Recently, I came across a terrific post by a Dauphin resident Tash Ryz. She was responding to an email she had received which provided information about a different set of “Rules” of rural Manitoba. I am not sure which version she received, but I did Google up Rules of Rural Manitoba, and found one edition. I can see why she did not agree, and wrote her own version for Dauphin, Manitoba based on her upbringing and personal experiences. These are so well-written, positive, and embrace the spirit of not only Dauphin, but much of rural Manitoba, that I wanted to re-post them here. This is about how to “experience” Manitoba, here in the Riding Mountains. I’d love to see us develop experiences that live and practice these 12 “rules” for both travellers and local folks alike. Well done Tash!
The “Rules” of Rural Manitoba
I was recently forwarded an email about the “Rules” of Rural Manitoba. I didn’t agree, so I wrote my own version of how I see Dauphin, Manitoba based on my upbringing and personal experiences. Please add your own comments and awesomeness!
1. We wear what is most comfortable in the prairies. T-shirts and jeans for work? Absolutely. Pajamas at the mall? Sure. Rubberboots at the grocery store? Why not? From ski-pants to hot pants, we wear what we want, when we want. We encourage you to do the same!
2. We drive many different vehicles in the prairies. It is perfectly acceptable to drive a car, grain truck, tractor, snowmobile, dirt bike, golf cart or even a riding lawn mower to get around. If you are walking somewhere, you will be offered a ride. If you are stuck, someone will stop to help you push.
3. Our license plates say “Friendly Manitoba” for a reason. Expect strangers to wave and say hello, because we live by the slogan “a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met!”
4. No plans for dinner? No problem, we always make more food that we need, so please stop by for a visit. We always have an extra place for a new friend!
5. We like to eat meat and fish that we have hunted and processed ourselves-without added chemicals or preservatives. The pickerel is delicate and lovely; the garlic deer sausage is spicy and ridiculously good.
6. Don’t eat meat? No problem. Our backyard vegetable gardens are massive and the hot summer sun helps us to grow the best tomatoes and strawberries you can imagine! Furthermore, most of us have apples trees, raspberry bushes and other berries growing right in our backyard. Please help yourself!
7. Expect to be put to work- either helping in the kitchen, shovelling snow, picking stones in the field, helping move a truck or lifting something heavy. We all take care of each other and try to lessen the load when we can. As a side effect, your body will feel good, your mind will be clear and the food will taste even better!
8. Please turn off your cell phone. Enjoy the open sky, smell the fresh air, listen to the stillness. We enjoy face-to-face conversations and like to take things slow. Please pay attention and listen to the person you are with.
9. You will get dirty- either dirt biking through the mud, running through a field or riding in the back of a pick-up truck. But you will have so much fun that you won’t even care!
10. Our thunderstorms are fierce and energizing. Enjoy the show, but watch out if your hair stands on end!
11. Our lakes are abundant and we take full advantage of them- in the summer we swim, boat and fish. In the winter, we drive our vehicles right on the ice, set up shack villages and then fish, drink, visit and go sledding with our friends.
12. We love to laugh, to sing and do silly creative things. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, so please join in and have some fun!
In rural Manitoba, our hearts are a big as our open fields and our minds as expansive as the never-ending sky. We welcome you to our land!