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Focusing on the brights spots of 2015

Posted on December 22, 2015 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Tim Kalinowski
Although our year in review edition is going to be coming out next week, I figure I will just get my two cents in here about the year that was.
As most of you are certainly aware it wasn’t all sunshine and roses in 2015, despite our new Prime Minister’s talk of “sunny ways.” When the smoky clouds of war and economic strife are billowing, it just makes it that much harder for the sunshine to poke its head through.
But now is not the time to regale my readers with the all the doom and gloomy stuff. I did that a few weeks ago. So for today’s column I figure I will focus on the bright spots out there news-wise.
What could have been a really bad year for our dryland farmers and for our ranchers turned out to be a decent year in the end. Nature kept us in suspense until the end of July, but eventually broke our way. Can’t complain about that.
Well, that’s all I can think of for good news this year so I guess I will pivot to more personal reflections.
It was a real privilege to take up the mantle of Cypress Courier reporter back in May, and I am looking forward to the year ahead. Hopefully I will not have to strain as hard in 2016 to come up with some good news stories. The one thing you learn about this job; when you are in the newspaper business you tend to get socked with a lot of negativity. An important saving grace is the people you meet along the way at community events, fundraising drives, cultural activities and even in local politics. It gives you perspective and reminds you that the most important thing in life is the human touch; that, and the endlessly unfurling story of life itself on this wonderful planet of ours.
Most of the other highlights I can think of this year come back to the simple beauty of life and nature as it expresses itself in Cypress County and beyond. Some of those highlights include: My first ever trip to Red Rock Coulee at sunset, a beautiful Parks Day spent in Elkwater with fireworks over the lake, and an odyssey through the countryside on my way to Jenner School. (And fly-fishing up there at the river for about two hours after the interviews were over. Shhh! Don’t tell my boss!). Also loved watching the Snowbirds at the Medicine Hat Regional Airport on Family Flight Day; not exactly all nature, but the sky was beautiful that day.
I also had some fabulous conversations with some local citizens that were certainly personal highlights for me. Artist Elizabeth Kirschenman comes to mind as a stand-out; as well as a great conversation with Stephanie Green and Jewelisa Brandt of 12-34 Cafe in Elkwater that made me feel so welcome in the region.
Being someone who once dabbled in blacksmithing himself, I really enjoyed talking shop and getting a chance to use the coal-fire forge again during my great conversation with James Underwood of Underwood Forge.
I want to say thank you to all who took the time to talk with me this year and allowed me to take their pictures for the paper. I literally would not be in business without all of you.
I also want to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our readers and advertisers. You’re the best! I truly appreciate all the wonderful support you give me as I continue to learn the ropes in southeast Alberta as a reporter.
God bless everyone, and may the New Year bring renewal, hope and warmth of heart to you all!

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