A heartfelt goodbye to Moose Jaw

Saying goodbye is a part of life.

Now it’s my turn. As of Monday, I will no longer work for the Moose Jaw Times-Herald, as I have accepted another position elsewhere. After more than five years in such a vibrant community, where I have met so many amazing people and had the opportunity to tell your stories and connect with so many of you, it has come time for me to move on.

Half a decade ago I embarked on a journey and moved to Moose Jaw to start work as a reporter/photographer at the Moose Jaw Times-Herald.

Fresh out of journalism school, I hit the ground running, even being assigned a massive house fire in progress just outside the city on my sixth day on the job.

That was just the first of many, many stories I’ve covered in my time here that has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people, from the hard news to the soft news, the good and the bad. For four years I covered city council meetings, executive committee meetings and budget committee meetings at City Hall. I’ve been to your events that make this city so vibrant, including great annual festivities like the Saskatchewan Festival of Words, Motif, Sidewalk Days, the Hometown Fair and Parade and events at the Western Development Museum. I’ve attended and covered live theatre shows put on by RuBarb Productions, events at Mosaic Place such as the Backstreet Boys, Simple Plan, the Royal Moscow Ballet, Terri Clark, the Juno Cup and shows at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre such as Fred Penner, Poltava, Frank Mills, music festivals and weeklong movie festivals (Thanks to one of those such weeks, I have been hooked on Alfred Hitchcock movies).

I’ve also covered horse, craft and quilt shows and so many more great events and worked with so many fabulous people and organizations. I’ve also been into your homes and shared your stories as a window into your life. I’ve learned and grown a lot while I was here and I am grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had.

All the while, I have strived to accurately reflect your stories on the pages of this paper in many different capacities, from a reporter/photographer to the managing editor. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these stories as much as I’ve enjoyed telling them.

This city and my time here will always inhabit a special place in my heart. It is the place where I’ve hit a lot of firsts. It was the first time I had ever lived on my own and this wonderful community embraced me with open arms. You let me into your lives to tell your stories and I cannot express enough how grateful I am to every single one of you.

Outside of work, in my first summer here, eager to make connections, I went to The Yoga Loft’s yoga in the park for charity. It was the first time I’d ever tried yoga. Hooked on the wonderful teaching ways and the beauty of yoga, I’ve been practising yoga every week for the last five years and have greatly appreciated all of the fantastic teachers and friends I have made through this.

I also tried out zumba classes for the first time at YaraCentre a few years ago. It’s a fun, high-energy workout and this too became a regular habit of mine. I have Moose Jaw to thank for that.

This city is also the first time I joined a writers’ group, the Moose Jaw Night Writers. Through that, I’ve made some great friends and I had the chance to grow in my writing, expanding new opportunities I hadn’t thought of before. It’s been fabulous.

There are too many experiences to name, too many people to list who I have gotten to know so well over the last five years. Just know that I will treasure these memories for a long time.

When I think of Moose Jaw, the Friendly City, I see how much the tagline of this city rings true. It’s the people who make a place and all of you have made this place so special. You have made me feel at home. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything.

And in the words of Billy Boyd when singing his song, The Last Goodbye, on the third and final Hobbit movie, “We came all this way/But now comes the day/To bid you farewell/I bid you all a very fond farewell.”