Name: Val Traub
Family: Husband Colin, 4 grown children and spouses, and 8 grandchildren
Years in Grenfell: 45
How many different jobs have you had?
I've been a little bit of everything. I was a stay at home mom for a long time. I worked at the hospital a little bit. I worked at a flower shop. I did some childcare out of my house. Now I'm a retired grandma.
Have you ever hitchhiked or picked up a hitchhiker?
I did pick up a hitch hiker once, and he was a very nice young man. Only the one time though, quite a while ago. It was on the #1. He was on the side of the road, and I thought well, I'll try this. I wasn't going that far, so I dropped him off at the next town where I was turning into. I myself was picked up once. I had car trouble. The alternater went in our car. I just pulled over to the side, and I had someone pull up behind me and they gave me a ride to the next town, where we had friends at. So I guess that's not hitch hiking. But he was a nice young man too. So I appreciated that.
What's something you do to show kindness?
What do I do? Well, donations to the food bank in town. If people need rides I will give them rides - community people who need rides somewhere. Sometimes you don't think of things that you do in everyday life as kindness. It's just something you do. I think other people notice it as kindness though. I don't know what I do, but hopefully I am doing something out there. (I tell her she definitely does her share of volunteer work in the community, which I see as a huge kindness act)
Which do you prefer, beach holiday or exploring holiday?
Definitely an exploring holiday. Colin and I are all about doing driving trips, and seeing what we can see. We spent a month and a half down east, doing a maritime holiday. That was our retirement trip. The maritime people are just amazing. The provinces themselves are beautiful. And the people are so friendly and lovely. Ten days in Newfoundland, you pretty well need that. We were only able to be there a week, just because of the way the ferry ran. We stopped on one coast and drove to the other. We've also done a few American drives, covering different areas of the states. We prefer driving. We've been from one end of Canada to the other. We haven't been up north, but that's something that Colin talks about, going up there and experiencing June 21st there (the longest day of the year, which means full daylight in the north). We've been on a couple of hot holidays, and they're nice, but they're just not our preference.
What is your favorite smell and favorite sound?
The sound of children laughing for sure has to be one of my favorite sounds. When we get the grandchildren all together here, running around and playing - that's a beautiful sound. And favorite smell? Food! Any food. I love food. That's definitely one of my favorite things. Bread baking is a beautiful smell. And rain as well. I love the smell of fresh rain.
If you were given $1000 what would you spend it on?
$1000 doesn't go very far. I think I would be selfish and put it towards a holiday. That's not very charitable!
What do you do to relax?
I do a lot of crocheting. I crochet in the evenings. I get carpal tunnel from it sometimes though. It can be hard on your hands. My sister is involved in Angels for Warmth in Regina (an organization that makes crocheted/knitted items for people in need in the city). I would like to be able to do more for that. They get a bunch of wool donated and there are a bunch of knitters and crocheters in the city - she said they're really short of afghans. Right now I'm doing very small projects, but I would like to do more. I do mostly dishcloths now. They're fast and they don't bother my hands too much. But I would like to try to do more, like a lap quilt or something. I'd like to try afghans, but i don't know.. We'll see. I know there are a lot of people in town that do it too, like Judy Ortt. She donates so much stuff. My sister in Regina actually knows her because of how much she does.
What do you like about living in a small town?
I'm so glad I got this question. We were out the other day, and we saw Kathy Gwilliam riding her bike, and it just warmed my heart. I said to Colin, "I just love living in a small town". And I really do. Everything about it. You know, the people, the sense of community. It's got to be the sense of community. Just knowing people, and knowing their stories. It's the best. Our grandkids, the freedom they have when they come down here in a small town. They love it. They all want to move to Grenfell. Unfortunately that doesn't work for the parents. It might not have everything that a city has, but it has more than enough. The sense of community makes up for everything else that we don't have, as far as movie theatres, etc.
What do you like to do for fun?
We're kind of boring people! Friends and family is a big part of our lives. We get together for supper, weiner roasts or whatever. The kids are definitely a big part of our lives, our grandchildren (while doing this interview, I get to meet one of their grandsons that they're taking care of for a few days). We don't host as often as we used to, but I do like to entertain. Cooking is a passion of mine. I find my repertoire is changing. It used to be when the kids were at home, it was meat, potatoes and vegetables. You didn't have to worry about anything else. But now I enjoy venturing out. Colin is very good about letting me try something different. He's adventuresome too.
What was your first job as a kid?
Well, I think everyone as a kid babysat. I remember babysitting for a family of three or four, and making supper, doing the dishes, cleaning the house and getting the kids to bed, and I got 25 cents. Maybe a dollar. It wasn't a lot! Back then you did all of that when you babysat. It was just a part of it. After graduating, I became a telephone operator, and did that in the city. That was in the days when people would phone in for a phone number for somebody, and we would look it up. Now it's 411 online, and I don't even know if that's easy to find, because no one has their cell phones listed.