But then, why Elk Point?
I did an internet search for the options I desired: a creek, barn, out buildings, two houses (one for me and the other for the bed and breakfast), highway access but privacy too, and services available. A few properties in my price range came up in northern BC, quite a few just north of Edmonton and more in the east. I did not want to move to the east coast, could not afford my first choice, Salt Spring Island, and so, I chose a farm in Thorhild county, an hour and a half north of Edmonton. That venture did not work out, after installing a well and power, because Waste Management was pushing a Class 1 landfill bordering my land. How could I have an organic orchard next to a dump? So, I searched again, found Elk Point, bought the farm and moved to it within 30 days.
A year later almost to that date, the bed and breakfast opened. The first year was poor with few guests, but I persevered and the second year, last year was quite good. This year, I expect to have double the guests of last year and so far, that is proving to be the case. Now, there are repeat customers, corporate accounts that send their people to the bed and breakfast regularly when in the area and even a few locals, such as the recent guests who were attending an 80th birthday party. It is quite wonderful!
I so much enjoy the guests and love to hear their stories, interact with them and share some of my own history if they ask. Currently the consultants from the Yukon are back for four nights, leaving tomorrow. They usually order dinners and sometimes bagged lunches and baking to go, so it keeps me hopping. They are great guys and I always look forward to serving them and chatting. Now, I feel as though they are my friends, too, and that is lovely. I can't think of anything I would rather be doing at this juncture in my life. The social interaction of the bed and breakfast, the pleasant care taking of the livestock on the farm and soon, the permaculture orchard and gardens, are the goals I had set for my retirement. Two are underway and functioning well, and the permaculture gardening will be implemented this year. For the next 10 years, I plan to run this way and when I am 70, I may actually retire. Until then, tally ho, let's go! Such fun, such fun.