By Rhonda Beckman
Published January 3, 2018
By the time you read this, the new year will have swept in leaving you with aspirations and goals of what truly could be. Writing an article for the newspaper is an interesting experience because it’s almost like a weekly diary of what’s going on in my world, with the strange sensation of also sharing that diary with you. It was an interesting year, to say the least, so I thought I’d take some time to re-cap what 2017 was all about:
On an artistic level I resigned after 18 years of teaching Visual Arts at RLDHS, I taught teachers at Open Roads School how to re-connect with the art curriculum so students can have authentic self-expression through their art and other subject areas, I painted a mural with Mrs. Grant’s awesome Grade 4/5 class, I followed through and self-published a children’s book I started 10 years ago, I proposed the idea of community “Drink and Draw” nights, I told you why it’s best to NOT teach you how to use alcohol ink, I shared my idea development for painting parties, I stressed over not being able to find glass paint (and still have not been successful in doing so), I made new artistic friends, I shared how art extends into all subject areas and life for that matter, I shared frustration over poorly designed hand cream bottles and told you all about my Highway 105 “colour your own” art pieces that I created this year.
At the farm I shared some dramatic adventures with you such as setting up camp by myself and not using the time alone to be contemplative but instead being a hard core bush whacker that spent most of my time splitting wood. I went snowshoeing for the first time and couldn’t believe I waited this long to do so. I pondered the importance of rubber boots and rain showers at the farm. We helped our buddy Rocky deal with the horrific experience of having over a hundred porcupine quills removed from his face and mouth. I worried myself sick as my husband bush crashed through the night to find Willow who had slipped out of her leash and managed to run about 10 km into the bush before getting snagged on a juniper bush. I told you how I lost and found my keys in a bingo box, how we designed a fire wood container from my our family’s old canoe, and that we are again in design mode as we start a new stage of building out at the farm.
On a community level I shared many Revitalize Red Lake initiatives and thoughts with you such as the potential for community growth through permanent summer market stations, the benefits of “sprucin’ up” the community and how that helps us economically, various summer challenges such as having the best fairy garden in town, our support for the Communities in Bloom volunteers and all of the hard work they do, how our intrinsic desire to do things that matter and have substance create positive change in a community, how to deal with volunteer burn out, the community wish list, and how the Sioux Lookout’s weekly format for their summer festival compares to Red Lake’s weekend Norseman Festival.
I dabbled in politics when I pondered the concept of rhetoric over action, I discussed the difference between politically unaffiliated millennials versus politically indifferent millennials, I talked about the importance of the reclaim station and the continual fight for the re-opening of said reclaim station. Discussing the benefits of the reclaim station to the community and the incoming circular economy approach to the mayor and council were a “hot topic” for sure.
And finally, on a completely different level all together, I choked on a pita chip and my husband saved my life, I accidently called a complete stranger “Meathead” when I experienced a case of mixed identity, I pondered pom-poms, I shared my frustrations of having time taken away from me in the most obnoxious of ways, I cried over bleeding fingers at the hands of delicious gooseberries, I reminisced about roller skates and shared my sentiments over my son’s 17th birthday. I learned that I am not the only one that vacuums my coffee table. I learned what pareidolia is but still can’t pronounce it properly. I shared bizarre games that I have played such as “pick pick” in the Sears catalog, the laughing game and the juxtaposition game with you.
2017 has definitely been a whirl wind of a year, but I feel like I say that every year. We’re just busy people. I like being a busy person. It is only through doing that life is truly experienced, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my stories of doing with you. I hope that your 2018 is a busy, action packed adventurous year too, minus the porcupine quills and night time hikes for stranded dogs! Happy New Year from my family and I, to you and yours.