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Prince George makes for one hell of a postcard

Not really knowing what to write about this week, I stared endlessly at my computer screen and I, like my Word document, was blank.

Not really knowing what to write about this week, I stared endlessly at my computer screen and I, like my Word document, was blank.

Yesterday though, while preparing the farm for the cold that now envelops us and thinking of the darkening days of winter with solstice on its way, I couldn't help but think how lucky I was to live in such a beautiful place.

Shortly after five in the morning I threw on my wool sweater and pants in anticipation of running outside and checking the root cellar that I recently built, to see if the -23 night seeped in and turned my potatoes into the freeze dried Peruvian treat known as Chuo.

Alas it did not and that was good.

While outside the crisp northern air was electric with the Aurora Borealis dancing in the sky all across the northern horizon, a sight that I will never get tired of seeing. Each time I wake and see them, I wake my wife like a child waking their parents to the Christmas tree so that presents can be opened. She doesn't share the same enthusiasm as I do though and quickly rolls over and goes back to sleep after saying, "that's nice. I am tired."

The crunch of the snow beneath my bunny boots was the only sound to be heard, though just a couple nights ago, it was the timber wolf who's cry alongside that of our barking livestock guardian dogs was the only thing to be heard throughout the cold night.

Though I have been living in the northern forests for nearly 10 years now, I am always excited at the arrival of winter, the defining season of northern life.

I have heard that every postcard is someone's backyard, well we have one hell of a postcard in Prince George and I am always amazed that more and more people aren't flocking to this hidden gem, riddled with fair land prices and affordable lifestyles that allow for the enjoyment of this beautiful postcard.

From driving on the streets of Kansas City to Vancouver, I can't help but think that the residents have been swindled to think living in such crowded livestock feedlots is nice.

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading disability worldwide.

Anxiety and/or chronic stress often related to depression affects nearly

50 per cent of the population.

Every time I venture into a larger, more urban city, I can't help but recall the time I spent working in a biology research lab for my university, raising thousands of helicobacter free mice for cancer research.

To picture this, think of large rooms with walls covered in cages with thousands of mice. I know animal lovers will hate this picture but I can tell you they were very well taken care of. I know because I was the one doing it.

I digress. Under normal conditions the mice did what mice do, make more mice and run around happily. When conditions changed, such as a flickering fluorescent bulb that needed to be changed, the mice responded and they responded carnivorously. The mothers would begin consuming their offspring.

There was no doubt a stress placed on the animals being in artificial environments with thousands of residents in close quarters. When the manufactured environment began to falter, the biological residents would respond and this I liken to what the WHO is calling the leading disability worldwide.

Our manufactured and natural environments are faltering. Stress, anxiety and depression are at all-time highs. If you look at the happiness index records from the 1950s when the average work week increased in hours and consumption began its steep climb to what we see today, you will also see the happiness or sense of well-being of citizens go down. With growth of the economy comes growth of more problems. I guess the mid-nineties rapper Notorius B.I.G. said it best with, "mo money, mo problems."

So, I say to you residents of the feedlots, kick over your feed trough, leave the rat race and return to a simple, more affordable, less stressed lifestyle that the north has to offer.

Who doesn't want to live in a postcard?