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The Ruttle Report - Life's short, so make the time

Sometimes you just need to hit 'Pause' and go live your damn life!
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Sometimes in life, you just have to find the time.

I was looking at my calendar for the month of June and the biggest thing I noticed was that my weekends - well, my Saturdays, anyway - were all getting booked up.

June 15? Oh right, that's the elevator concert down in Elbow. June 22? That's both the community daylong events happening in Beechy as well as the River and Rail ArtVenture tour in Outlook and area.

What can I say? It's summer - life gets busy for a guy in my line of work.

But I told myself that I had to make some personal time, away from the professional commitments. Even if it was just for the day, I had to press pause on anything work-related and go enjoy my Saturday.

So that's what I did on June 8.

That day, my brother and I woke up earlier than usual for a weekend, jumped in the SUV, and hit the highway headed south. The destination - the village of Eastend, located in the southwest part of the province. To put it another way, it's about an hour and change southwest of Swift Current. Got it? Good.

Eastend is the home of Scotty, a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton that was discovered in the immediate area back in the mid-1990's. The discovery of such an incredible treasure led to the community pretty much being transformed into Saskatchewan's answer to Drumheller - essentially Dinotown, SK. The T.Rex Discovery Centre is located just outside town, which draws many tourists every summer who are eager to learn all they can about Scotty, as well as check out the many other fossils and skeletal displays that are featured in the museum.

The funny thing is, I've been there already. I went and made my debut in Eastend in the summer of 2018, but Brendon had never been there before, so this day was largely about giving him something cool to check out and experience. But it was great to be back there from my own perspective, too. There were things that I'd forgotten and things that I missed. Last time I was there, I didn't get a chance to check out the 'Town of Eastend - 1914' sign that was created on the side of a hill overlooking the community. That's a pretty cool thing to do.

As well, things like the in-house film they show in the museum theater on rotation have actually had updates since the time I was there, so I learned some new information on this particular trip.

I was able to capture some great photos, too. Because that's life in 2024; nobody believes that you've gone anywhere unless you have a whole folder worth of photos to show them on your phone. But I learned a very long time ago that while it can be important to document such trips with photography, it's just as important to put the camera away, get up close and personal with the things you're looking at, and just take them in at face value. You learn more, but more importantly, you appreciate things more. For instance, one of the skeletons on display, a Mosasaurus, actually has links to the Lake Diefenbaker area. Who knew?

It didn't feel like we were in the Centre for all that long, but the truth is we were there for two hours. Time just shoots by, I guess. We saw everything, read everything, and took a whole lot of pictures of everything. It really was a great day. Before long, we were checking out the grounds of the T.Rex Centre before we piled back in the SUV for the drive back home.

And here's the thing I've noticed while embarking on many, many, many road trips over the years. You ever notice how the drive TO your destination seems to take forever, but the drive BACK seems to jet by in an instant? It's an hour and change just to Swift Current from Eastend, but it felt like I blinked and there we were, eating a smorg supper at Mei Mei's and then making a pitstop at Walmart so Brendon could grab a few things. Then it was back on the road, enjoying the tunes on the stereo and appreciating the sunset beginning to fade down into the West.

There's a final pitstop in Rosetown, we're back on Highway 15, and soon enough, BOOM, we're home again.

It really was a great day. A memorable one. There are a few other things lined up for later this summer that I'm really looking forward to, but I can honestly say that this one was a great 'preview' of things to come.

Here's the thing, folks. Life gets busy, sometimes too busy. We get ourselves so damn caught up in our work lives and things like bills and groceries that all too often, those are the only things on our minds. All of these revolving, daily things in our lives eat up too much time, all so we can make money to pay the bills that'll just show back up again next month. Before you know it - SNAP! - you'll see that two or three months have gone by in a flash and you find yourself wishing that you'd made more time for this or that. Time just gets away from us.

That's why that proverbal 'Pause' button is so important these days. Sometimes you just need to press it and go enjoy yourself. Make some memories. Take a few snapshots. Drink it all in.

Because one day you'll be older and probably more cynical, and you'll be left wondering why you didn't do this or that in your life.

It's because you didn't press pause when you had the chance.

For this week, that's been the Ruttle Report.