Ah August. Summer is almost over. The evenings are growing cooler. Gardens are almost ready to harvest. College students have begun to trickle back into the ‘Port. New families are moving in and getting settled before the school year begins. Welcome to Caronport!
I thought it would be a good idea to give a Primer on living in Caronport. We moved here in January 2010, and it has been an experience! So here’s all the information I wish I had had when we first moved. (And if you read this blog and know of someone who is moving to Caronport and would find this helpful, please be sure to pass it along).
1. You cannot buy Pepsi products anywhere in the village limits. Nope. Not a single one. Coca-Cola has a stranglehold on this village, and as I’ve said before I’m not sure about the theological implications of this.
2. Church options. In Caronport there are two churches: The Gathering which meets at the Landing (on Centre Street, big white building you can’t miss it), and Caronport Community Church which meets in the Edwards Chapel in the main college building. It is not uncommon for Caronportians to travel into Moose Jaw (20 minutes down the highway) for church. A full list of MJ churches can be found here. I’ve written about how we prayed and struggled about where to worship, you can read about it here.
3. It is physically, statistically, temporally impossible to shop at Superstore (in Moose Jaw) without running into at least one person from Caronport. Impossible. I’ve never been to Superstore and not run into a Caronportian. Speaking of shopping, because there is no grocery store in Caronport, Moose Jaw is the place to shop. There is Superstore, Sobey’s, Safeway and Coop for groceries. There is a Wal-mart. The mall is pretty sad, but it’s where the movie theatre, Dollarama and Sears are. There are neat shops in the bustling downtown of Moose Jaw, and lots of banks. And of course, Tim Horton’s. It’s also not uncommon for Caronportians to drive an hour to Regina for bigger shopping fare (e.g., Costco).
4. Caronport has a Husky gas station, a convenience store, a Subway and a Coffee Shop all in one building just off the highway. Collectively, this building is called The Point. No, Caronport does not have a restaurant and it hasn’t had one for nine years now. If you spend any time at The Point you will hear at least three tourists ask where the restaurant is. The poor employees have to say over and over again: It closed nine years ago! There is also a hotel, The Pilgrim Inn just off the highway.
5. On campus there is also a little coffee shop that is only open during the school year. It is known as The Bean, or, The Crossroads, and is found where the college building attaches to the seminary wing.
6. If you’re around in the summer, there is a Farmer’s Market that takes place every Saturday from July 1st to Labour Day weekend, from 9am-Noon. You can get fresh garden produce, homemade jams, baked goods, and crafts.
7. This road reports website must be bookmarked by all Caronportians. It tells you the conditions of the highway, and whether they are safe to travel. It is colour-coded based on conditions, as well as it has a description of the conditions. We have learned that if it says ‘icy’ to stay off the road.
8. There is a garage in town called OK Tire. They also have emergency assistance towing. Keep that number handy for when you slide into the ditch on the highway.
9. There is a medical clinic in town, located on Birch Street, behind The Point.
10. If you have family that lives far away and wants to send you care packages, I have found that instead of sending packages through Canada Post, it is actually cheaper to ship them through Greyhound. The Greyhound comes through twice a day (from east and west) and because Greyhound runs on the weekends, packages tend to arrive quicker than when delivered by Canada Post. All Greyhound packages are delivered to the convenience store at The Point.
11. That said, there is also a post office in town. There is no home delivery of mail, instead everyone has a PO box at the post office, which is on Centre street.
12. One of the handiest ways to stay in the loop with what’s going on in Caronport is to sign up for the Community Email. This email list serve is fantastic for listing items for sale, asking to buy things, announcing community events, etc. You can find out about how to sign up for community email here.
13. What to do with your kids? The Caronport Rec Board offers several sports programs through the year including: skating (from pre-schoolers and up), hockey, and soccer (May-June). There is also Jireh Kids Choir for those kids who like to sing. There is an Awana program for school-aged kids (kindergarten and up) that runs through the school year, and in the summer there is usually a VBS. For wee little kids, there are two moms ‘n tots groups that meet weekly (Wednesday/Thursday). There is also a pre-school that meets two afternoons a week for 4 year olds (and now they are also accepting 3 year olds who are potty trained). And the newest edition to Caronport is the Spray Park which is open from Victoria Day to Labour Day Weekend. The elementary school also has a playground. And when it’s really, really cold, don’t be surprised if you see the “stroller brigade” walking the halls of Briercrest.
14. Brace yourself for the weather. It gets cold in the winter. Really cold. And the cold lasts for quite awhile. (For most people I’ve talked to, your first winter is the hardest winter, especially if you come from a more urban area). And the summers get really hot. We live in the basement of our house for about three weeks in July when it gets very hot. And this summer, we had a couple of cool storms, including hail and a few tornado warnings! Oh, and no matter what the weather, it is absolutely necessary that you bike to campus; even if it means wiping out on the icy roads.
15. Caronport has a cemetery. No I’m not referring to the seminary, though that is what the college students seem to think the seminary is. The real cemetery is on the east side of town and if you live on Spruce Street, the cemetery is your stunning prairie scenery!
For those of you who are from Caronport and read my blog, feel free to offer your own advice in the comments below! And for those of you who are new to Caronport, again, Welcome to Caronport!