Name: Monsey & Bonnie Capeling
Family: Three grown daughters - Jamie (John), Jodie (Ray) Jennifer, and 9 grandkids
Profession: Retired (Bonnie was the former Post Mistress for Grenfell, and Monsey was a Meteorological Technician and a Customs Officer)
Years in Grenfell: 17
Years Married: 40
What is something you're looking forward to in 2018?
Bonnie: Well, I guess our camping trip down to East End to be with the kids - Jodie (daughter) and Ray, Hailey and Cashton. Also, we've talked about this, because we have our dog Miley, it's always a concern about how we're going to deal with going places... Anyway, this year I've decided, because there's the McPherson (Bonnie's maiden name) reunion in Canmore, AB., my youngest sister and I are going to go together, and hopefully Jodie and her family will go, and Monsey will stay home and babysit Miley!
Monsey: What's different about going to Canmore this year, is that there's a big Scottish gathering there, on the same weekend. It's an international type Scottish gathering of clans. There are three or four hundred pipers.
B: Ya, I don't know... there's just something about bag pipes that gets right down to the heart.
M: It's that squeal.
What inspires you?
B: Oh! That's a good one for Monsey.
M: Hmmm. Who know's what inspires me? Just about anything. Like, there's amazing things even in Grenfell. I like making my birdhouses and watching the birds and stuff like that. Doing some carpentry. I don't know...Watching to see what Donald Trump is up to (I interupt to say "that's inspiring??") Well, listening to CNN, the Comedy News Network. I don't know if it would be inspiring, but it's interesting because it's so complicted and he's such an idiot. But ya, just about anything will inspire me.
You're on a road trip. What's playing for music?
B: XM. I like modern music. I"m not fussy.
M: XM, the Hits.
B: Current, modern. Like Ed Sheeran. That kind of stuff. I love that stuff. I don't mind country, like highway country sort of thing. But I'm not really into the old stuff anymore. And I'm not into punk rock.
Have you ever met anyone famous?
M: I shook the hand of the Queen. In 1958 she came to Canada on a tour - her and Philip were at the Air base in Moose Jaw. They wanted some boy scouts and girl guides. I was a cub. 7 years old and I held the Canada flag. She came around when she was doing her inspection, and shook everyone's hand. I was one of the ones who go to shake hands. Another one, I don't know if you'd call him famous, was Gordon Lightfoot. Just after his song about the boat, the Edmond Fitzgerald, I was working at the weather office in Regina on the second floor, and there was a heck of a storm and the plane couldn't come in. So he was just wandering around the airport, and looking for some place, basically to get out of the public. One of the meteorologists invited him to hide up in one of our corners on the second floor. So he gave us a little concert, 5 or 6 songs, while he waited for the weather to clear. Also, Burton Cummings, with The Guess Who. That band, before they were anything, were doing a circuit and they did our graduation dance. That was in Moose Jaw. We had 600 kids graduating, so they got in a big band. They were just on their way up. It wasn't long afterwards that they did American Woman, which was of course their big hit that blew them into popularity.
If you were given $100 000, what would you spend it on?
M: $100 000? I always thought if I won the lottery, what I'd like to do is to buy a twin otter aircraft. Not fly it.
B: I don't think $100 000 would cut it!
M: No no. You're looking at three or four million dollars here. A really good executive type one. And then charter it out. Let somebody else fly it, but then I'd own an airline.
B: I don't think I'd fly with him after driving with him lately! So that's what you would buy?
M: Well, or probably a fancy car or something.
B: I think I'd probably travel, and get Miley a high end hotel. Personal babysitter. That's probably about what we'd do. You know, having a pet - and believe me, Miley is spoiled, and I love her to death. But it's just so hard to go anywhere. And the kids are getting at me. So you can't even go to your kid's place unless the animals get along. There are good kennels, but then it's hard leaving them. They don't eat. They don't drink. They're sad.
How did you meet?
B: I was living in Regina, working at the Bank of Montreal, and I had my daughter Jamie, who lived back in Broadview with my mom and dad. I came home every weekend. My youngest sister happened to be going out with this guy who owned the Esso at the time. Monsey had just moved to Broadview and was working at the weather office. So we went one night to get beer, and Bill (Bonnie's younger sister's boyfriend) said "Do you mind if I bring my friend from Moose Jaw?" I said, "As long as it's a male, go ahead!" And that's how we met.
M: I'd known Bill, because I went to school with him.
B: Then my older sister, Doreen, when she got married, it was to Bill, another weather man in Broadview. It was kind of funny, it was the running joke. Men were not safe in Broadview when they came there single to work at the weather office.
M: As long as there are McPherson girls left, it's not a safe place for a weatherman.
What do you consider your spouse's best trait?
B: Best trait? Hmmm... you go first Monsey!
M: Probably, Bonnie's putting up with me. I've had a lot of medical problems in the last 20 years. And even though she believes in tough love, she's always there. I know she's always going to be there. So that's comforting and a good trait to have. Not that I want to get sick anymore. But I know she'll be there. That's what's important to me.
B: O.k. What's Monsey's best trait?.... His outgoingness.
M: No, it's that I'm so cute. (Bonnie laughs)
B: I think it would be vice versa. The same thing. I know he's always going to be there. I mean, if he can put up with me for 40 years, I think, well, let's try for another 40
B: Yes, longevity.
M: And I can beat anyone at Trivial Pursuit.
B: Oh ya. That's true. He's a know it all. I often say to him, "Where the hell do you store all that information?"
What's your favorite experience that you've had together, as a couple?
B: I guess our kids!
M: Ya, probably the kids and a few of the trips, like family trips that we took. Stuff like that. And now, with the grandchildren, we get to do it again as a surrogate.
B: Ya. Grandkids are a lot more fun.
M: We can give them candy and then they go home. And teaching the two grandsons to golf. That's been fun.
B: I often wondered, I sometimes felt like such a failure as a parent. But now I see the girls, and I think, man! They did a pretty awesome job raising their kids. So I guess we didn't do too bad.
How long did you date before getting married?
B: You'd better answer this one Monsey. The guy with the memory.
M: Let's see... I got there in '76 I think. That's when I moved to Broadview, and we got married in '78. So two years before we got married. What was funny about that is that Bonnie is Catholic and I'm from the United Church. So we wanted to get married in the Catholic church. We ended up having to go into Regina to see the Bishop for this area, or whatever it was, because I wasn't Catholic.
B: And because he was divorced
M: Ya, and I was divorced. So we talked with the Bishop, and he said "This is what's going to happen. It starts in Regina, then it has to go to Toronto, then Toronto sends it back to Regina. Then it goes back to Rome, then Rome has to get back to Toronto..." It would have taken about 5 years for us to get married. I told him we already had a date picked out and everything.
B: We had the invitations made
M: We had them made and everything, ya. So he said "Well, we'll phone your minister" He was from Whitewood. Now remember, we're in the Bishop's office, on a speaker phone. So we phoned the reverend, and he said "Pick a date". And we told him we already had a date. He said he wasn't doing anything that day. Yep, he could do it. I told him "We may have a problem here though. My wife is Catholic and I belong to the United Church", and Reverend Nixon says "That's her problem!" And we're sitting in the Bishop's office, on speaker phone still, and he just rolled his eyes and said "Well, do what you want guys"
B: So we had to get married in the United Church. So all those invitations, we had made already. I had to go buy stickers that went over that part. I printed off all these stickers that said "United Church in Broadview" and put it over the line that said "Catholic Church". Kind of tacky, but couldn't afford to make more!
M: Another thing that was a big deal with the bishop was that I was baptized in the United Church. My ex-wife was baptized in a United Church. I never understood why that made a difference, because we were divorced. It never made sense to me. It's a Jesuit rule I guess.
What do you do for your spouse to show you love them?
M: I cook
B: That's what I was going to say, I cook! He doesn't cook anymore. I'll tell you my story. When we moved to Grenfell, he was medically retired. I was working at the post office of course. So I had a full time job. I told him, right at the start, "Listen. If you think I'm working a full 8 hour day and coming home and cooking you supper, forget it! So you are going to have to have an apron on now". So the first day I came home from work, and he's supposed to cook supper, I just walked in the house and did exactly what he would have done - went to the living room, sat down at the couch and put my footrest up. And then he just kind of looked at me and said "Uh, uh.... could you maybe set the table?" But ya. Now I do the cooking again.
M: I'll cook, but I won't bake.
B: He's a far better cook than I am. And then, probably, we do a lot of things together. I guess that's our thing. Like golfing. I don't golf with pretty much anyone other than Monsey. And the kids of course. If he's building something, I'm helping him. Whatever. We like being together - we have our moments though!
M: Everybody has their moments though.
B: Actually we just had a talk the other day. I apologized for anything I might say that's not very nice, but here's where I am...
M: Well, and both being retired, you're not really forced to be together more, but the odds are you are going to be. And sometimes that's hard. I can have a bad day - a "pms" day and same with Bonnie. She can have a bad testosterone day kind of thing. You know. It's just that we're together so much, versus when we were both working.