I thought I would tell you all about meeting the lady known as Southern Belle, who has guided me in the right direction with "HONEY DO DAYS" and helped me get organized. We first met in Ashern Manitoba in April 2004 at a mutual friend’s house. Well that was it! We start emailing back and forth when we returned to our far away homes. You see she lived in Medicine Hat Alberta and I lived in the "KINGDOM" in the Great White North. So, after 2 months of emailing back and forth, this made the 3000 kms apart seem close together. We then met in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan for our first date. Of course it was to document a Linn Tractor at the Western Development Museum. I figured it was only fair to visit the boys in Moose Jaw, Sk since they came to the "KINGDOM" in 2003 on a fact finding tour.
Well we meet and fell in the four letter word that starts with the letter L that I don't like saying. Sure enough within in 2 weeks Southern Belle was on her way to the "KINGDOM" to see about moving there. So being the gentleman that I am, I met her in Thompson, Mb so I could guide her over the great northern road to the “KINGDOM” with the Bel-air car. When she arrived in the "KINGDOM", I had a surprise for her because I bought a new toilet just for her. Well she was quite surprised too over the new facility.
Since in the KINGDOM" we work 7 days a week, Southern Belle was put to work painting and remodeling the freighting caboose. What a job that was in the heat of the July summer and of course there is no air conditioning just lots of fans that blow on you to cool you down. So after 6 weeks of hard work in the "KINGDOM", it was time to head south and get Southern Belle's teenage kids.
The plan was simple. We send a semi load of metals which is copper and brass and such south that are worth big bucks. Then we go south and pick up the money to have the funds to get the kids and return to the "KINGDOM". Total time, 2 weeks top. But everything that could go wrong went wrong. First the semi trailer was overloaded and blew 5 tires on the 1200 km trip to Winnipeg which delayed the arrival. Which meant a longer wait for the money; also the truck company was not happy and presented me with the bill for tire repairs to my trailer. This cuts into the profit margin big time. Then the scrap company takes forever to unload the trailer which means more waiting. They keep promising a cash advance so we could go and get the teenage kids in Medicine Hat, Ab. Then finally we get some money after the longest wait ever, what a pain in the butt that was.
Now we have to drive Southern Belle's Dad's 1979 Chevy 3/4 ton truck with the big gas guzzler 454 engine and trailer from Ashern, Mb to Medicine Hat Ab. This truck was left in Ashern, Mb after Southern Belle's Dad unloaded her furniture because he would not haul it any further because of the northern road conditions. So after the furniture was unloaded into a garage for storage, he decided to load an old car on the trailer for a back haul to Medicine Hat, AB as a payload. But after the motor fell on his foot and broke his foot big time, he got a nice airplane ride back to Medicine Hat, Ab. And since I'm the new dead beat son in-law, it was my job to get the truck and trailer back to Medicine Hat, Ab if I wanted to continue dating his daughter.
So off I go with the father in-law’s 3/4 ton truck and trailer and Southern Belle driving a borrowed crew cab truck to pick up her kids in Medicine Hat, Ab. We got off to a really good start by having the new alternator on the Father In-laws truck malfunction and have to get it fixed. Then to drive this gas guzzler truck across the prairies in a 200 mile an hour wind that never seem to stop. The wind was so bad I had to have rocks in my pockets so I didn’t blow away. Good thing the Father in-law’s truck has DUAL fuel tanks so I could make to the next town for fuel. Every time we filled up the vehicles, the truck of the Father in-law took 3 times as much fuel as the other new style crew cab truck. This is no problem, anything to get in the good books of my future Father in-law. So we arrive at Southern Belle's parents house at 11:00pm at night to find that all the relatives from far and away are passing thru for a visit. So now the KING OF OBSOLETE gets to meet the whole clan plus the 2 teenagers who get to move to the 'KINGDOM". The teenagers were not too excited about moving for some reason, it might be because we have no malls, fast food, pizza delivery, video places and the latest in fashion and computer games. I grew up without all these finer things in life and I turned out alright I think.
Oh well I told the teenagers to get their stuff packed in the truck so we can leave and head out in the morning. Wow they were not happy campers for some reason. We wanted to get back to the "KINGDOM" so the kids could get ready for school. All we had to do is get to my parents place and get the rest of the money from the scrap load and head north. Wrong! We rushed to get to my parents so we could sit and wait for a week hoping for money that never materialized. After a week of BONDING with my parents we left and head to Southern Belle's relatives in Ashern, Mb so we could wait another week with no money from the scrap load! So after a week of sitting and free-loading we borrowed a semi and headed north to the "KINGDOM". We load up the borrowed semi with the cats and Southern Belle's furniture because she is going to drive the shitbox car north. But I had phoned up to Lynn Lake, Mb to see what the road was like and found out it was bad due to all the rain. Well now we have a problem because Southern Belle’s southern shitbox car will not take the road to Lynn Lake, Mb and could break down. So off comes a td-6 cat known as the “CURSE OF REVERSE” from the loaded semi and up goes her car on the forks of a front end loader. For some reason Southern Belle was not pleased seeing her little car up in the air like that.
So with the 3 kids in the bunk of the semi and the 2 butt-licking dogs in Southern Belle's car on the semi trailer, off we go to the “KINGDOM". The poor teenage kids got to see nothing on the trip to the "KINGDOM" except for the hamburgers we gave them to eat in Thompson, Mb, in the middle of the night. When we arrived at the "KINGDOM" at 3:30 am in the morning and 2 days late for the start of school the poor teenagers got to see the ground covered in 3" of fresh snow. Wow what a surprise to them since they left the warm south but they survived and Xena adjusted too. So after a month of living in the "KINGDOM" everyone got their own bedrooms with a door (the KINGDOM was known for no doors) and life adjusted well. Now every Sunday is "HONEY DO" day and lots get done in the "KINGDOM". Now we have done everything from putting tin on the bunkhouses (which has been beside the bunkhouse for 10 years) to re-roofing, lots of shelves and DUAL toilet paper roller holders.
So I hope you enjoyed the story of Southern Belle and how she came to live in the "KINGDOM".
June 2007 Southern Belle moved back to the south, the Great White North is not for everyone. Thank you
THE STORY OF SOUTHERN BELLE'S ILLNESS -- GOOD STORY, ONE OF MY BEST WRITINGS
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