North Saskatchewan River, AB - Clarance Visser
My Watermark is the North Saskatchewan River, Alberta.
My wife Jenny and I were lucky enough to buy this farm in the spring of 1957. We weren't conscious of the river at the time, we were just conscious that we could buy a farm right next to father so we could share machinery. We were very familiar with water and the need of water for growing crops.
My connection with the river developed when we wanted to irrigate. The first half of our lives was trying to make payments and make a living and develop the farm, so our consciousness about the river was related to economics more than anything. We weren't able to build a house on the river bank until 1964 and since then, for 50 years we have lived in that house and had a beautiful view of the river and geese and pelicans and ducks.
When we were still struggling to make the farm (work) we would go out for a walk for in the bush and we went to the very far side and there was a big gravel bar with sand on it. The kids like to go on that bar and throw rocks into water and things like that.
We lived in a park – still do. It takes time to learn to appreciate that. It's not to be exploited. It needs to be stewardly used and taken care of. There is no other water anywhere near significant meaning to me than the river here. If there is a watermark of any kind in my life it is the North Saskatchewan passing by our farm.