Tuesday 30 November 2021

State of the blog address

My annual post where I try to post more than a few words and some photos.

The years run too short and the days too fast.


Al Stewart

Time Passages


I thought 2020 was bad. This year was worse. On September 22, 2021 I lost my best friend to COVID. He contracted it in early September and progressively got worse. On his last day he had trouble breathing, his wife called an ambulance to their rural home, he was given CPR, then taken by ambulance to the hospital where he died later that night. He was fifty-six. I am the same age. Hell of a thing being notified by text that your friend died.


He did not leave a will. I have been to see his wife a few times to offer any help but it has largely not been needed. Her family has really done a lot helping her and is making great progress straightening out the mess he left behind. She is in good hands.


It hurts that he is gone. One day someone you know is there and the next they cease to exist. It really hit home after his death that I do not know many people and I am trying to change that. I would occasionally joke that when I died he could fulfill my last request. So much for that plan. For some reason I thought he would be around for a good long time. He should have been home for a long time, he had a family. Life is rarely fair.

There are some road trips that I wanted to take this year that never got done. One to Lytton, British Columbia got put off because a wildfire destroyed Lytton at the time I wanted to go. One trip got put off due to rain. Others did not happen because I was looking to have someone come along and people canceled on me. Recent events have reinforced the point that life can be short. I am going to go ahead with plans if no one is available. You cannot always wait for someone to be available.


Last month I had a Friday off and took a trip into Saskatchewan. On a whim I had asked someone beforehand that I know in Oyen, Alberta if they were interested.  Super Dave happened to be free and we met up in Oyen and spent a couple of days exploring rural Saskatchewan. I have no idea why he is known as Super Dave nor did I ask. I showed him how to get to some abandoned places that he wanted to see and had not been able to find. We got as far as Glentworth, Saskatchewan before heading back. I needed the trip, it helped get my mind off things.


Super Dave is one of those people who knows everyone in his area and seems to know a lot of other people in a lot of other places as well. We were in Bracken, Saskatchewan with a population of about twenty. There are a few houses, a Co-op gas station and store, and a grain elevator. Dave was asking some people getting gas if there were any interesting old abandoned sites in the area. Someone mentioned a place a few miles north and the farmers that lived there. It turns out Dave knows them. Somehow it was not surprising.

Dave wanted to take his vehicle on the trip and Dave drove which kind of forced me to do nothing since I usually drive. The unwritten rule is the driver picks the music. I found out Dave likes to listen to a lot of Tom Petty. I do not mind Tom Petty. If I was driving he might have been subjected to anything from outlaw country to bagpipe music. Maybe it was better he drove. It was a good trip.


Blogging has been kind of tough these last few months. I had one friend die of COVID. I had another come down with a nasty case of COVID that same month and was sick for about three weeks. I had vehicle issues where I had my vehicle in the shop three separate times. There are some family issues that I have had to deal with that are ongoing. There is a course I have that I have neglected due to recent events where I am now playing catch up. Some miscellaneous other things can be tossed into the mix. A few days these last few months life got to be a bit much. Sometimes putting up a quick picture post and a few words on this blog help keep me sane.

Earlier this year I did a giveaway where I said the first one to email me to say they wanted a photo I posted I mail a 12"x18" print to them. I also had a few large photos I had printed and thought they might sell or I would give them away at a future date. This was the photo I gave away:

I will not be giving away any more in this manner. It cost me close to thirty dollars to mail it. I am too cheap to do this again. I did get a nice email from the recipient saying they really liked when it arrived.


I appreciate that anyone reads and stops to visit this space. I have got to know a few people through this blog and correspond with a few and with luck I might get to meet some of them. I am never sure if I will abruptly end this one day for one reason or another. I will see how long I manage to keep at it. I am having to spend some more time with family issues which is cutting into my free time and my ability to post stuff.

I hope the remainder of 2021 goes well for you.

Monday 29 November 2021

Transfiguration of Our Lord Church Spasa Moskalyk

One of my favourite churches, November 2021.

Once up to be demolished due to the poor condition. It is being restored. Near Mundare, Alberta.

Sunday 28 November 2021

Sunday linkage

Glen's blog is always a good read.

The Jubb Homestead – Glen's Travels

If there is not enough snow for a snowman . . .

Thank you to Tim Lockhart, who is a reader of this blog and has helped me out with some information and locations, for allowing me to use his photo.

Friday 26 November 2021

Climax, Saskatchewan elevators

Saskatchewan has some great place names. Out of Love, Romance, and Climax. I have been to two out of the three.

Thursday 25 November 2021

Time goes on

One of my aunts (my mother's sister) lives with my mother in her condo. One of my other aunts (on my father's side of the family who was married to my father's brother) lives in the same building. She recently passed.

She died November 20, 2021 in the afternoon. She was in the hospital getting something checked and died there. She was eighty-eight years old.

Her husband died in 2014 at age eighty. They were married sixty years. They had six children. When my aunt passed there were seventeen grandchildren and twenty-eight great grandchildren.

When I was a kid our family would visit them on vacation along with all the other relatives. My father loved to go visit his brother. His brother was a farmer who lived and breathed farming. I never liked those visits. My family were not farmers and I had nothing in common with my cousins and found it hard to relate to any of them.

With the passage of time hopefully we all grow up and change our perspective on things. Years later as an adult I got to know them and appreciate them and I enjoyed running into them. Age changes things. My father died in 1997 and my uncle reminded me a lot of my father. My aunt was always on the go, very active, and knew a lot of people. She was good to me. It was earlier this year where health problems forced her to give up driving and to sell her vehicle. I know that was hard for her.

She was a good person and I shall miss her.

The Hidden Vault

The old vault in Travers, Alberta.

It's mostly hidden in the bushes.

Not many of these still standing in the prairies . . .

. . . but the few others that come to mind are in Estuary and Tunstall (Saskatchewan) and Savoy (Montana).

These pictures were taken in the summer of 2018...at which time there was one resident still living in town. Not quite "ghost town" status yet.

- Michael Truman

Wednesday 24 November 2021

How do you do?

Country charm found in Ravenscrag, Saskatchewan.

- Michael Truman

Monday 22 November 2021

Abandoned Alberta

A long abandoned Anglican Church on the fringe of Colinton, Alberta. This was the first time I got to see this. I know nothing about it, I just knew of it. There is a steep bank about five feet high to climb up to get into the church. There is nothing but the building which is worth seeing.

Sunday 21 November 2021

Rollin' on down the Road

Rollin' on down the road near Prud'homme, Saskatchewan.

This was the last bale in a field of second-growth canola.

- Michael Truman

Thursday 18 November 2021

Cash Creek School 1914

I do not know when it stopped being a school. This is in a rural area east of Colinton, Alberta. There is a cemetery across the road. So at one time there likely was a bit more of a settlement here. 

Wednesday 17 November 2021

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Dormition of St. Mary

Not far from Mundare, Alberta. Still in use.

Tuesday 16 November 2021

The witch house

My favourite old house south of Dollard, Saskatchewan. I have been here four times and taken people here to see it. I am surprised at the number of people that manage to track it down and drive long distance to see it. This place shows up frequently on Saskatchewan related forums on Facebook.

This is a place I like to see any time of year. It is very photogenic. 

Monday 15 November 2021

Sunday 14 November 2021

St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Tudor, Alberta

Bethlehem Lutheran Church Cemetery

This is west of Hilda, Alberta in the middle of a farm field. It has not been used in years. It is well kept and there is empty space in all directions. This is one part of it.

Saturday 13 November 2021

Thursday 11 November 2021

Lest We Forget

Whenever I am in an out of the way rural cemetery I always keep an eye out for a veteran's headstone. You see them in some very remote places. I think about how many people from cities to places that barely existed fought in the wars. This was from a small country church cemetery by itself in rural Alberta.

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Tuesday 9 November 2021

Allandale School 1908 - 1955

North of Vermilion, Alberta. Now abandoned in a farmyard.

Monday 8 November 2021

Zion Lutheran Church near Horsham, Saskatchewan

Abandoned Lutheran Church that is one of my favourites and is heavily photographed. This might be my fourth visit here. Nothing really exists in Horsham, Saskatchewan. These days it is more of a name on a map than anything else.

At one time there must have been some more activity. There are two more cemeteries near here. The inside is covered with debris from the collapsed roof. I would have liked to have seen it years ago.

Sunday 7 November 2021

Monchy, Saskatchewan?

There was a place called Monchy. Now it is the name of the border crossing. I am not sure if this building was once part of Monchy. You can seen the Canada/USA border crossing from here. Other than that it is empty space in all directions.