Neighbourly Love

I live in house with two other young(ish) people. We’re all very busy, and I think we all agree that being young and busy is a good excuse for not always being on-the-ball when it comes to daily household stuff. For Halloween, we put a jack-o-lantern out on our porch. On Nov. 19 (two days ago) it was still sitting there, decomposing. I know, it’s pretty sad that between three people, none of us could get rid of this thing before everyone on our street started putting up Christmas decorations. In our defence, though, we don’t use the front door very often – out of sight, out of mind.

On the evening of Nov. 19, I noticed our jack-o-lantern was gone. Then I noticed footprints in the snow coming directly from our neighbour’s house to the spot where the jack-o-lantern was sitting. I suppose our neighbour, Jason, could have been disgusted at our inability to dispose of the jack-o-lantern, but I like to think he did it as a small-town, neighbourly gesture. That’s probably it – right?

This is what our jack-o-lantern looked like in it’s prime. The little fella behind eventually succumbed to an impatient carver.

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Helping your neighbours by disposing of their three-week-old jack-o-lantern – just another one of those small-town things.




When you’re sixteen and living in a small town, sometimes you have to make your own fun with things like this:

  • Backroadin’ – essentially, driving around the back roads. It may sound dull, but it often leads to some adventures.
  • Offroadin’ – backroadin’, but not on the roads. This usually requires a truck or an ATV of some sort.
  • Muddin’ – offroadin’, but in fresh mud. It often results in a situation similar to that in the Corb Lund song, Truck Got Stuck.
  • Ditch-skiing – in the springtime, there’s a short window of time when the ditches are full enough to pull out the water skis. Wearing a thermal wetsuit is recommended.

Just to be clear, I’ve never ditch-skied—it’s gross. I just sat in the box of the truck as the designated videographer.

While going about these activities with your chums, you usually throw on a country tune and sing along (off-key) like it was written about you.



Change can sometimes be difficult for small town people to accept.

I live in a growing small town. Three new housing developments have popped up in the past 10 years, and there have been rumours flying around about potential new condos. The word condominiums really seems to scare people around town, but I could write an entire post about condo fear, so I’ll leave it alone for now.

These new developments, with typical developer names like River Ridge and Prairie View, are a popular discussion topics around town. Some people don’t mind them, but some people fear we’re going to lose our small town-ness with all these new houses coming up.

It’s funny—the things people do when they don’t like change. Some of my friends have resorted to using the name “Ridgers” for people who live in River Ridge—as in, “Oh, he must be a Ridger.”

After a while though, people get used to the change. Those who refer to Ridgers as Ridgers become friends with the Ridgers. But the nickname still sticks. If you can’t tell already, I use the term Ridger, too. I may have a mild case of the small town fear of change, but I don’t have it as bad as some people do.

Nov. 7 - stop sign

A few years ago, the municipality changed a single stop sign to a three-way stop at the intersection of Lagace Drive and Schaubroeck Road. Many people thought the new three-way stop was completely unnecessary, and you wouldn’t believe the outrage. It was hilarious. Taking an extra three seconds to come to a stop on a residential street where everyone drives at a speed just above dead stop—what an outrage!

The three-way stop stayed, and I bet no one remembers that it once wasn’t there. We’re all too busy getting fired up about the latest change!