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The year that didn’t always go as expected: 2021

Joyce Walter reflects on 2021
Reflective Moments by Joyce Walter

As the year 2021 scurries to head off to where ever old years gather, we might be overly optimistic at what the replacement year will have in store.

But being the type of folks who always have that bit of hope ingrained in our upbringing, we anticipate some bumps in the new road but still hope those bumps won’t derail our lives for any extended period. Being prepared is the key and with what we have endured since March 2020 lessons in preparation have been learned by most of the population.

So with acknowledgement that 2022 won’t all be smooth sailing, let’s spend a moment or two in reflection on the year that is about to end:

• As we mentioned in our family letter, one of the main highlights of our year was meeting Remi, our Great Great Niece who at the time was about six months old. She came to our strange arms willingly then gave me her personal stamp of approval by disgorging some white, milky stuff all over my shoulder. She smiled broadly at me as though to say: “Hi Auntie. Aren’t you happy to meet me?” Her mother was apologetic but I pointed out I had worn an old top and not to worry. Housemate did refrain from bouncing her above his head. Wise move.

• Although we didn’t venture outside Saskatchewan’s borders for a second summer, we did a few day trips here and there, but mostly spent a pleasant summer in our backyard. That’s where Housemate toiled as an urban farmer, tending his prolific crop of tomatoes and beans, grumping at his failing pea crop and urging his corn to start producing. Meanwhile robins and other birds flocked to use our birdbath and to enjoy foodstuffs including Housemates’ ripening sour cherries. Summer in the city!

• On the political front, Fraser Tolmie left his job as mayor and successfully ran to replace Tom Lukiwski as Member of Parliament for Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan. Tolmie now sits in the sixth row of the six rows designated for the Conservatives, one seat removed from seats reserved for the Bloc Quebecois. So far Tolmie hasn’t sponsored any private members’ motions but he is a member of the standing committee on Veterans Affairs.

• Back here in Moose Jaw, Clive Tolley was elected mayor, winning by only 41 votes over Councillor Crystal Froese. Voter turnout was dismal. His win ensured city taxpayers wouldn’t have to pay for a second byelection to fill a councillor vacancy. Tolley has been present at a number of weekend events and so far there have been no complaints made public that the new mayor doesn’t return phone calls or answer e-mails. All taxpayers’ eyes will be on him over the next three years as he brings himself up to date on current civic affairs and relies less on administration to answer media questions. 

• And then there’s the recipe for Toutiere, the recipe offered for sale for $5 or more by NDP Leader Ryan Meili. I wrote a tongue-in-cheek column about the NDP’s fundraising and marketing campaign and wondered how much his recipe would raise. I also pondered whether his parents would provide the recipe at no cost. A few days later I received an e-mail from Dr. Meili, thanking me for the fun column and providing a copy of his Grandmother’s recipe — at no charge. I laughed at his response and as promised, sent him off a copy of a recipe for crockpot chicken tacos. Two rural-raised kids know all about giving at Christmas. Thanks, Dr. Meili.

Thus we say goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022, with hope and optimism, but mindful of the ever-lurking health hazard of letting down our guard too soon. Here’s wishing one and all a safe and healthy new year.

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.