the wetaskiwin optimist

On November 2nd, 2006, in a bustling home for abandoned babies in South Africa, I met a beautiful woman who stole my heart. 21 months later we were married and started our life together in her lifelong home, a small city in north central Alberta called Wetaskiwin.

In the years I have spent living in Wetaskiwin, I have heard many complaints and criticisms of the town, and have spent my fair share of time subscribing to those beliefs. To be fair, there is probably some truth in at least some of these beliefs, but focusing on negative things does not foster the kind of lifestyle I (nor my family) want to live.

The purpose of this weblog, therefore, is not to confirm or deny the criticisms that are familiar to many residents of this city. The purpose is, instead, to write aboout some of the good, even great things I have stumbled upon around Wetaskiwin, whilst becoming a husband and father, doing business, seeking pleasure and generally learning about life.

Sometimes I will probably mention people and businesses by name, and I doubt I will ask for permission. If I ever receive so much as a coupon from a company in response to a post, I will let you know. Money or any kind of renumeration is not my goal; my goal is to talk about good things: whether it’s a local restaurant or a location for a national chain, an individual I’ve encountered or just a hidden corner of the city that I feel needs a little light shed upon it.

In short, I’m going to take an optimistic approach to living in Wetaskiwin, as a person should in any community in which they choose to live. Without permission, I hereby dub myself the wetaskiwin optimist.

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9 Responses to the wetaskiwin optimist

  1. mama jeanne says:

    I’ve said it all on the phone just now but Simon I love reading your writings. They bless my socks off! I hope to own many of your books and as your motha’ I hope to have scapbooks filled with writings from your columns whether it’s online or not……this mother has to have the written copy of EVERYTHING 🙂 Keep that pen to the paper my dear. You have and are constantly bring joy to my life. May you spread that joy to Wetaskiwin. Love ya!

  2. Emilie says:

    Oh my goodness this is awesome!! Every community deserves someone like you!

  3. Simon, you’re exactly what Wetaskiwin needs. I look forward to reading more!

  4. PJ says:

    I like your take. 🙂 My husband and I moved from Toronto to Alberta, and I had to make the decision to stop criticizing weather, etc, and just find the bright side. Sure it’s cold, but it’s warm inside, and we can do all those cozying up things that make dreadful weather outside so pleasant inside. I’ve made a decision to stop whining about the weather, and it’s making me happier person. I’m glad I came upon your blog!

  5. Naomi says:

    Such a refreshing change from all the negative-speak out there. A strong following you will have Simon 🙂

  6. Willa says:

    Minutes before I came across your blog via FB, I had scanned my ‘free’ local “Sunday” newspaper with a plummeting heart. Stories from US, China, India,…….uniformly grim and discouraging. I was still debating whether to write a letter to the ed or simply phone and request they no longer make the free drop in my mailbox when I sat down to your blog. Oh, what restoring words! You truly lead your reader to think about “those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.” I will not only delight in further reading, but I’ll be drawn to bite off my snarking about my OWN city and to find light to shine on it! Shaping the behavior of the reader is effective journalism indeed.

  7. Esther says:

    We moved from Toronto to Wetaskiwin in 1991, when our four children were still young, and lived there until 2004. We did our share of complaining about the weather but…….thanks for your article, Simon. Recently two of our children (now adults) talked about all the friends we made and the good times that we had while living in Wetaskiwin. Please, keep the positive…..:) {By the way, your beautiful young lady I knew as did my daughter. What a blessing!}

  8. Carrie says:

    Thank you. I really needed to hear some positive words tonight. Seems like there are so many of the opposite that we forget God’s love abounds everywhere, in every town & every circumstance – we just have to look. And looking is sometimes a choice we have to make for ourselves. You have encouraged me to look again, Simon.

  9. Jenelle says:

    I was born and raised in Wetaskiwin, and like so many before and after me, the words “I can’t wait to get the hell out of here” escaped my mouth more than once. Now, having children and living an hour or so away, I realize I miss Wetaskiwin, and the people and places in it. We still frequent my hometown as my folks and many other family members and friends still live there. I read your entire blog this morning, and hope to read more soon. There’s something comforting about reading good things about your hometown from someone else’s point of view. Cheers!

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