(Photo: Donna Quick)

My First Vacation Home: A Girlhood Dream Realized

By Donna Quick

For a good part of my childhood, I had an overwhelming desire to own a horse. Growing up in the middle of Medicine Hat, it seemed an impossible dream. But when my parents realized how determined I was to become a horse owner, they bought a 20-acre parcel of barren, sun-scorched land near Dunmore, about 10 kilometres from our home. 

There wasn’t a tree in sight, nor was there a water source. The property was fenced, however, and had an old machine shed and one-room schoolhouse. We eagerly renovated the shed, which became our living quarters, and turned the schoolhouse into a sleeping dorm. Three horses later, we had our very own farm retreat. 

Even though we had to haul in water for the horses and ourselves, some magical summers followed. There were moonlit rides across the prairie, appearances in the Medicine Hat Stampede parade, and many trips to neighbouring ranches. 

Fast forward to marriage and a move to Edmonton, and I had to part ways with my childhood Shangri-la. Eventually my parents sold the land and gave me some of the proceeds—enough to purchase a more traditional summer home: a rustic cottage on Lac la Nonne. As pretty as it is, the cottage has never quite measured up to my own little piece of paradise on the prairie.

Tell us about your first car, home or vacation and you could be featured in the next issue! Send your story to: amainsider@ama.ab.ca