The Ruttle Report - Another Year in the Rear-View Mirror

Well what do ya know, it’s mid-December and we’re already staring down the barrel of another new year in less than a couple of weeks.  Time has once again managed to cruise on by without a moment’s rest, and now we’re looking at 2018 in the rear-view mirror.

I know I say it at the end of every year, but man, it just seems like as if you simply blink and three or four months have just jetted by on the calendar.  I feel like August was just yesterday, I really do.  I mean, did fall even happen?  I can’t even remember walking outside and feeling that satisfying *CRUNCH* of the leaves under my feet.

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But that’s life.  Time stops for no man and it’s up to us to maximize the moments that we have.

What will I remember most about 2018?  Well, I’d say it’s a healthy mix of things on both the professional and personal level.

I’ll remember the epic and monumental birthday celebrations held for Lucky Lake resident Donald Couch way back in February.  It was skin-numbingly cold, but that didn’t stop hundreds of people from coming out to mark Donald’s 100th birthday.  The biggest kicker was when the 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of Winnipeg did a fly-by over the village, dropping cake and balloons in honor of the World War II veteran’s big day.  I was able to get a few precious minutes with the birthday boy, and I enjoyed his simple take on living a long life and appreciating every minute of it.  I was happy to see that the story really connected with people, as a video clip I shot of the fly-by had over 10,000 views and boatloads of shares, comments and reactions on our Facebook page.

I’ll remember that feeling of instant shock, coupled with elation and immense gratitude that I felt when my name was announced as Columnist of the Year at the Better Newspapers Competition held in April in Saskatoon.  Yes, it’s incredible to just be nominated for such an honor, but I don’t mind saying that it’s so much more when you actually receive it.  It felt like an encouraging slap on the back for a job well done, and I hope that this column continues to resonate with readers week in and week out.  I also hope that my work in 2018 allows me the opportunity to “defend my title” at the 2019 awards banquet.

I’ll remember the sad and tragic “trend” of suicide that permeated over this regional area.  In the span of one calendar year from July-July, there were six times where someone felt so mentally tormented and emotionally terrorized that the only course of action they saw was to end it all.  It was simply heartbreaking to watch unfold.  I hope that anyone who believes they have nowhere to turn for help of any kind knows that they can reach out.

I’ll remember the seemingly never-ending staff changes at the top as it relates to the Town of Outlook.  It’s been a crazy year for the administrative level in this town, so much so that whenever a new name would come along, I’d almost hesitate to write a “get to know them” piece because it became a question of how long *this* one would be sticking around.  That being said, I think local officials would be the first to tell you that consistency hasn’t been a strong suit in the last year and change, but here’s hoping they’ve got all their ducks in a row for 2019 and beyond.

I’ll remember the two-week summer break back in August where I went out and rediscovered my home province.  You could call it a staycation since I technically never left the province, but I sure logged some serious clicks.  Among the highlights was my day-long trip down to Eastend to check out the T-Rex Museum.  Having my photo taken with the largest-known Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton allowed me to cross something off my proverbial bucket list.  I enjoyed the homegrown feel of the break and I think it’s a theme that I’ll continue in 2019.

I’ll remember the fact that in 2018 – and really every other year before – you put your trust in us as your go-to news source for all things connected to Outlook and the surrounding regional area.  It goes without saying that we appreciate it, and the responsibility of providing you with the news of what’s happening in your communities is one that we don’t take lightly.  In a world where anyone with a smartphone or a tablet can claim to be a media source, we hope you know that The Outlook is true Canadian journalism that isn’t scared to present all the facts and without bias.  We’re not here to sell you a narrative; we’re here to inform you of what’s happening in your part of the world.

I’m very curious to see where Outlook and surrounding area is headed in 2019.  You coming for the ride?

For this week, and for the last time in 2018, that’s been the Ruttle Report.

© The Outlook

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