The day the skyline changed

Today will forever be remembered by me as the day the skyline in Grimshaw changed. 

While I have resided in this town for only a little shy of six years, the seafoam green grain elevators that defined the skyline in Grimshaw were always a welcome sight.

I distinctly remember noticing them when I first pulled into Grimshaw on September 5, 2010. At that time there were two. My friend and I had just completed a cross-Canada road trip (Check out our journey – Day 1, Day 2, Day 3) from Ontario to Alberta and along the way we were impressed with the number of grain elevators along the way. These tall buildings define the skylines in many small towns across the prairies. Grimshaw was no different.

Sask Elevator
A grain elevator in Saskatchewan, and my beautiful friend Amanda
However, with changes in both the farming and rail industry, these old wooden grain elevators have become more of a liability and less useful.
Grimshaw lost the first of its remaining elevators in 2014. It was the oldest of the two and long-ago abandoned. It was also where I chose to have a few wedding photos done because while it was worn down, it was beautiful.

Wooden grain elevators are slowly disappearing from the prairies, and while I understand that not every one can be saved, I still feel sad to see both of Grimshaw’s disappear. According to Retroactive, a blog about Alberta’s historic places,  there were 1,781 grain elevators in Alberta in the 1930s. In 2012 there were just 130 left on railway right of ways. As of today, another one has disappeared.

Photo by Dayna Erichson, taken June 1, 2016

A short while ago my co-worker shared that as a child when her family would be on their way home to Grimshaw from a summer road trip, her mom’s response to the question “are we there yet?” was always “Look for the elevators.” She then expressed disappointment over the fact that she would be unable to say the same thing to her own children. 

These elevators are a piece of our small towns’ histories. They’re a place where many of the founders earned their incomes, a landmark that made people know they had made it “home,” and a beautiful reminder to the non-agricultural folks of how our towns were built. 

Grimshaw upon my arrival in 2010

DIY wooden growth chart

About four years ago I was addicted to Pinterest. Around that time I was planning my wedding, which is what initially spurred my interest in the site. I pinned so many lovely ideas and ended up using maybe…three of them.

But that’s what Pinterest is for. It makes us dream of all the lovely things and then has us crash back down to reality when we realize these lovely ideas and DIY projects aren’t quite as easy or inexpensive as they seem.

In the words of my husband “These ideas you have are unique Kristin, but they certainly aren’t cheap.” Continue reading “DIY wooden growth chart”

This reporter has kids

Well one kid, and another on the way. But “This reporter has kid,” didn’t quite have the same ring to it.

This past month has been hard. I went back to work when Elijah was 11 months old. At that time I had arranged with my boss to only be in the office three days a week. This was certainly a blessing because this way I could have the best of both worlds. I could put my professional hat on for three days a week and then continue to wear only my mommy hat for the remainder of the week. Continue reading “This reporter has kids”

How cows created this love story

Those of you who know Cody and I already know what sparked our romance, but for those of you who haven’t heard the story of how cows helped to seal our fate, read on.

Achievement Day 6

In the spring of 2011 I was handed the above note by my editor. At that time Cody was trying his hardest to woo me and I was enjoying his company but ignoring his advances. We had plans to go for a walk that evening with his dog, Olive. This was an activity we had been doing several nights a week for the last few weeks. Olive was the other spark in our early romance.

After receiving this note I let Cody know I had to reschedule because of work and to my surprise he offered to go with me, explaining his boss would be there buying calves and he wanted to check it out.

Being from a non-farming family I only knew that the event would require me to take photos of 4H students and their calves with the purchaser.

Cody picked me up from my apartment just before 7 p.m. and we drove out to Lac Cardinal together. After watching the 4H kids parade their calves around, I began taking photos. Cody acted as my second set of hands, holding my camera bag while I had my hands full with my camera, pen and note pad.

The photos above are from that evening.

It was a beautiful spring evening and a fun way to get to know each other a bit more. I don’t know if it was the late evening spring sunshine or the country air, but something about that evening helped to soften my heart towards the possibility of a relationship.

Every year since Cody and I have attended the 4H Achievement Day, if not for work, then just for something to do on a spring evening. There’s always a sense of nostalgia about the event that I love, and I am overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude to a club I knew very little about, and a bunch of cows.