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.


  1. And to you also. Thank you for the photos and thoughts!

  2. You've had a rough year. I'm glad blogging is a little bright spot for you. Here's to a better 2022!

  3. You've had a hard year but I suppose in the larger scheme of things the same can be said of many people. Not that it's much consolation to know that. Please don't give up blogging (after all, whatever would I do without your photos to use for inspiration???!!!). Maybe a less-often schedule would work for you at present and would take the pressure off you feeling you have to come up with photos on an almost-daily basis. Just a thought.
    Take care of you.

  4. Normally not one to comment on blogs, but sorry for your losses this year, hoping 2022 is better for all of us. Thanks for your blog, I enjoy a few minutes of beauty (and rural Canadian history) every day thanks to you

  5. It certainly has been a challenging year for you. Hang in there. 2022 has got to be better.

  6. Your blog has value BW, far beyond its personal value to you.
    Over the past half dozen years, you have soothed me with wide vistas many times when I felt closed off or shut in.
    You have added beauty to the world, by the simple act of showing us the existing beauty in the world.
    You have shown people a part of the world that most will never have the opportunity to visit in person.

    The value of your little travelogue is most evident to me when I consider that out of the hundreds I have viewed once or twice over the years, this is the only travelogue that I return to visit regularly.
    I don't visit daily or weekly, rather I come and binge every few weeks, and dream of past days when I used to travel too.

    I don't tend to comment, this is probably my third comment over the years. But I just wanted to let you know that your blog is meaningful to me, a small bright spot in an often dark world.

    On a separate note, I am going through much the same thing as you right now. I just lost my best friend two months ago, and with his passing my whole world suddenly became ever so much smaller. May we both find peace and comfort.

    1. This was wonderfully written. Thank you.

      It is damn hard to lose a friend. I hope things go better for you.

  7. Sorry this year has been so rough. Make sure you are taking care of yourself. You have inspired Tim and myself very much.

  8. It's been a tough year for you, a tough couple of years actually. I know it doesn't usually help to know that these were tough years for a lot of people, but they were and continue to years to forget. You've had some positive moments in these years though. You and I have been on some excellent road trips,most of which resulted in my visiting and photographing some remarkable places. My blog is 100% the result of your encouragement. To top it off we both have a standing invitation to visit another prolific photographer (most likely in 2022 so maybe that doesn't count?). Hang in there. Remember what the farmers often say, "next year will be betterc. Who knows, maybe it will be better.

  9. Just wanted you to know that I enjoy your photos, thanks for all the post.

  10. I'm really sorry that it's been a hard year for you. The fact that others have had hard years doesn't diminish that.

    I get that it's hard to keep on posting, especially when you are as prolific as you are. I will try to slip in a few guest posts but I haven't been shooting too much these days.

    Your point that life can be short is well taken. I have a few "do that someday" items that I need to actually do, and soon. My wife and I are on her "do that someday" trip right now so we are taking care of that.