One Red Paper Clip = A House in Saskatchewan

A 26 year old guy from Montreal has managed to “trade up” from a single red paper clip to his end goal of a house which, in the final trade, ended up being in Kipling, Saskatchewan.  He takes possession on July 12 and is planning “Saskatchewan's Biggest Housewarming Party” for the September long weekend with an open invitation for anyone who wants to show up. 

For anybody who's reading this back in Saskatchewan (or anywhere – anyone from FIMS up for a 26-hour drive to attend?), I encourage you to take advantage of this offer and plan a good old-fashioned road tour to Kipling for that weekend.  (Of course, the town only has 1100 people and one 25-room hotel so you might want to pack a tent or make plans to stay with friends in a nearby community.)

Kipling is about 100 km from my hometown (80 km from Shea's hometown) and in fact, when I had a summer job selling cable TV subscriptions during college, Kipling was one of the towns I worked in.  It's actually a great little community and the highlight of my week there happened one evening  right before I finished for the night.  I went to a house where an elderly lady was working in her yard.  I gave her my sales pitch and she put me off but we ended up talking some more for some reason and it turned out that she'd worked for Tommy Douglas during the formative days of the CCF. 

(I went back and found exactly what I'd written in my journal at the time:

Nothing significant [in Kipling today] except I met one 92 year old lady, right at my last house of the night.  She ended up talking at me for about half an hour as mosquitoes chowed on my plasma.  Talked about how her husband loved her 'absolutely and completely' and advised me to do that with my wife someday if I wanted her to love me like that in return.  She told of her husband building her the house we were standing in front of and dedicating this “castle to his queen”.  I'll admit that how she said it actually made me tear up a bit.  She told a few other stories about her family and also how she's sewn dresses for people “north, south, east and west” and made a fair living at it.  She talked about how her family (along with many other fine English families) had built Kipling into a beautiful community and how she had been involved with Tommy Douglas and the formation of the CCF!  I promised I'd go back and see her and part of me would like to sit and have a cup of tea with her.  I don't know if I will have time though.

I never did go back.  If that lady was 92 back in July 1994, I assume she's not alive anymore.  But it's pretty crazy to think back to that brief connection.  How one random encounter over ten years ago has stayed with me to this day.  And how things always seem to come full circle in ways you'd never expect. 

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