tj bw web

Name: TJ Rivers

Family: Dad to three children and engaged to Kim Buker

Profession: Custodian at Grenfell Elementary Community School

Age: 41

Years in Grenfell: 5


What is your biggest fear?

Not waking up tomorrow morning. That's my biggest fear.

What inspires you?

Hmmm.. that could be answered a lot of ways. Kim inspires me a lot, because she's been a big influence on me in the last year, with the kids. Every sunday Kim video calls and her four kids, and my three kids do an art project together. They've done wax crayon melting pictures, and then they made slime with food coloring. Last weekend they built an aquarium with a mason jar, a bunch of dollar store rocks and seashells, and then aquatic plants from Michael's. Those are expensive! So that project got a little expensive on dad's wallet. But it keeps the kids happy and they enjoy it.  And the kids inspire me to keep doing what I'm doing, and living in this town. As you can see, I'm still here! 

What do you do to spread joy?

Well, I volunteer driving the transit bus. We go to church at the Apostolic church now, and the kids are having a blast with that. Helping with Kidsport things.

If you could have a different career, what would it be?

Well, Kim sells Steeped Tea products. So we've been working on that. So I'd like to transition into working at trade shows and selling the Steeped Tea products. I'll be at the fall fair on Saturday.

What's the coolest thing you're doing in life right now, personally or professionally?

Well, the coolest thing I think is raising three kids as a single dad. I don't think it gets any better than that. They're 8, 7 and 4. 

What compliment do people give you on a regular basis?

Well, I don't know? I guess they compliment me on how clean the school is. I get that one on a regular basis. Or how good of a job I'm doing with the kids. That's a regular basis one. I don't really get any other compliments. 

Spontaneous person, or a planner?

 Kim is a planner, and I go on the spur of the moment some days. Every time I try to make plans in the past, it never works. I'm spontaneous, like I got on a plane and flew out to see her. Knocked on her door at 1:00 in the morning. Scared the crap out of her.

Describe a moment in your past that you really love.

Getting down on one knee and proposing to Kim, because that was awesome. To see the look on her face, that was a good moment. It was at the Toronto airport, when she came to pick me up last November. She was pretty surprised.

What's the best thing about getting older?

Getting older is getting better with age, not worse. More mature. 

How different was your life a year ago?

Well, we weren't engaged a year ago. We were talking. Kids were still here a year ago. They've been here with me for three years on our own.  I guess I was only at the high school as custodian for three hours a day a year ago. I was also filling in at the bus yard, and now I'm full time at the elementary.