Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Health Care in Canada
Well now I know for sure why Canadians have free health care, they need it!! If the mosquitoes don't pack you off, or give you malaria, then huge ice balls will fall from the sky and knock you upside the head and leave you in a coma. If that isn't bad enough, a tornado may come and rip you away from your home, and throw you in a farmer's field, or at least blow the skirting off your house. They called it the Wild Rose Trial, and they got it half right, it was wild.
 Our kids, bless their hearts, met us for a visit at the dog trial in Olds, Alberta. It was a beautiful site to camp alongside the river. Other than the pesky mosquitoes, all was well. It was a pretty morning, and I was working on a painting, when a pickup pulled up and a lady told Norm that a storm was coming with big hail. It took it several hours to get to us, long enough for you to think they were wrong, but when it arrived it was ugly. Tornado warnings blasted the radio and hail started to fall. At first it was harmless, and then it quit. It looked like it was passing. Had it gone around us? No, it came back with a vengeance. Lightning would flash and thunder would answer immediately. The hail grew to the size of golf balls. Not satisfied with the damage it was doing, it sent in reinforcements and threw baseball sized hail down at us. It smashed the vents in our trailer to a million and one pieces, broke a light or two, and knocked pretty patterns in the hoods of our vehicles. It gave you a sick feeling that got worse, the trial field sky had weird clouds, like I had never seen before, swirling around and heading right at us. Fortunately, the tornado never did touch down at the trial field, it had mercy on us. Instead it touched down at Randy Dye's house, just five little miles away, and yes, ripped the skirting off his house, and blew trees onto his father's house next door. It lifted huge grain bins up and tossed them over and moved farm equipment across the field 300 yards. Randy Dye was the gentleman putting on the trial. Can you imagine? The worry and stress of a normal trial is enough to leave most in tears, never mind a tornado. He and his family soldiered on and put on a fabulous trial. If you didn't know them, you wouldn't know a tornado had just touched down at their house. It was business as usual. The trial went pretty well for us. Norm won the Pro Novice the first day, and was third on the second day with his young Meg. (show off) My Gale ended up tied for  4th/5th with Scott Glen's Don in the Open on the second day. (Speaking of pesky things, who invited him anyway!) Blaze ran really good, the luck however, was not with him in the draw, which is sometimes just how it goes. My nursery dog, Jess, once again won my heart. She is such a little smarty pants. Congratulations to all the winners, it was nice to see all the dogs have a go at it.
The big treat was to see our family, and find out Norman will be a Grandpa again, as there is a grandchild on the way!
After the trial, the co-producer Don Grant, was kind enough to pull us all out of his lovely field with his big green tractor for which we are forever grateful. If they have the trial next year we will be there. The trial was a great one, very well run with great prizes, but next year are going to bring a trailer with a basement. 

Norm and Meg
P.S. I realized at this trial I am not a journalistic type of photographer, one that just stands out there and gets the shot. I was way too worried for that, but here is a very short video of the storm, it is above the trial field. 
Storm Video 
Video link Norman's Meg, at the Wild Rose Trial 
Video link Vickie's Gale, at the Wild Rose Trial 
Broken Vents
Me and Gale 
Checking out the damage with Ryan 
Trees Down at Randy's

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