Last Friday, my TC and I packed our bags for a week in Saskatchewan. Our trip took us through Saskatoon (briefly), Weyburn (for a wedding) and Cochin, but most of our time was spent in the house I grew up in, situated on 240 acres of forest and fields (mostly forest) in northwest Saskatchewan. Technically I did not grow up on a farm (I grew up on an acreage), but considering how far we lived from the nearest town (Turtleford–at least a 30 min drive from us, population 500) and the fact that at different times we’ve had rabbits and roosters and laying hens and a duck (in addition to the more usual dogs and cats), I suppose I could forgive your confusion.
This trip was TC’s first time deep in the country, and there are a few things he found a little bit “crazy”:
- Saskatchewan is flat–you can see power lines for miles. Except only really in the south. It is not that flat where I’m from, comparatively, or nearly as open.
- Giving directions includes, “Head eight and a half miles out of town on the highway and turn right at the white barn.” In our defense, we were in Weyburn for a wedding, and none of us were familiar with the community. Had we known where we were, the instructions would have certainly included the family surnames of the farms we were passing.
- Dirt roads. We do not live on a dirt road. The roads out here are gravel thank you very much.
- There’s no street signs out here. Of course there are no street signs out here. There are no streets. We get to our houses via roads (see above). Gravel roads don’t need names.
- Wild strawberries. Heck yes wild strawberries.
- Massive properties with hundreds of old cars and some buildings erected to form a kind of “car village”. To be fair, the property TC is referring to is a neighbour’s farm, and this neighbour is a devoted collector of vintage (and rare) cars. The bison farm he owns with his wife is a pretty special, very unique place, not the norm for Saskatchewan farms. The fact that his collection and its set-up is not commercialized in any way is also very special.
- Cows and other “critters” on the side of the road. Yes, this happens sometimes. And yesterday, we saw a badger!
- There are three cats in the house. This is only crazy because TC is so ferociously allergic to cats. For the rest of us, it’s just triple the cuteness.
It’s hard for me to describe my home because I love it so much. I love the fields, I love the woods, I love the gigantic skies. I love driving the gravel roads that form a near-perfect grid across the province. I love Bright Sand Lake, I love the neighbourliness, I love the quiet (except in its own way, the Prairie is very loud). I love watching thunderstorms roll in. I love that my parents and their friends talk about hilling their potatoes, and the weather (because it impacts more than their mood and their beach plans), and never about salaries or how much people are paying in rent/mortgage/car payments etc. (which is somehow acceptable conversation in a city). I love that we ate good food all week and no one took a photo of it. I love being in the house my dad designed and built (except I hate when things inside it change). It’s the home of my soul, and always will be.
Despite his cat allergies and his newness to the region, TC and I had a lovely time. My only regret is having to head back to the city tomorrow. Sigh.
[All photos by my TC.]