Sunday, September 30, 2007

One Thousand Dollars and a Tractor

The depression of the 1930's was worldwide but in the midwestern parts of Canada and the States, the depression was even more devastating. Drought, dust storms, infestations of locusts, poverty and despair were common. When I spoke to people who had lived through that time in history I expected grim tales. My first conversation surprised me. The 1930's seemed to bring back happy memories. One 93 year old woman was married in 1937. Her wedding was complete with "store bought" wine and a $10 wedding dress. It was a big wedding at a time when wages could average $30 a month. But imagine, the only car at the wedding was the groom's father's. Everyone else arrived by horse drawn sleigh.
When the young couple finally bought their own farm, they got four sections of land which originally cost $3,000 a section. But after a $1,000 deposit the seller tried to swindle them by telling them the title was clear. It wasn't, a loan for a new tractor was now a lien on the property. So, the deal was $1,000 and the tractor for four sections of prime farm land. Not bad, even in Saskatchewan in 1939.

“We’re going to be okay Maggie girl. You wait and see.”
Eva Edwards - "From the Dust"

Safe travels


Monday, September 24, 2007

The Great Depression - Saskatchewan 1935

Today the journey I am on is different from any other trip I have taken before and likely any trip I will take after. Firsts usually are.

My first book is about to be published!

I’m so incredibly excited that I’d like to share some of the journey with you. I’ll begin at the beginning with an excerpt:

“He died with liquor on his breath and poison in his soul. Doc MacPherson claimed that between the alcohol and the arsenic there were enough chemicals in his body to keep him pickled to the second coming.

It was a terrible way to die. Eva wouldn’t wish that on anyone, even him. She shivered. The last twelve hours had been awful. She pulled a bobby pin from her hair, rearranged a stray piece and secured it again. She hadn’t reacted well. She knew that. She regretted snapping at the child. She regretted a lot of things. None of them could be undone. Like Mr. Edwards, the time was gone, over. The damage had been done.”

And so begins the saga of Eva Edwards, a new widow and mother to a child not hers. Three steps ahead of one disaster or another, she struggles to survive on a Saskatchewan farm. It is 1935 and dust storms and poverty are rampant. But it is Tate Prescott Brown who becomes the biggest obstacle as he arrives from Ontario with wealth and status and a claim to her farm. It is a poignant battle against each other and the elements as two independent individuals face off.

“From the Dust”
A December release published by Black Lyon Publishing.

Stay tuned as the journey continues.

Safe travels