Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mailboxes, History, and a New Year

I'm one of those people who love to get mail. Not email, but the real kind, the kind where you open your mailbox and hidden treasures are just inside. Now, sometimes there are bills lurking in there, too, but I see those as the price you must pay to get the good stuff - cards and letters and such. Last week, though, my mailbox held an unexpected surprise, and one that delighted me beyond words. It put a huge smile on my face, actually, and I have it beside me as I write. What had this kind of effect, you ask?

A 2012 calendar. Now, calendars can be pretty dull things, but this one is special - because it's all about  the RMWB, and our heritage. The calendar appears to be a collaboration between the RMWB and Heritage Park, and what a treat it is, people.

There are a few things I love, and two of them happen to be our community, and history. This calendar is all about the history of the region, but it's even better as there are archival photos for every month. The cover alone depicts the area of Franklin Avenue now by Hardin and Morrison Streets - and what a picture it is! Little homesteads, little fences, little teepees. The date? 1910-1920.

It's easy to forget how rich our area is in terms of heritage. There is a long history here, stretching much further back than even those photos depict. It's a history populated with fascinating people and events, and some show up in this calendar. There are the photos, of course, and on some dates there are specific events noted as well, all pertaining to the history of the region.

I'll admit it. I'm the person who cried at almost every historical site in London because I am so in love with history. It touches a deep chord within me, and it connects me with the past in a deep and profound way. Westminster Abbey almost did me in with weeping, and the youngest Intrepid Junior Blogger eventually fled when she realized I was unable to stop crying in front of the tomb of Elizabeth I. I think it's okay to be so touched by history, though. It shows that the connection, though it might be tenuous, is real. History isn't just "the past", it's how we ended up being who we are. It's like looking back at your steps on a sandy beach to see where you came from, and how you ended up where you are. It's a recognition that the past impacts the present, and the future, too.

The new RMWB Heritage calendar hasn't made me cry - yet. I've read it cover to cover (and I don't believe I've ever done THAT with a calendar), and on January 1st I put it up on the wall of my home office. I will look at the photos of our past, and realize that some day people will look back on photos of 2012 in the same way. I will feel that link in time, as I stand in our present, looking at our past, and peering hopefully into our future.

And people - what a future it promises to be. 2011 was a stellar year in Fort Mac. What excites me, though, is that if 2011 was any indication then 2012 should just be bigger - and better. I can barely wait. As the New Year begins I cannot wait to see what it holds for me - and for all of Fort McMurray. I think it's going to be a helluva ride, people - and I expect to see you there!

A PDF of the Regional Municipality of
Wood Buffalo Heritage calendar can be
found at:

My sincere thanks to the RMWB,
Heritage Park, and Wood Buffalo
Big Spirit for the lovely mailbox surprise :)

1 comment:

  1. Where can I pick up a copy of this calendar? I wouldn't mind having one myself.