Mom and dad

Today was a tough one for my mom and I wish I could have given her a hug.

She celebrated her and my dad’s 42nd wedding anniversary on Nov. 8th  alone. In February it will have been nine years since my dad passed away. His birthday is also today; he would have been 75.

Dad was a jokester.

He kept getting bugged by a favourite aunt that if he was not married by 33, he would have to become a priest.

He got married two days before his 33rd birthday.

I learn so much about love from my parents.

There marriage was not perfect. It had its ups and downs but dad and mom always put their family first. They put each other first as often as they were able, especially with five kids. And you could always see the love between them.

They have shaped the way I looked for love. And they taught me to never settle for less than what I’m worth, especially in love.

It is because of their love that I was able to find such an amazing man to call my husband.

For all the choices they made that has led me to this point in my life, I can never thank them enough.

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Amazing People

The sign I had everyone autograph

While I was doing my Saskatchewanderer video, I knew I wanted to get the many amazing people in Humboldt involved in the project.

Besides a few who were camera shy, the first thing many of them said to me when I told them about the project was ‘what do I have to say.’

As you can see in the video, they did not have to say anything, to much relief.

Despite some reluctance, people really pulled through when it came to setting up time to shoot the video and offering any other support I need, from references if need be to shares.

I am very grateful that I had this idea before it all started because I was able to have everyone who ever helped me sign the sheet for my own personal keepsake.

No matter how many people said, ‘if I sign it, you know it will go down in value,’ (to which it won’t) I will treasure this for a very long time because it is a sign of the care people have offered me.

Saskatchewanderer 2018

After years of wanting to apply but never feeling my application ideas were good enough, I have finally produced my first Saskatchewanderer application video:

I first heard about the job back in its first year in 2011 when they were just looking for someone to drive around Saskatchewan with their own vehicle and blog about their adventures for a few months as a summer position.

Since I did not have my own vehicle I was not eligible then and then I moved to Nova Scotia; not exactly a good thing for my Saskatchewanderer prospects.

I have my Bachelors of Journalism from the University of King’s College. While living in Nova Scotia, my heart was always in Saskatchewan and everyone knew and remembered where I was from the first time they met me.

It was a weird feeling to be straddling the country; one foot at home and the other on the east coast.

While I love to travel and I have been to every province in Canada, there is no place like home.

We rarely think of travel within our own province as an option

photo courtesy of Ray Whittonbut that is what the Saskatchewanderer is all about.

But I have worked as Saskatchewan cheerleader and promoter for a while now already.

My job as the editor of the Humboldt Journal and East Central Trader has meant being the Humboldt-wanderer for the past two years.

I have had to defend Saskatchewan to everyone I meet outside this gorgeous province so besides the year long road trip, I was a Saskatchewanderer long before I applied for the job.

We have 28 provincial parks and three national ones.

We have music and culture festivals all across the province.

We have industries that are thriving and a northern beauty that is wild and unseen, at least by me. I need to go more north than Prince Albert.

The position is about showing off what the province has to offer.

But I want to make it about so much more.

While I have grown up in Saskatchewan, there is plenty that I have not done and plenty I want to try.

Greenwing Days in Humboldt, 2015

There is also the fact that so many musicians, authors, actors, painters, crafters, and other professionals that have not had a chance to be profiled.

There is also the fact that these travel opportunities and the different communities are there because someone believes in them. I want to give back to these communities by donating time and energy to the many great causes around the province.

This has been my dream job for a while. I’m so happy that I finally have a chance to work for it.

Ode to a Teacher

So it finally has dawned on me that this is not some weird practical joke.

An amazing man died this past week.

Alone in my car, I sang Seasons of Love from Rent for him.

How would we measure the life of such an amazing man?

Just like in the song, there is no better measure for him than love.

His love for life, volleyball, writing, drama, and teaching was something no one could miss.

He was someone that owned his permanent smile and wore it with pride.

He taught me what passion looked like and that it was not something to stifle for the sake of others.

Looking back, he showed me that I was not alone in my own love of writing at a pivotal time in my life.

During high school graduation, while he had not warned me before hand, he read one of my poems out loud for the audience. He did not do this maliciously, he did this because he believed and encouraged my writing.

He is a big reason why I am where I am right now.

His passion was not just for teaching but for learning. He did not stop at his education degree but was always looking for new volleyball drills, writing prompts, or thinking up his favourite movies and stories that he could turn into drama productions for the school.

Bringing new ideas into class and practice was his forte. I don’t know about his nerves or fears but he was always willing to try something and if it didn’t work, he moved on to the next new thing to try.

I admired his courage coming in to a new school to teach English and there was no shortage of complaints from typical high schoolers who thought they knew it all. That never seemed to phase him and he kept on learning and growing to be better at what he did.

There are so many things that I would have liked to say to him but I guess it is human nature to do this once someone is gone.

He taught me so much more than just what was on the curriculum and for that I can never thank him enough.

Thank you, Rick for giving so much of yourself to all your students.

It’s okay to be single

I know I’m not the best person to say this since I’ve been married for over a year. I’m going to throw that out there right now.

However, I was single before being married.

And I did not love myself.

What’s brought this up is watching the movie How to be Single. I wasn’t expecting much. I’ve seen enough rom coms to expect the boy to get the girl, blah blah blah.

It was almost like a mini Love Actually with different couples connected but everyone with their own story of finding love, finding themselves or, in the case of Rebel Wilson, just being kick ass and totally cool with herself and her life.

For a rom com, thanks to Rebel Wilson’s brash honesty, it spoke very openly about how someone can change when they enter a relationship.

I was very lucky to find myself while in a relationship and had a boyfriend/husband who was very supportive of that. That is not always the case.

For Alice, it’s a completely different journey and one that was not easy. Every fear about being alone, every expectation about love and relationships are right there. Enter Joe, a guy on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. His fear of settling and different expectations of love and relationships are also very much right there on screen.
It’s great how this all flawlessly connects into this realistic, modern look at being single.

Don’t tell me your busy

If the first words out of your mouth when we meet is apologizing for how busy you are, I don’t want to hear it.

Not that I don’t know how busy you are. Not that I don’t appreciate how busy you are.

Tell me what you’ve been up to but you don’t have to equate that with being busy.

But if that is the first thing you say to me, this does not work as an apology.

It becomes your go to excuse.

Explaining how busy you are becomes your justification, a way to make yourself feel better.

It does not make you any less busy.

You will always be busy.

But it does not make you anymore likely in the future to make plans with me.

Busy becomes your get out of jail free card. Your admittance of “failure”.

It becomes a way of admitting guilt without actually trying to make it better.

And it will be your excuse a month from now, a year from now, 10 years from now.

Take busy out of your vocabulary.

Next time you say we’ll try to meet up, don’t add a “but” at the end.

Forget the “but I’m so busy” at the end. That is admitting right off the bat that you are going to fail. If those words cross your lips before you have even tried to make plans with me, you have failed before even trying.

You may feel better, but for me, I am stuck continuing to try while you have already failed.