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Because the Randalls lived in such a remote location, Dale added home schooling to her duties. Her diary includes a nature lesson plan:

PG89-90-147 (1)

Alda Dale Randall diary. Page 90, Wednesday July 21, 1920. (Provincial Archives of Alberta, Acc #1984.0202)

I was reading this part of her diary in the late summer last year, so I decided to follow her lesson plan and create a cabinet of these nature specimens for my exhibit.


Marlena Wyman exhibit (10)

Marlena Wyman exhibit (8)

Marlena Wyman exhibit (7)

“We have decided to make a book & gather specimens” by Marlena Wyman. Mixed media . 2016

Dale wrote about her children with great affection and, on occasion, with concern about their remote life.

She and Guy had seven children, but she records none of her experiences of pregnancy and childbirth. Her daughter Leila Rose was born December 22, 1920, but other than a few references to feeling ill (and I don’t know whether this was necessarily due to her pregnancy), the birth is simply suddenly announced.

June 25, 1920              I am sick all day and yesterday.

July 7, 1920                 I am worn out from yesterday and no good all day. (“Yesterday” included heat & mosquitoes, hauling water, watering the garden, building a fire for laundry and doing “a big washing”. On the day that she is “no good all day”, she baked bread and traveled to the garden again to water it).

September 24, 1920   I am sick in bed most of day.

December 20, 1920    I have very bad night due to work of washing I guess.

December 22, 1920    Leila Rose born at 11:30AM.

Winter had come early that year – September 25th – while they were living in their tent and while she was pregnant. In the local history book “Trails We Blazed Together” a story is related that, due to the remoteness of their homestead, Guy delivered the baby in the cabin that they had moved into just a couple of months before.

Posted by Marlena Wyman