Discovering the beauty in my own backyard

One of the best things about my job is being able to go new places and meet new people.

One of the best things about my job is being able to go new places and meet new people. While I generally cover the Eckville area, I recently had the chance to visit Benalto while covering their Grade 6 farewell celebration.

I had written down instructions on how to find the school, but I still managed to get lost. I drove around in circles several times looking for it. Along the way, I admired how beautiful the sun looked as it set behind the rolling hills in the town. It cast everything in a golden light, including the little general store where I stopped to get directions.

The general store, it turned out, was the hub of the town. In addition to being a place to buy chocolate bars, it is also a post office, a bank, and a video rental store. In a corner in the back sat a hairdresser’s chair, with a mirror and all the appropriate styling products on the table in front of it. I later learned this was the only hairdresser in town.

The building itself was quite old. The woman working told me she thought it was from the 1920s. The whole store was built from whitewashed wood, including the ceiling, which slanted slightly in one direction. The people who had visited the store in the past felt very much present as I looked at the floor, scuffed from decades of shoes.

After obtaining directions, I went to the school. I recognized it as a building I had already driven past, but I had thought it was a house. The sweet smell of lilacs wafted toward me as I walked up to the school.

Inside, the floor creaked as I ascended the steps, searching for someone to point me in the right direction. I wandered into the library/office, but it was empty. A group of chairs sat in the middle of the room, lined in bookshelves. It felt very peaceful. I could easily imagine reading a book in one of those chairs.

I finally managed to find the celebration for the Grade 6 students. There were eight in total, sitting at tables with their parents and having dinner. Balloons and photos of each student decorated the room. The students chatted easily with each other from where they were sitting.

It was a very intimate celebration. I felt privileged to be there, and I feel privileged to be able to explore parts of this province I never knew about before. I have travelled to many places, but as it turned out, some of the most beautiful were right in my backyard.

Just Posted

Certified Sustainable Beef Workshop introduces new approach

Alberta beef industry is one of the most sustainable industries in the province

Council reallocates funds to purchase portable amphitheatre

$100,000 entrusted from Heart of Town Association will be used for the purchase

Fentanyl information session gives parents a new perspective

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools partnered with RCMP and Turning Point

The Little Mermaid comes to Sylvan

The Ecole Mother Teresa Performing Arts Department performed the musical

Multi-sport event approved for August-long weekend

Multi-Sport at the Lake will include a triathlon to be held on Aug. 4

WATCH: Record number of nominees for Women of Excellence

Various Central Alberta women recognized for their different contributions

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

Young Jersey cow takes Saturday night walk through Ponoka

Ponoka residents help police locate runaway bovine, which was safely collected.

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

PHOTOS: Team Tanner takes in northern lights in Yellowknife

The aurora borealis and storm hunters photograph Yellowknife’s picturesque night skies

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Most Read