I didn’t realize how much Wolseley meant to me until I’d moved away.
I briefly lived in West Broadway — not far from Wolseley but far enough for the occasional, initially inexplicable bout of homesickness to set in.
I missed the short stroll to Tall Grass Prairie for cinnamon buns. I missed waiting for the No. 10 bus to take me home.
I moved back to Wolseley a few months ago and I felt right at home once again. And just like that, so many memories came right back to me.
I remember playing soccer for R.A. Steen through most of my formative years. Soccer was not a gift of mine, alas, and the rest of my team seemed terminally fumbly. We named our team the "Blue Ducks", because our jerseys were a proud royal blue, and, well, who doesn’t like ducks?
A series of frustrated dads (including my own) attempted to coach us to be fair yet competitive, to actually win games rather than wander the field and pick dandelions.
I remember sneaking into Laura Secord School after hours one evening with my buddies. We felt entitled, as 10-year-olds sometimes do, to get to know our school a bit better, so we proceeded to explore parts of the school we’d never seen before — parts that were forbidden to students.
We explored the dusty old attic and looked for ghosts. We found ourselves traversing a catwalk that led across the roof of the school gym. We were looking danger straight in the face and laughing.
The exhilaration of that moment — of seeing something secret, of being bad — nearly outweighed the inevitable guilt and terror that we would be found out and suspended. That never happened, however, and unless I can be retroactively suspended for publishing my tomfoolery here today, I have no regrets.
As a young adult, I came to appreciate Wolseley for its beauty and history. I love these old homes, some with chipping paint, some refurbished with sweat and heart. The ancient-seeming trees and the wildlife that dwells within them. The buildings, with their enigmatic history — like the old fire hall at the corner of Lipton and Westminster, and the Imperial Bank of Canada sign on the side of the Grasslands Woodcraft building beside Prairie Sky. What stories do these buildings have?
Wolseley’s character and beauty is as strong as it ever was, and it’s safe to say Wolseley will always be my home.
Laina Hughes is a community correspondent for Wolseley. She launched her book Wolseley Stories earlier this month.