By Ella (Corbett) MacPherson – Aldergrove, B.C.
My old hometown of Maryfield, Sask., had a celebration in July (2012) and I wished I could have been there, but few people of my generation are still around. My siblings are all gone, old school friends are no longer here, so all I can do is dream.
In my mind’s eye I see the beautiful sky full of stars, the Big Dipper, the Milky Way, the Northern Lights, the shooting stars, and the beautiful harvest moon. All this as we enjoyed a cutter ride with a pair of peppy ponies.
It was a different world and when I hear people say there was nothing to do on the prairie I beg to differ because where I was brought up on the banks of the Pipestone, there was lots to do.
There was swimming in the summer at McCormick’s Bridge on the weekends, followed with a picnic supper, after which a scrub ball game would be organized. In winter, there was skating on the Pipestone, tobogganing on the hills, all good clean fun.
The old-time card parties and dances were perhaps our greatest enjoyment. In the 1930s a little dance hall, “The Little Owl” in the valley provided midweek entertainment. However, it was short-lived and it was destroyed by a fire.
In the spring, the songs of the meadowlarks, the call of the whippoorwill, and the cooing of the mourning dove will always be in my memory.
Later in the year patches of tiger lilies and lady-slippers dotted the fields. Then, as autumn approached there was the hum of the threshing machines as the farmers gathered in their grain. These are the memories of long ago but still as vivid in my mind as is the beautiful prairie sunsets.
The Pipestone was a great place to grow up. Our home was always filled with visitors and everyone was welcome.
Back to Maryfield – on Google Earth I glimpsed a picture of the town as it now is with its beautiful memorial gardens.
I hope the celebration in July was a great success, comparable to the Homecoming of 1971 when perhaps as many as a thousand people visited Maryfield to renew acquaintances.
Though I love my adopted home in B.C. and I couldn’t have had a happier life, I still think kindly of Saskatchewan and all that the prairie offers.