Downpour followed ‘perfect summer’s night’

From our February 2013 issue

By Art Johnston – Olds, Alta.

In the war years, I was stationed at Mossbank, Saskatchewan. I played in the station band, so on weekend leave I would get a 72-hour pass instead of a 48-hour pass.

This one weekend we decided to go to my wife’s home which was a farm seven miles southwest of Kronau, Sask. It was a perfect summer’s night when we got there. There was a beautiful sunset and not a cloud in the sky.

In the middle of the night the rain came – about two inches or more. In the morning, there was water everywhere and our car wouldn’t be going anywhere.

About noon we knew we had to figure out a way to get back to Mossbank because the military would never accept an excuse as to why you didn’t get back to the station.

We harnessed the horse, hung the suitcases on the hames, and put my wife, Hazel on the horse. Her brother, Roy, and I walked. We were heading for the town of Kronau to catch a train to Regina.

Seven miles in gumbo was not fun, but we had to get there – and we did. We arrived at the Kronau station late in the afternoon.

We unharnessed the horse, threw the harness in the corner of the station and sent the horse home. (Yes, he was at the barn door the next morning.)

There was no cafe in town, so we went across the street to the General Store and got a pail of jam and a loaf of bread. With no cutlery, we just broke off a piece of bread and dipped it in the jam and enjoyed our supper.

The train came and we did get to Regina where we spent the night. Next morning we caught a train to Moose Jaw and then caught another to Mossbank. Talk about a weekend to remember! That was one.

We lived in the town of Mossbank, so we had a night to recuperate before getting back to the station the next day.

No more weekends in the country for us – no matter how nice the weather was on Friday.

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