By Trudy (Lucas) Kwasnicki – Scout Lake, Sask.
I had planned on moving from Kelowna, B.C. to the Prairies when I retired, but in 2007, I had an opportunity to transfer to Regina with my job.
I told my daughter she could have my house, furniture, and my cat. Then, I packed two suitcases and began the adventure of a lifetime!
My plan was to buy a house in a small community and work from my home but I quickly realized that I loved my new office and that I would miss the daily contact with my co-workers. I bought a home in Regina and settled into my new life.
I always knew that I would love the Prairies, but nothing could have prepared me for the peace and tranquility I felt every time I gazed on those wide open spaces.
I would go for long drives in the country and enjoy the sights of beautiful fields of yellow canola or blue flax or golden wheat. It was like driving through a patchwork quilt!
Those exquisite sunrises and sunsets were amazing! No wonder Saskatchewan is called The Land of the Living Skies. The people I met were all so friendly. I just felt ‘at home’ right away.
Although I was enjoying life in Regina, I never quite lost my dream of living in a small Prairie community with a dog and a cat and a garden. Knowing of this dream, my friend invited me to her brother’s farm near a little village called Scout Lake so that I could experience real farm chores-even those that weren’t ‘pretty’.
On my first visit, we butchered a bull. I got through that somehow. Then came calving season and I was hooked!
At first I just wanted to watch the darling little ones with their mothers but reality kicked in when we had to separate them so that they could be branded, tattooed, castrated, and vaccinated. However, it had to be done and I was happy to be a part of it all.
My friend’s brother had farmed in that area all his life and I was impressed with his love and appreciation of the great outdoors in general and the Prairies, in particular.
He was so patient and understanding, and a wonderful teacher with a great sense of humour! He taught me about cultivating, seeding, and harvesting.
He taught me how to fix fences, break up beaver dams – and a thousand other chores associated with farming and ranching.
He taught me about history. His grandfather had helped to build St. Mary’s church in Maxstone in 1917 and it remains strongly connected to his family but most of all, he taught me – by example – how the love of God and family and friends, and living off the land, can lead to a serenity such as I had never thought possible on this earth.
On one of those perfect sunny autumn days, we attended that little country church and I was blessed to become his wife.
To say that my dream came true is an understatement. I did find my small community and my dog and cat and garden but I never dreamed that I would also find such an amazing man with whom to share my life. And that, as they say, is the rest of the story!