Al and I were pleased to have that opportunity this past weekend when the good folks of St. James United Church in Wolseley, Saskatchewan invited me to speak during their Sunday morning worship service/informal coffee chat.
I talked about my background as a writer since childhood and as a journalist and contributor to the United Church Observer magazine since 1985. I shared examples of my work and how I got involved in writing and publishing books from 2001 to date. It was a show-and-tell sort of talk as I showed each of the great books we’ve published over the years and shared a bit about how the stories came to me and the people involved.
(Imagine a photo of me talking here. Al forgot to take one...)
The audience was gracious and interested, asking at least a dozen questions after my presentation. Many of the questions will eventually find their way into another blog or a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section of either this blog or our www.driverworks.ca web page.
For now, here’s a little glimpse of our marvellous day in Wolseley and area…
The sanctuary of St. James United, Wolseley SK. We met in a large downstairs Christian Education room.
Al and I shared our books including Never Leave Your Wingman and The Little Coat, pictured above.
Wolseley has a beautiful dam and a famous swinging bridge in the centre of town.
Al's mom grew up in Wolseley and enjoyed our day trip, including telling us stories of the older plank version of this swinging bridge that she walked across as a youngster.
After the presentation, local master gardener and author Shirley Harris kindly invited us to her home. There, we enjoyed a tour of her grand backyard gardens and glorious flowers including this gladiola.
This is a small section of one of the murals on a building in Wolseley.
After lunch, we drove north of town down into the beautiful Qu'Appelle Valley to what was once the village of Ellisboro.
The Ellisboro Cemetery overlooks the valley. What a peaceful resting place. Al's grandparents, one of his great aunts and other relatives are buried here.
Al learned that his grandfather John Brown helped build the stately but simple Ellisboro United Church.
Just east of Ellisboro is this stone bridge, built by Al's great uncle Bill Merrifield and his crew in 1930. A lovely drive and a history lesson, too!
The swallows are enjoying this bridge across the Qu'Appelle River. There are nests like these at every pillar.
Another kind resident of Wolseley, Kit Campbell, went above and beyond during our visit. In learning Al's mom's family history, she not only provided Mom with a copy of a local history book written by her own mother, but she invited us to visit the property where Mom's grandparents homesteaded. None of us had been on that land before. It was a wonderful historical moment!
Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy. This is the scenic Qu'Appelle Valley.