Grandma's Lament

GRANDMA'S LAMENT

by Kathie Nelson (March 9, 1967)

Alberta is bright

As stories do unfold—

This one to a grandchild,

By a grandmother is told.

The grandma gently rocks

In her comfortable chair,

Trying to mix her words

With the fresh country air.

 

As she begins her story

We will listen, too,

"The life of your grandfather

Was a hard one to live through.

The wrong way to begin it,

Oh, what shall I do?

I think I know the problem,

We'll try method number two."

The child patiently waits

As Grandma gets the photo,

We, too will wait—

For that is our motto.

 

Here comes the album

With Grandma behind it.

"What took so long, Grandma?"

"Well, I couldn't find it."

"Sorry to keep you waiting,

Now on with the story,

April twenty-second

Was that day of glory.

At Partridge Hill,

Alberta In the year 1902,

Farm people from Ontario

Who found the west, too.

 

His ancestors travelled

Across the nation,

They lived in Ontario

Long before Confederation.

But they moved west

As other families did,

And for the land

They began to bid.

Your grandfather was

A young man of our nation,

He operated a steam tractor

Fifty years after Confederation.

 

I became his wife

In 1925,

And in purebreds

He began to specialize.

He raised purebred Cattle and swine,

Holstein and Yorkshire

Were popular at that time.

His registered seed grain

Was of very high value,

He won many certificates,

That I must tell you.

 

Certificates for barley

And many other grains,

I only wish Grandpa

Could grow seed again.

St. Paul Agricultural Society

Of which Grandpa was a member,

Awarded him certificates

Many a September.

Gladstone Ure Horton

Was your Grandpa's name.

We all called him "Grandpa"

Just the same.

 

The School Division Of St. Paul,

Kept Grandpa busy

Many a fall.

He was a member

And it was his plan,

To promote school centralization

With a horse-drawn van.

He was a member Of a delegation,

He travelled to Ottawa

Across our nation.

 

When in 1945

He promoted completion,

Of a C.N.R. railroad

Across our nation.

The railroad would stretch

From Frenchman's Butte,

To our Heinsburg

So we wouldn't be mute."

"Grandma, Grandma,

What does mute mean?"

"I mean they'd be heard

As well as seen."

 

"Let us continue

On with the tale,

For in my mind

It is getting stale.

Your Grandpa was a member

Of a Grain Growers' delegation,

He travelled to conventions

All over our nation.

I can remember

Winnipeg and Calgary,

Where he met

Many a Joe and Jerry.

 

He always had the interest

Of the public at heart,

And did his utmost To make a start.

And satisfy their demands.

He died in April,

Of '62, and with him

Our hearts are still full.

Those who knew him

Were greatly shocked,

At his early death

Not one person mocked.

 

Do not forget

What I have told you,

For it may, someday

Come in handy, too."

As Grandma ends her story

A tear or two will fall,

For he was her husband

After all . . .

The sun is slowly setting

In a world of crimson,

Rising to a nation

We can get chums in.

 

Chums of Chinese,

Chums of Dutch,

No matter what nationality

We like them very much.

Our nation of Canada

Would never be complete,

Without the nationalities

We yearly receive.

The people of Canada

Are proud of their nation,

As they celebrate

Their Confederation.

 

Let us all celebrate

And happy be,

Strong and proud

Of our unity.