By Mara Needham
12 years ago I moved to Peace River, a town of 6000 people, (at the time there wasn’t even a Walmart) 500 km north of Edmonton, for a job. Fast forward to present day and I have a wonderful husband and am a stay at home mom to 2 gorgeous children and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
It’s not always easy living 250 from the closest major center (Grande Prairie is a couple hours away). There’s a definite lack of shopping, although thankfully Walmart did set up shop a few years ago, online shopping is my best friend. But this time of year, the biggest hurdle for a lot of people up here is the “I live where the air hurts my face” meme was invented about us. It was -43 (before the wind chill) a few days ago. According to the weather across the world, Peace River was the 6th coldest place on Earth. The north and south poles were warmer than my town.
Now, of course, my Facebook feed was filled with statuses complaining about the cold and how everyone just wanted to go back to bed. While I am not saying that I like it that cold, or that those temps don’t cause problems (we’ve had 3 water main breaks in less than a week in town and there was a gas shortage in a town north of us), I wasn’t one of the complainers. My kids still went to school that day…we definitely had chocolate after school to warm ourselves up, but life didn’t stop for the cold. And here we are almost a week later and it’s a beautiful sunny winter day. Perfect for tobogganing or skiing or snowmobiling The -43 days aren’t all winter, and I like having all 4 seasons.
There is something to love about every season in this town. In spring, our valley starts to green up and the days are longer (in winter often you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark). In summer we have daylight til 10 or 11…giving you more time outside to enjoy camping, boating on the river or whatever your favorite summer activity is.
Fall is beautiful in the Peace Country- the valley is filled with oranges and yellows and reds…local photographers are out in full force, capturing the beautiful scenery. And winter? It’s days like today…watching my kids run and play in the snow, having snowball fights, making snow angels, snowmobiling, tobogganing, skiing, skating…you name it.
So while the air may hurt my face some days…most days it’s pretty awesome.
My name is Mara Needham. I am 32 year old stay at home mom to Grayson (6) and Madeleine (3.5) in Peace River, AB. I have been married to my husband Sean for almost 8 years. I have never written a blog of any kind before, but up until I became a mom I wrote commercials for the local radio station. Find me on Facebook , Twitter , & Instagram