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Canadian Life as I Found It
Chapter XX October, 1905

WE have had a very cold snap, but it only lasted a few days, and now it is cold still, but the weather is lovely and clear. Last week we had a heavy frost that spoiled three-quarters of my potatoes, as I had not been able to store them properly. This is a trouble, for it not only affects my winter supply, but I shall have to buy more for seed, instead of having them by me, and this constitutes an expense I could very well have dispensed with.

I have been very busy all this time building the house. It is not finished yet, but it begins to look very nice. I think that it will be warm; anyhow, we shall have room to move about. The living room is 20 by 12, bedroom 12 by 10, kitchen 8 by 10, cellar 6 feet deep, 15 by 15. When it is done and we are in it we shall feel more civilized.

My mails are transferred to Loganton. It would be impossible, during the worst part of the winter, to go into town every month, as I have been doing hitherto, on account, principally, of all the hauling I have had to get through.

I am taking out a good load of stores this time; enough, I hope, to last us several months. I must come in again for a load of coal, but not just yet. Mabel and the boy were to have accompanied me, but it turned so cold that she thought it safer not to, for fear Jack might get frost-bitten.

M---- is in with me. We did not have such a cold trip as we anticipated, and we took it in turns to drive. I have had my hands full whilst in town collecting stores of every description, and various odd garments for wife and child.

You must not worry any more about their being left alone when I am away in town. Some of the neighbours always go and stay with them. The loneliness for my wife and the anxiety it caused me were more than we could go on bearing, so I am glad that that is remedied.

I could not help smiling at what you say about shooting deer. I am not so soft-hearted as I used to be. Want of fresh meat and necessity are very hardening masters. One does not like to kill, but one has to do it, or go without, and unfortunately we have very good appetites. Why, the other day we bagged three grouse, and half an hour after they were shot they were in the oven. I shot them quite close to our door. Our dinner was certainly sent to us that day, for we were out of pork entirely.

We are putting the finishing touches to the house, for we want to get into it as soon as possible. The man who was to help build failed me at the last moment, and so young D--- is giving me a helping hand and I must say that We are making a good job of it. D--- has been with us seven weeks ; he works so neatly. Of course you know that he is one of our Scotch neighbours; they form a delightful trio, so straight and true. So do not worry about us this winter. I think that we shall be able to make ourselves pretty snug when we once get into our new domicile.

We want very much to get some good shapshots of the new shack, but somehow those we take do not turn out any great success, so you must be kept waiting a little longer.

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