Right in the Centre - Embracing spring


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press


There are no guarantees, but it looks like winter might be over. It wasn’t the worst winter on record but it certainly felt like the longest one in a while. My farmer friends tell me they are several days away from “getting on the land” although fields are starting to dry up.

Spring is optimism season. My wife is a bit apprehensive about the season, as I have often attempted some form of expansion in the spring time. Makes sense to me, longer daylight hours, warmer weather and a promising future all seem like good conditions to grow and expand.

This year may not see much expansion in our family or business. It looks like we will soon be down to owning two buildings instead of three, as we have sold our old business headquarters. That leaves us with the historic Neepawa Press building (1932) in downtown Neepawa and our historic home. The house was built in 1904, we believe, by a lady doctor, Dr. Davidson. It was bought a few years later and doubled in size by a dentist. 

We added on an addition at the back a few years ago. When we bought the home, it had been a coffee house and gift store for a while. Our realtor described it as a character home for a pair of characters. I guess that was a compliment, at least to the house.

It’s always good to see the greenhouses open up and be able to buy some plants. Hanging baskets are a popular thing around our place. My wife would be a lot happier if I remembered to water them before they wilted.

Our parents were a product of the Great Depression. You didn’t throw anything away, you might need it some day and when you do need it, you might not have had the cash to pay for it. This past couple of weeks has been spent sorting through a large collection of “stuff” that we thought we might need some day. There was some archival material that will get a new home in the archives room at our main building  but a lot of what we had for sale was surplus office furniture, building supplies, some household decor, lots of books (most of which went to a local book sale) and lots of auction purchases. We have been selling off for three years but the building has to be emptied. We are getting close and some people got some bargains. We ran an auction business  for 20 years and have been hanging around auctions for 50 years. We bought, used and sold a lot of items over the years. Our place may look like a hoarder’s nest but the difference is we do sell stuff after we have used it and enjoyed it for a while.

So this spring looks like we will be consolidating rather than expanding, downsizing instead of adding.  That’s Ok, especially as we get a bit older.   

It would be a good time for us, and maybe for all of us to count our blessings, name them one by one. And while we are in a thankful mood, let’s pray for our farmers and all the Ag industry workers. Safety in the field and on the roads are always a big concern.

And, please, drivers give wide berth to farm machinery. A slight delay on the road is a lot better than the other outcomes that result in damage, injuries and deaths.

So this week’s column isn’t very controversial, just a bit of down home visiting. With a provincial election coming this year and so many social pressures emerging, there will be enough time for controversy in the weeks and months ahead. But for now, for this week, let’s just enjoy the spring.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.