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Colours of Autumn

It is a crisp cool Sunday morning!  We’ve just turned the clocks back one hour as Daylight Savings Time has ended.  If you are not sure what I mean…..In the Spring, we spring ahead! In the Fall, we fall back!

Looking outside I can see spider webs glistening on the branches of our deciduous trees.  The trees’ leaves have started to curl and swing in the breeze threatening to fall, but not before they turn bright orange, yellow and red.  I went outside just now to take these photos.

A gentle breeze just passed through the leaves of our giant Maple tree, and just for a moment, it sounded like the tree just sighed.


This is just the beginning and soon there will be piles and piles of leaves on the ground.  Yes, it’s Autumn in Canada.

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Sawhorses in Winter !

Our grass is green and the daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths are in bloom.  The temperatures are in the mid-teens and higher.  Ah, so this must be Spring!

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No, wait.  How can it be Spring?  It’s only March 3 and the Spring season does not begin until March 21st.  Are we blessed or what?

Okay so not everyone in Canada is cutting their grass yet or taking a walk in the sunshine wearing their Summertime shorts.  Many of our fellow Canadians are still dealing with very cold temperatures into the minus 20s and shovelling out from several feet of snow.  After all, it is only the beginning of March.  Not sure why it’s happening but for us out here in the West Coast, we will take the sunshine and warm temperatures.

I used the wheelbarrow yesterday to move some soil from part of my garden to the side yard.  I then used the saw-horse to suspend some boards….wait, this is not what I want to tell you.  I want to tell you that yesterday I got all choked up and cried when I used that saw-horse. Silly, right?  A flood of memories about a saw-horse?  Please read on.

For those of you who do not know what a saw-horse is…here’s a picture of one in our backyard.

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Saw-horses are used in construction.  It’s just a beam of wood with four legs.  Two of these can be used to support a piece of wood for sawing, for example.  Yesterday these saw-horses made me cry and are the catalysts reviving my memories of growing up in the cold Winter months in Manitoba.

I recall one year in particular when I spent a lot of time playing outside with my dad.  He was actually working but I thought of it as “playing with me”.

My dad was a carpenter by trade. He was what was known as a finishing carpenter but from what I can remember, he worked on all sorts of projects.  Playing with dad happened mostly in the Winter months because my dad was often laid off during this time of year.  It was usually too cold for my dad to work outside on newly constructed houses.  I found out years later that the construction crews always tried to at least get the framing done and the roof on so that they could have some work inside during the Winter months.  But this did not always happen.

So during these times, my dad worked at home.  He kept busy with home maintenance projects that mom often found for him aka honey do lists.  He really liked to build his own tool boxes and make small tables, chairs and dressers.  He used many tools and he had saw-horses.

I used to climb up on his saw-horses and pretend that they were my ponies.  They seemed just perfect for sitting on whenever I was in the barn or wood shed with him.  Remember now, there wasn’t a lot of things for a little kid to do in the middle of Winter on the prairies.  I had to use my imagination and find my own fun.

My dad knew that I really loved sitting on his saw-horses.  He had to constantly shoo me off whenever he needed to use them.

One bitterly cold day my dad said that he had a surprise for me outside.  I bundled up very warm in my parka, fleece-lined boots, woollen scarf and mittens and followed him outside to the barn.

Can you guess what was waiting for me in the barn?  There was a horse of my very own.

Dad had cut out a piece of plywood in the shape of a horse head and nailed it on a saw-horse.  He had made a harness and reins out of twine.  The saw-horse “pony” even had a tail made out of dry straw.  It was a wonderful surprise for me.

I hadn’t thought of that saw-horse until yesterday.  Maybe this post isn’t about the memories of a wooden saw-horse “pony” at all….just memories of spending special times with my dad.

Enjoy the last few weeks of Winter!

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