Marilyn Hathaway (now Blomquist) stands among the cows.   |  Hathaway family photos

Cows played important role on family farm

Looking back: The cows all had names were considered part of the family

My dad loved to tell a well-worn story that went like this: “Old Dandelion came up behind and sniffed the back of your head. Out came her long tongue and licked up the back of your hood. You were only about two feet tall and your little body was so stiff, packed into your snowsuit, […] Read more

Adventures of finding the ‘perfect tree’ bring smile

The tree is the focal point of any home at Christmas, often displaying sentimental ornaments and always creating cheerfulness and excitement. For many families, bringing home the tree is a happy and much anticipated tradition. When I was growing up on a farm near Marwayne, Alta., it was our usual habit to pack up hot […] Read more

Ross Hamilton, The Memory Project, Historica Canada photo

War challenged curious farmer, pilot

Military life suited Malcolm McLean’s restless curiosity and need for challenge. He was farming outside of Dewberry, Alta., in the fall of 1939 when Canada entered the Second World War. Of the first local boys to sign up, he joined the 16/22 Saskatchewan Horse Infantry and took his basic training at Dundurn, Sask. By December […] Read more


Louise Hathaway taught school for decades. | Hathaway family photos

But who will mind the kids?

Finding suitable child care has always been a challenge. It was especially difficult in the 1950s when married women often did not work outside the home and child-care workers were few. Louise Hathaway, my mother, trained as a teacher at age 17 and began teaching in a one-room multi-grade school at age 18. In 1945, […] Read more

The farm as it looked in 1974 when times were better. | Hathaway family photo

Family provides comfort after crop disaster

After being wiped out by hail, Dad heads 
north to earn a living for the family, 
but soon faces further tragedy

Disaster can happen to anyone at any time. Both the memory of the event and the victims’ reaction to it will affect their decisions for the rest of their lives. Harold and Louise Hathaway, my parents, were 100 percent hailed out in 1947. This single devastating event caused a landslide of tragedies that transformed them […] Read more


 Harold Hathaway, shown here in the back row, fourth from the left, took his basic training class at Camrose in December, 1944.  |  Hathaway family photo

Harold Hathaway and the Schedule of Reserved Occupations

Canadian farmers were among the list of workers excluded from active duty during the Second World War

The moment Alice and Edward Hathaway heard the news, they were ready to fight for their son, Harold’s, life. It was the fall of 1939 and Canada had declared war against Germany. Canada avoided conscription, but at 21 and single, Harold was expected to volunteer for overseas action. Many families tried to save their sons […] Read more