Goodbye Grand Forks and thanks

It has been a wonderful year for me here in Grand Forks and I am both saddened to leave, yet excited to be heading home.

It has been a wonderful year for me here in Grand Forks and I am both saddened to leave, yet excited to be heading home.

This is my last column for The Gazette as I move back to Ontario for another job and be closer to family.

Since I arrived in September 2011, I have learned a great many things and will forever be grateful to everyone for welcoming me into this beautiful community.

From the deliciousness of borscht to the lovely trails, to the clean air and tubing down the river, the various activities this little valley offers is astounding.

I’ve discovered a rich history of Russian and Japanese ancestry, the hard labour of miners, the importance of foresters, and the history of this valley, which is rich and fruitful.

Thank you to the ladies at the Kettle River Runners for pushing me to keep running through pouring rain, fresh snowfall or bright sunshine – and all the laughs.

To Grand Forks’ International Shotokan Karate Federation for keeping the rust off and my basics sharp, despite our stylistic differences.

To the Boundary Woodworker’s Guild for teaching me the finer points of carving, using a chisel, and a bit of history as well.

There are many, many more people: the creative folk at gallery 2, the always informative city staff, council and school district, the ladies (and gentlemen) with the USCC, Grand Forks Recreation, Community Futures, the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, the artisans and musicians within the community – the list goes on.

And, of course, a thousand well wishes to the staff at The Gazette for welcoming me to the office and sharing their wealth of knowledge about the business with me.

My last day in the office is Friday, with plans to drive back across Canada the next morning. My hope is to get home to celebrate New Year’s with my family, as it would be highly unrealistic of me to expect to be home (safely) for Christmas.

If you ever find your way out east, look me up!

Wishing everyone the merriest of wishes for the holiday season, big hugs and lots of love.