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quite some distance to choir rehearsals in a home. We kept Desperate Ambrose going as long as possible in the fall and as early as possible in the spring. I don't see how we got through all the mud, snow and water. There surely was a Helping Hand when we needed it!
Once, late in the fall after there was considerable snow, Rudolph started out on the 'town line' to go to Erickson. The car got stuck. A passerby with team and sleigh called out, "It's about time you put that thing away now!" and drove on.
Once we slid off a muddy road into a ditch. I thought we would sit there all night but the motor kept running and soon we were up on the road again.
When the roads were bad, a man from Erickson would ask, "How were the roads coming up-over?"
One time in early spring when the ice was beginning to go out of the ground, we cut through a field. The water was so deep it stopped the car. I had visions of our wading through the icy stuff to get to dry land. Fortunately, Irvin Hanson was with us. I don't know how we got out of there but the men did something to start us off again. I, for one, prayed.
Winter rides could be exciting. Some roads would be closed and ways would be cut through fields, wood and over frozen streams. There was real excitement when we were in a sleigh full of people drawn by a lively pair of broncos. The owner stood at the heads of the team to hold the bridles while the passengers were being urged to pile in quickly and quietly. The driver would then hop into the sleigh, as fast as he could, holding the reins tightly and away we would go! When we came to the river we held our breaths as we plunged down the bank, crossed the ice and were jerked up the other side. One of the girls started screaming even before we started downward but Rudolph teased her so much about that that she quit screaming. Over the river and through the woods became a real expe nence.
One time we were riding in a sleighbox with several young people, along a hillside, through a field, when we tipped over and rolled into the snow. All the girls were snugly tucked in blankets on the lower side and they had overbalanced the men, who were standing. 0 one said a word! No one was hurt, so we picked ourselves up, climbed back in and were soon on our way again. The horses coop erated beautifully. They must have been used to such episodes. The bow of Rudolph's glasses was broken and the lens dropped out but, fortunately, was found right in the sleigh.
Going to Erickson for church services in the winter was quite an ordeal. We had to be gone from Friday until Tuesday because the train went one way one day and back the next, but did not run on Sunday. We got rides to and from the stations with members of our congregations. We stayed at different homes, thus becoming acquainted with
our people. We always felt welcome and it seemed that the 'fatted calf was usually set before us. At times it was difficult to get warmed up, however, when we were given the unheated guest room.
It was a real thrill to have visitors from the States.
Both Rudolph's and my parents came to see us. Rudolph's parents came by car with his brother, Elmer, and Elmer's wife, Agnes. My parents came by train to Brandon, MB where Rudolph met them with our Desperate Ambrose.
My sister, Martha, wrote that she would come to Clanwilliam and could we meet her? We came to the station after the train had arrived and found Martha outside look ing for us. She said she had left something on a bench in the depot and would we go in and get it? The 'something' turned out to be my other sister, Sally! What a delightful surprise!
Other visitors from the States were my cousin, Mabel Mattson, Ragna Gynild and Eldora Lundberg. The Augsburg Quartet came for a series of meetings. The quar tet members were Rudolph's brother, Eruest, Martin Olson, Kristopher Hagen and Lloyd Sand. Then there were a few visiting pastors: Jens Halvorson, Joseph Nystuen and missionary, Arthur Olson.
Two of the places that we would take our visitors were Clear Lake and Riding Mountain. Several of our Erickson parishioners had cottages at Clear Lake to which we were invited. Riding Mountain was an elevation with a panoramic view. (,Picturostic', as one man said!) The people who lived in the Riding Mountain area were Galations. They were poor, living in small, whitewashed houses. One could see that they loved flowers and the big red poppies were beautiful against the white building. These people had built a huge Greek Orthodox Church, circular in shape. Furuishings were few; there were no pews or chairs. It was unpainted. We were told that the people were taxed very highly during its construction.
When we took our one month vacation in the summer, we drove to Minnesota. We visited our parents and attended the annual conference of the Lutheran Free Church. We stopped at Mentor, Minnesota for a brief respite and a visit with Rudolph's aunt and uncle, the Peter Olsons. We could n't push old Ambrose faster than thirty miles an hour; that made for a,lQng. jouruey of nearly 700 miles from the parsonage at Clanwilliam to the farm south of Owatonna. Roads were not paved much of the way. Dust flew and there were bumps and jumps.
In a month's time, a lawn changes quite a lot. When we came back from our vacation the grass around the