My Grandma and Grandpa, Ross and Margaret Giles, have celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary this past January 29, 2010. Here's a little run down of their 57 years together....in a nut shell! :)
Gran and Gramps got married in 1953 and settled in Hubalta Alberta where Gramps mother lived just across the road from them at that time. Gramps grew up in that area and had worked on the farm at a young age due to his father passing young from a heart attack.
I remember Gran telling me a story about her not having running water in this house. She called it running water though only because she had to run across the road to fetch water several times a day. I couldn't even to begin to imagine.....boy how times have changed.
Gran and Gramps had 2 children; Doug, the oldest and my mom Ellen. Both were born in Calgary while living in Hublata. Gran and Gramps decided to move their family to Airdrie; their current farm just north west of town; in 1962 when mom was 6 years old.
Gran and Gramps raised about 150 head of cattle here on the farm and they farmed about 600 acres of land to feed their cattle. Both mom and Uncle Doug graduated high school here in Airdrie at George McDougall where all four of us girls graduated as well.
Uncle Doug was always helping Gramps around the farm and loved driving equipment and working with the cattle. He unfortunately died in a horrible farming accident in 1974 when he was only 20 years old so that was a devastation to the family but made them much closer. My mom was only 18 years old when her brother passed and I love hearing stories of Uncle Doug and my mom growing up. I would love to meet him. He was a great man.
My dad was a good friend of Uncle Doug's and years later mom and dad started dating and eventually married in 1979. They moved into their house on the farm across the road from the home stead in 1983 where they still live today. Mom and dad have 4 daughters, Careen and my self are 29, Jacelyn is 25 and Ashley is 24.
Growing up on this farm was great but very busy. For years we raised cattle with my grandparents and dad farming more land then Gramps ever did. Dad even had custom silage company for about 13 years and then from there his grain farm grew and grew. Gramps decided to retire around 1992 where mom and dad took over the farm and Gramps decided to keep his cattle for a few years. Mom and dad raised cattle for many years until about 5 years ago they decided to sell the herd. Dad is strictly grain farming now.
Careen was the first of us grandchildren to get married. In 2004 Geoff Rohleder became the first "grandson". Geoff and Careen have 2 wonderful children, Austin 4 1/2 years old and Kyla just over a year. Geoff and Careen live on Gran and Gramps ranch land just north of Cochrane where they built a house almost a year ago. Mike and I were the next to get married in 2005 and we have a daughter, Justice 2 1/2 and we are expecting our 2nd child at the end of January; only 5 days before Gran and Gramps celebrate their 58th anniversary. Then Jacelyn married Geoff's youngest brother Greg in 2008 and they live in High River. Ashley is engaged to Tj Callahan...no date picked yet...and TJ has a 8 years old son Anthony and they live in Airdrie. So that makes 4 1/2 great-grandchildren for Gran and Gramps.
My husband Mike and I have have the honor to live in Gran and Gramps house for almost 2 years now where Mike is now helping dad with the farm. Dad and Mike are now farming about 1800 acres and they hope to gain more allowing them to farm around 4000 acres. Well that's Mike's dream!! It is a wonderful feeling to be back on the farm to raise our growing family. Especially being in the house that my mom was raised in. Just having those memories of my childhood and having my children have similar memories is very exciting and special to me.
Gran and Gramps lived in their farm house for 46 years and have owned the farm for 48 years. They decided to move into Cedarwood Station, a senior complex in town, where they have lived for 2 1/2 years now. It is a very welcoming, warm wonderful place where Gran and Gramps have met many lovely people. It was quite an adjustment for them both not having a big house, their wonderful yard to work in and of course the memories. But they have grown to love their new home. Gran doesn't have to worry about a single meal. Cedarwood makes lunch and dinner which are perfect for them both. Gran always has her fridge full for evening snacks and breakfast if they wish but most of the time their early lunch is just fine. Gran doesn't always have to worry about laundry or any cleaning around her apartment. It's all taken care of. It's been the best move for both of them allowing us family members to enjoy them for several more years.
Gramps will be turning 88 years young and Gran will be 82 years young this October.