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Canadian Life as I Found It
Chapter XI January, 1905

WELL, Christmas and New Year's Day are over once more. We were quite alone on Christmas Day. We tried to make the best of it, but we both felt rather sad, and wondered what you were all doing, but knew that you would be thinking of us. We drank your health in tea. The liquor was weak, but the strength of our wishes made up for its weakness.

That cutting you sent, telling how a grocer from London became a flourishing farmer out West in sixty days, was very amusing but rather tall talk. I wonder how much he got for writing that letter. I should advise him to go on writing, for such a vivid imagination would certainly make more at it than by farming.

I have been obliged to get a fur coat. One cannot do without one; the wind goes through the thickest ordinary clothes. I had to pay 20 dollars for this coat; it was the cheapest I could get to be any good. Mabel got her ears rather badly frost-bitten, but I rubbed them well with snow before she went near the fire, and they are all right again. I came in from a drive yesterday, with great balls of ice on my eyes, and I could not open my mouth till I had got thawed. You will say how delightful when you read this, but I am beginning to like the wild life; there is plenty of space to move about, and one feels so free. We hope to get out to the homestead again by May 1, and do the best I can with my oxen, if in the meantime I am not able to trade them for a team.

I am sorry that our letters do not reach you as regularly as yours do us. I do not know when to post. I asked the post people, but all I could get out of them was, that there is a mail East every day; but that did not help me as to when the steamers leave, and so I have to trust to luck that our letters will get to you some day.

I went out shooting the other day ,with young Englishman. We each saw a rabbit, and on my way home shot a grouse. I cannot say that I enjoyed it, for it was all plodding through snowdrifts. I want mostly to try a dog I have bought, but, of course, just when I wanted him, he was not to be found, he had gone for a turn round the town on a foraging expedition. I do not think I shall go out shooting again on foot, it is not good enough.

Mabel keeps well and so does the boy, but he is a terror. We have bought him a sleigh, the perambulator cannot be wheeled on the snow. We took him out in it this afternoon. He sat still for about a hundred yards, then he scrambled out and dragged the sleigh all round the town'; he would not let us help him. It is wonderful what strength the child has. If he goes on as he is now, he will be a great help in a few year's time. It speaks well for the climate of this part of the world.

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