Yes, it’s no joke since it is a full week after April Fool’s Day. I did contemplate handing in my notice on April 1, but I thought that wouldn’t fly too well at the office.
In about five days I will be in another community. I will truly miss everything about Maple Creek, the people who stop you in the office to tell you they loved a part of your column and the people who secretly read my blog online and let it slip that they like the Calgary Flames too, or even worse, they are a closet Stamps fan. Heck, I even liked when people screamed like children when they were displeased at something I said or did. You recall the breast feeding or Bob Barker columns?
How odd, I thought looking back. It just meant even though we disagreed, they were reading what I wrote attentively.
Now, don’t cry, partings should be joyful, so I’m presently thinking of that Pharrell Williams song that brainwashes you, Happy. I can’t really leave this area forever. I will still visit the Cypress Hills and take a road trip now and then for Roughriders nights on Sidney Street. That’s the only time you’ll ever catch me in green. That may also be the only place you will ever hear the epic floor vibrating “DDDDDDDDDDDD!” You know who you are.
The other day at the Cypress Hills Metis Cultural and Resource Centre during beading workshop I was reminiscing on all the strange and crazy things I have done in Maple Creek while chasing the news.
In my first week nearly four years ago I went out to an accident on the Trans-Canada and reconnected with a childhood friend who was living in Maple Creek.
Marcia and I have driven out into the middle of nowhere in search of downed powerlines on a half tank of gas, where we got belly laughs from Hutterites after being caught dancing in the wheat field. I’ve driven to car accidents, fires, been stuck on a closed highway in winter, directionally challenged and lost near Bitter Lake. I’ve been to 100 potlucks, pancake breakfasts, and picnics. I’ve taken a ride in the combine during harvest and stared at the star-filled skies at the dark sky preserve while tracking the international space station zooming above in the night.
I’ve been all over this part of the province. I love it so much I wrote a book about the Southwest, so images of the town will be burnt into the memories of thousands of people around the world.
I’m not sure people realize how much Maple Creek has to offer. I’ll miss rodeo season and the thrill and excitement that surrounds a smaller rodeo circuit.
I have to say, I won’t miss the anxiety that comes from Marcia Love forever trying to cop a feel of my hair. That’s pretty creepy. It will be a bit odd not having the pair of match-making mamas (Angela and Della) trying to plan my future marriage to males in the region, or not having Megan to gab with at coffee time over Orlando or Alexander. I’ll miss my number one Faith and my adopted Uncle Duane. But I won’t miss coming home with horse poo on my boots, batting away cats, the smell of the lagoon on a hot day, or that Taylor Swift song they play over and over again at the news office. No, we are never, ever getting back together.
I’ll miss that Maple Creek versus Shaunavon hockey rivalry and Cyclones hockey, woooo! I’ll also be searching for someone to warm my permanent seat at the arena next season.
I regret I won’t be able to share with you all the happenings of the day at the Shaunavon Standard or the Maple Creek News. But I do promise to be the town’s personal cheerleader wherever I find myself if there’s a chance to chat about Saskatchewan and the wonderful, friendly, one-of-a-kind island of a town in the middle of Western Canada called Maple Creek.