Today I am happy to present a look into what it is like living in rural Saskatchewan.
For those of us who have never lived in Saskatchewan, what we know is based mostly on watching Corner Gas on CTV or those crazy Roughrider fans with the watermelons on their heads.
The following insight has been provided by my lovely cousin Tracy. Our family has quite a bit of their history in Saskatchewan but as far as I know she is the only one in our generation who has lived out there.
Kelsey (K): Tracy, where is it that you live?
Tracy (T): I currently live in the small village of Fillmore in Saskatchewan. Village population 204 (2011 census)
K: What is the weather like there?
T: Today it is rainy BUT this has been a very dry summer and we are just thankful the farmers are mostly done harvest before all this rain came in.
K: Can you tell us about winters in Saskatchewan and how much snow you tend to get?
T: Our winters vary here. I have lived here at -50 and no snow or -10 and 6 feet of snow. We tend to have long winters usually October-April. We have had snow out here in August. We are known to be cold and not so much snow here. But in the last 6 winters I have lived here we have had as much as 5 feet and as little as a dusting!!!
T: Fillmore and area are known for Farming. Out here they grow canola, flax, soybeans, and wheat. Our housing is affordable, but limited. We do have a school K-12, post office, RBC bank, library and store. There are 204 people in Fillmore but over double that in the RM. We are the home of Rod Boll a famous trap shooter. I love Fillmore, it is a true “Community”.
K: What about Saskatchewan?
T: Saskatchewan is home to the Riders and holy smokes you will NEVER find better fans! They are crazy, dedicated, crazy, loud, crazy, mad and crazy!! Come game days everyone is in green and the custom is to wear watermelons on their heads. The games are broadcasted everywhere; grocery stores, restaurants, bars, Walmarts, etc.!! They really are the best fans!!
K: What does living in Fillmore mean to you?
T: I moved to Fillmore in 2009, at the time Oil and Gas was booming here and my husband was working here. I came from Calgary, AB so when I came here I thought it would be boring, nothing to do, no friends/family. Well that lasted about a week. Fillmore is run by community. We have volunteers for everything, the rink, the hall, women’s axillary, etc. I am part of the SCC (Student Community council) like the PTA, the rink/lounge, both libraries (southeast regional and the school) and low income/senior housing. So I am busy busy busy!!! Fillmore is also known for their school sports. Volleyball, badminton, golf, running, and basketball. And as for no friends and family…..Fillmore is family!! I know everyone and everyone knows me. We gather together to help all in need…if it’s to mow an old couple lawn because he is unable to, to getting a winter coat for a child whose parents can’t afford one, to everyone getting together to fix the rinks door. I never have to worry about being alone.
K: As a visitor to Fillmore what would you suggest I do around town?
T: There really isn’t much to do out here. If I have visitors we have BBQs and sit in the backyard, we take walks, and drive an hour to go to the city.
K: Where should someone go to eat in Fillmore?
T: There is not much here for restaurants or special food places. We do have a restaurant but…let’s just say it’s not “special” but it does have GREAT pizzas. Regina seems to be following the pack. We have the same restaurants as other cities!
K: If you could live anywhere in Canada, where would it be and why?
T: If I could live anywhere…..I would go back to AB. My family is there!!! But I do love the quiet life, the safe life, and the happy life.
K: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about where you live?
T: I do love living here (even if I am a Stamps fan). You know all those stories you hear policemen playing street hockey in uniform…happens here, freezer filled when you are sick, hurt or someone passes….happens here, kids play outside from sun up to sun down….happens here, where you know your neighbour….it happens here. I don’t believe I would want to live in a large city anymore. Saskatchewan is home!!
I would like to extend a gracious thank you to Tracy for putting up with her little cousin’s request and answering the pages of questions that I sent her. She is obviously a very busy person and it means a lot to me that she would take time out of her schedule for me.