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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fading Wood

How many times did I visit the Etstell farm as a child in the 1970s and early 1980s? Perhaps not as many as I'd like to believe, for Virden was far away from northern Manitoba, and gasoline and vacation time were both dear.

Luckily, when you're a child time seems to flow more slowly, so the days (perhaps only a handful of them?) felt full indeed. My favourite place to play was the small building at right, which I believe was a chicken coop, though long abandoned by the beasts by the time I came along. It was mostly empty by my childhood save for some scattered tools and other odds and ends, but the sunlight coming through the windows made the tiny interior somehow magical.

There was also old farm equipment to play on, including an aging cutter with a bench from which you could pretend to drive horses. Three wooden granaries made excellent houses of mystery; they hadn't held grain for years, so I was in no danger of suffocating.

Today nothing remains but a lone steel granary, the trees, the fields, and a well with a pump. And, of course, the memories.

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