportunity to throw darts at balloons, listen to carousel music, and play Bingo at a picnic table under a big, wide tent. Neither of my children was ever sick, despite guts full of junk food and head-spinning rides. When they were old enough to go alone, I would drop them off at the park and pick them up when they were tired and flat out of cash. It was a teenage rite of passage — best savoured alone. The midway still comes to town every summer. The sights and the sounds are the same as they always were, but I just drive by…I’m waiting for the next generation to come of age so I have an excuse to go again!

Monday August 20, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

On really hot days, my folks would put the sprinkler on, and my brother and I would play all day in the spray. We did the same thing for our kids. One hot summer day, while walking to a friend’s house, I saw a sprinkler and thought, “if I was five years old I’d run through that thing in a heartbeat!” Then I thought…”Why can’t I do it now?” So, I did.

Tuesday August 21, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

For Better or For Worse required a lot of time and focus. I did have to stop sometimes and wonder what was more important — Aaron and Katie, or my deadlines? I’m glad now that I took the time to be with them, and later, worked until midnight!

Wednesday August 22, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

Summer goes by faster in northern Ontario than it does anywhere else on the planet. Come to think of it, so does spring. As a matter of fact, it has been noted that fall (my favourite time of year) disappears faster than springtime, which means winter has several extra months to drag on. I can’t say there is any scientific fact to substantiate this phenomenon, but it happens here, just the same.

Thursday August 23, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

Now and then, I’d use the strip to vent some of our office peeves. Patients who were habitually late, who cancelled at the last minute, or showed up unannounced, would sometimes disrupt the flow of a whole day. Although there was some flexibility and the staff was very accommodating, there were days when we couldn’t believe how inconsiderate folks could be — and dentists loved it when I told their side of the story!

Friday August 24, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

These are the last words a dental patient wants to hear! Bad days happen no matter what your “calling” is, and our clinic staff had their share. I think the complaints I heard most often were in regards to the fidgety nature of dentistry. Fine instruments and tiny parts, such as drill bits and ortho brackets, can easily pop out of your hands. Trying to finish a tough job on a tight schedule makes a small delay even more frustrating. Combine this with a long day of intense concentration, and you have dentistry in a nutshell. Despite the pressure, most dentists I meet are pretty easy going. I guess it’s something they’ve learned on the job!

Saturday August 25, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

When we lived in northern Manitoba, mechanical problems had to be fixed by US. There were no technicians to call, no company to complain to. My husband just figured out how to get things going again. A dental clinic is a really complicated place. There are water lines, air hoses, suction devices, and all kinds of appliances. When we set up the practice, he put in all of this stuff himself. The clinic was in an apartment above Walter Perepeluk’s grocery store. Rod and a friend worked for days to attach all the pipes, and this had to be done between the tiles on the ceiling of the store below. After a great deal of hard labour, it was announced that the pipes and the wiring were complete. We celebrated with a good dinner and a glass of wine. The next morning, however, when Rod went into the grocery store to check on his handiwork, Walter met him at the door with a strained look on his face. The entire ceiling, a network of plywood, panels, and tiles had fallen to the floor. The store was a mess of tiles, dust, and dirty produce. With more than a little fanfare, the new dentist had arrived!

Monday August 27, 2012

Lynn’s Notes:

We never had to help Alan move a piano, in fact, I don’t think we helped him move at all. Going from one apartment to another wasn’t a problem. He didn’t own anything! It wasn’t until he had a lady in his life that he started to acquire things — aside from his trumpets that were worth keeping!