"One nice, sunny morning in Manitoba.
I still feel that fresh silky-soft air on the skin, invigorating and stimulating.
You know its going to be hot but it isn't hot yet.
I never forgot that early morning prairie feeling.
I was wearing this nice polka-dot dress, white with green polka-dots, and over it I wore a little green bolero with white polka-dots, and I wondered why people stared at me.
I was a just-married bride, newly arrived from Holland, where we were used to looking good and were at all times well-dressed. ” Anne – 1955
Now I know better why they stared, I must have looked pretty good.
I had been trained in the Netherlands to be a professional home maker, and at seventeen was hired by the Dutch government to assist house-wives recuperating from childbirth or surgery, poor money managers, and depressed women.
I enjoyed the work immensely, since I liked the feeling of being needed and the thrill of not knowing into what situation I would land up next.
The whole world was open to me and at sixteen I wanted to spread my wings.
France asked for home makers and I applied, but my father would not let me go.
Lex worked at a concrete manufacturing plant in Winnipeg, where after there normal work, at night, they were building a scaled model of a bridge.
One night Lex called me and said that he was going to bring his supervisor with him home for dinner 'and can you cook something extra.'
I said that I could do that and went to the corner store because Safeway would be closed, and all I remember buying there was Lima beans, anyways, I must've managed somehow.
So, this supervisor happens to be a thirty year old Italian bachelor - and good looking.
We had our dinner for which he supplied a bottle of Martini vermouth.
They sat down after, while I did the dishes.
I came in to make coffee and my husband promptly fell asleep.
There I sat talking to this charming Italian, giving me compliments. At least he was talking to me. That husband of mine was pretty stupid, you know. He was a pretty stupid guy.
I was very young and had my feelings too, he was not there to protect me. He fell asleep.
Did I have sexual feelings on my mind about this man?
Well, what's in my head is my business, but if there was any of that then it was his fault for not better watching out who to bring home with him and who not.
But anyways, they went up north doing their thing while I stayed by myself with a baby.
Lex bought me a TV before he left, he really took care of me in that way, hardly any body had a TV at that time, but he did not discuss it with me, he just went ahead and bought it.
So I was left with a TV and a baby, and the supervisor and Lex were having their project.
The supervisor came back after a week and called that he was coming to see me.
So, I decided , this good looking man coming over, I better not be by myself with him.
So, like an idiot, on this Sunday, I asked Lex's cousin to come over with me and she did.
The supervisor didn't stay very long.
I was young but not stupid.
Somebody wanted to sell me a vacuum cleaner and I thought I needed one. So, being a very trusting person and thinking he was a Dutchman, I let him in the house to demonstrate.
But then he he wanted to demonstrate also into the bedroom.
“The bed,” he said, “a lot of dust collects in the bedroom.”
“Well,” I said, “I know enough about the vacuum cleaner now, there is is no need to go in the bedroom.” I bought the vacuum cleaner for a hundred dollars, which I had saved by not having my husband around.”
“When my husband came back after two full months he had grown a beard, which I didn't like at all. He could've shaved it off before he came home,and it was probably something to show off, but I was not impressed.
But at least he was home again.”
“We started again where we had left off by sprawling on the floor until past midnight discussing and revamping house building plans, trying out kitchen layouts and color schemes for a new house we were going to build.
And just when I was comfortably settled in our prairie town, Lex decided to make a change of jobs by following his brothers John and Sidney to BC.”
“I did not agree with it but as in other things was not consulted with this one either, and since I had promised at our wedding to follow my husband and 'to be obedient to him' as well, I started packing.“
the above is from The life of Anne Smid by Anne and Lex Smid 2004
While Anne was left by herself in Transcona I worked two months long in Thompson Man., for a concrete manufacturing plant building a precast, pre-stressed bridge over the Saskatchewan river.
Three-hundred men, one-hundred fifty natives and the remaining an amalgamation of mainly white men from different parts of the world but mainly of Canada formed the workforce.
We lived in barracks, two persons to a room, I bunked with my superintendent, whom I considered my friend. After one week at the Thompson job he took off for Winnipeg, for what reason he did not tell me, leaving me in charge.
My alleged friend, the super, made one mistake, he bragged to his friends about his conquests with women including my wife.
After returning from Thompson there was a temporary lack of work, necessitating a lay-off of several workers and as foreman I was the one to bring the bad news to the unfortunates. One man, obviously a friend of the super, got real angry at me.
Between swearing and insults he let me know the intention of the super to seduce my wife and to humiliate me.
For that reason I secretly wound up my affairs in Transcona by renting out our house, finding a person to look after collecting the rent of it, doing away with our truck and a pre-war car, and purchased a ¾ ton truck to carry our furniture, my wife and child away from the villains without leaving a trace as to our destination.
It was also a goodbye from the good times with our relatives and the friends we had made, and not in the least from the beautiful prairie itself.
That was the reason I left the prairies against the wishes of Anne, who loved the prairie country even more than I did, up to her dying days and particularly its kind people.
“I feel safe here,” she used to say.
I never told Anne or anyone of the real reason of my decision.
The prairie had, to me, become a war zone, with Anne as the price.
A price I did not want to loose at any cost to another.