I’m typing this from my camper as I feed Little C. We are here in Austin, Manitoba for the Threshermen’s Reunion & Stampede! Hundreds of volunteers are working their butts off to make history come alive, and as usual they’re succeeding! I can hear the bangs and whistles, motors and flywheels. People are shouting and chatting and laughing. It’s a great place to casually walk, stroll, and hike while you learn about Manitoba’s agricultural history! The reunion lasts from July 24-July 27! There’s entertaining demonstrations on the grounds during the day, a fantastic rodeo at the grandstand in the evening and a ‘kick off your heels’ kind of dance at the Corn and Barley Corral at night!
On Sunday I packed up the car and took the baby for a 40 minute drive to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum to meet with my mom and sister, who were starting to organize themselves for this year’s fashion show. They, and others who help them, put on a vintage fashion show as an extension of a group we belong to, Reunion Ladies Activities. This group demonstrates different things that prairie pioneer women did ‘back in the day’.
This museum is close to my heart, as it is where my parents met, got married, and practically raised us. This is, in fact, their 40th wedding anniversary! My sister and I know the hard work it takes to put on a show and make history come alive for spectators. She has grown up helping our mom with the Ladies Activities and I have split my time between this and helping our dad to run a steam engine. Last year was the first year in a long time that I was not on an engine. I could not get time off work to help during the week, and I was pregnant and didn’t want to be jumping on and off, or falling off the engine or breathing in the wood/coal smoke. It is a hard and dirty job but I was so sad, as I love my time on the steam engine.
This year, with a new baby, I will not be on the engine again. I am having trouble finding my niche, as I always had a routine during the show, and now it is being disrupted. I have no antique crafting skills like looming or quilting, and am mediocre at embroidery. I found my grandma’s recipe for sourdough pancakes, which she used to make there, and I’m going to try to make this at home to see if I am any good at it. Who knows what’s in store…
The Manitoba Agricultural Museum is located just off the trans-canada highway, on highway #34, North of Austin, Manitoba. It is really a wonderful place to visit and learn about Manitoba heritage!
One our engagement pics, done by the lovely Jodi of Memories by Me at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum!