A Prairie Homo Companion: 50 Things I’ll Miss if I Leave the Prairies

A Prairie Homo Companion is a regular column that celebrates the Canadian prairies, canola fields and big skies, and the paradoxes of being a fine-ass lady prairie homo.

Header by Rory Midhani

I have a month to go before I finish university, and I’ve been applying for interesting jobs and internships literally everywhere around the world. Sure, I’ve applied for my fair share of jobs right here in Alberta, but I don’t know for sure where I’ll be in the next year, or even the next few months. Thinking about all the exciting places the future can take me is bittersweet because wherever I go, the Canadian prairies will always be home. So, in anticipation of my future homesickness, I’ve compiled a list of 50 things (in no particular order) I’ll miss should I leave the prairies.

1.The sky. There’s a reason Saskatchewan is called “the land of the living skies.”

via jeffsplates.com

via jeffsplates.com

2.The sky during a storm

via redbubble.net

via redbubble.net

3. Seeing the stars at night. I think I’d feel pretty lost living in a city where I couldn’t see at least some stars at night.

4. Being able to see the stars as early as 4 p.m. on a winter’s night.

5. How the Northern Lights make me feel like everything is magic.

via fanpop.com

via fanpop.com

6. Rainbows. The prairies get the best rainbows because the sky is so big.

7. The feeling of space. Thanks to the vast landscape and big sky, it’s easy to breathe and feel free – like the path to all your prairie homo hopes and dreams is as clear as a perfectly blue prairie sky at noon on a winter’s day.



8. History along a country road. It’s not unusual to come across a wooden, turn-of-the-century barn or some falling-apart farm equipment while driving down a prairie road. Prairie cities are notorious for destroying old buildings before they have a chance to be admired, but in the country time is patient, and old buildings and equipment are allowed to slowly disintegrate at nature’s pace. Still, these remnants of prairie history will be around forever, so I’m glad I have the chance to enjoy them.

via mnprairieroots.files.wordpress.com

via mnprairieroots.files.wordpress.com

9. The wind. The other day I was walking my dogs across a field and it was so windy I could hardly see or breathe. I was wearing a hat and a hood, but still my forehead was becoming numb from being repeatedly slapped by the wind. It made me feel so insignificant (because let’s face it: compared to the wind, I am!) but also super-powerful, because hey, I would make it through!

10. The tingly feeling you get all over your body when you finally come inside after being out in -30C

11. Making fun of girls lining up outside a club wearing skirts in -30C

12. Watching Oprah freeze on her visit to Edmonton

via joyfulheartinspired.tumblr.com

via joyfulheartinspired.tumblr.com

13. The clouds

via actsofnature.com

via actsofnature.com

14. Making fun of Saskatchewan (no offence, Saskatchewan)

15. Cars that politely stop to wait for you to cross the street

16. Manners: Please and thank you please and thank you please and thank you

17. The DIY-attitude of the queer community. We make our own culture and we’re damn good at it.


Artist: dales laing


artist: dales laing

18. Same-sex hand holding for both frostbite-avoidance and romance in sub-zero temperatures

19. Prairie beer: Alley Kat Brewberry and Apricat; Winnipeg Half Pints

via alleykatbeer.com

via alleykatbeer.com

20. Watching serious, respectable-looking adults doing the penguin shuffle on icy sidewalks

21. Being a snow-covered Canadian prairie queer

22. Knowing about and liking Tegan and Sara before the rest of the world

via coverdue.com

via coverdue.com

23. The honking of Canada Geese

24. Minimalist colours in winter: white and blue or white and grey

25. Messages in the snow (Canadian graffiti)

via maybeedmonton.tumblr.com

via maybeedmonton.tumblr.com

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Malaika likes books, drinking tea, long conversations, dinner parties, making funny faces, bike rides, and dogs. Originally from Edmonton, she now lives in Montreal where she edits, runs, and writes about the Alberta Tar Sands for The Media Co-op. You can follow her on twitter @Malaika_Aleba.

Malaika has written 84 articles for us.


  1. So lovely – and all so true. I’ve travelled a lot, and many of those things make me feel incredibly home sick. I think, somehow, living here you subconsciously develop a connection to the landscape, to the air and sky without realizing it until you leave… Or at least that’s true for me.

  2. I love how many of these things are just about the sky! But I feel you on all of them. Especially the stars — I live on an acreage, and the sky on a clear night is shocking and beautiful every single time. I will never get tired of it.

    • I know, right? My Oma lives on an acreage and the sky there is beeeautiful. I’m weirdly obsessed with the sky.

  3. This article made me nostalgic for something that I haven’t even experienced, that’s how evocative your writing in this list is.

  4. A lot of this reminds me of my hometown in the midwestern prairie–especially when you talk about the big sky and the summer storms. It is beautiful there.

  5. I really hope all of these pictures actually depict the prairies. If not I feel cheated.

    I wanna see some prairie clouds, yo!

  6. If you ever have the chance you should visit Ireland. There are so many similarities. It was odd reading the list, it’s like home but not at all like home at the same time.

  7. This was all so beautiful and so very true. In two months I am moving from Winnipeg to the middle east, this is just making me pre-emptively homesick, but in a good way.

  8. Why do we not have snow graffiti in New England?!?! Surely someone must have thought of it down here, but I’ve never seen it around, and now I know what’s missing from my life. This article really made me want to go to Canada.

  9. LOVE THIS!!!! The prairie snuggies on page 2 made me laugh OUT LOUD! A what a great picture of kd lang — I remember when she actually looked like this. It brings to mind Stompin’ Tom Connors’ song about her – Lady kd Lang.

  10. I am going to miss all of these things!!!!!!!!!! I’m moving from Medicine Hat to Vancouver in 3 weeks :( Goodbye sunshine hello rain.

  11. Being from the Saskatchewan prairie I agree with all of these things, except the one about making fun of Saskatchewan :p hehe

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