Author Archives: admin

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Spring has us thinkin’ about tomorrow

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It has been said that an optimist is the human personification of spring. Certainly, spring is a bright, happy, joyful time of year. It’s a time when we literally — to borrow a phrase from Fleetwood Mac — don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.

In spring, we plant gardens that bloom in summer, and fields for harvest in fall. Seedlings poke out of the ground and stretch toward the sun. Slumbering wildlife comes out to play. Birds return from the south and fill the air with burbles, chirps and honks. Spring is a wonderful time to be alive, and I hope it finds you well.

In this issue of Grey-Bruce Boomers, we bring you several stories about enjoying life while planning for tomorrow. Gardening expert Brian Folmer teaches us how acting locally, with sustainable practices, can make a positive impact on the entire planet (Page 26). Contributor Doug Archer brings us the story of a retired teacher’s daring bicycle journey from Vancouver to the Mexico border (Page 16).

John Towler, an avid traveller, brings us an engaging story about a European tour with stops in Ireland, France, England, Belgium and Amsterdam (Page 6), and financial experts Michele Mannerow and Devin Morrison take a serious look at farm succession planning, an important, difficult and sometimes overlooked part of retirement for many Canadian producers (Page 32).

Stephen Musehl, executive director of the Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce, also gives us a primer on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, which require a forward-looking approach for both patients and caregivers (Page 22).

No matter how you feel today, please be encouraged by the hope we find in spring. Yes, there is plenty of rain this time of year — probably more than we’d like — but rain is a source of life, and sunny skies lie ahead.

Amy Irwin
Publisher, Grey-Bruce Boomers

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Self-care during winter

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It’s easy to be pessimistic about winter, and on one hand — why wouldn’t we be? In Grey/Bruce, winter is hard. It’s not easy to navigate local roads caked with ice and snow, and none of us is fond of shovelling our driveways when the weather flares up.

Winter is particularly difficult for people with mobility issues, and health conditions like arthritis that seem to get worse in cold temperatures. It’s also easy to become isolated and see our mental health decline if we are stuck inside all the time.

In winter, self-care is extremely important. We need to know our limits and not push too hard. We also need to keep our minds occupied — perhaps with a good book from the library, an active hobby or a game like chess.

It’s also important to connect with other people when we can.

I don’t want to minimize the limits winter places on us, and I’m certainly not here to tell you it’s easy. But I wanted to share with you an insight from the British writer Edith Sitwell I happened upon as we sent this issue of Boomers to press.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire,” she wrote. “It is the time for home.”

Yes, winter can oppress us. It spoils certain kinds of fun. It keeps us cooped up inside. We can see it that way, and perhaps we should.

We can also see it as an opportunity to enjoy our inner lives — the lives we can escape to in novels or in the small pleasures that are most effectively felt at home. Not everyone enjoys warmth, fellowship and good food over winter, but most of us do.

Winter is a time to take note of this, and to be thankful. It’s also a time to reach out to those who are less fortunate, and do what we can to help.

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Autumn’s a metaphor for many things

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It has been said that autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.

As you wind down from a busy summer and watch the leaves turn red, gold and brown, I wonder if that idea resonates with you. It does with me.

I’m grateful for sun-soaked summers, but there’s something remarkably beautiful about fall. It’s nature’s way of shutting down and preparing for the next growing season. And my, she does it with style!

Autumn is also a metaphor for the final stages of life — our golden years — and the process of growing older inevitably requires letting go. This can be painful, but it can also be beautiful.

In this issue of Grey-Bruce Boomers, Cheryl Cottrill’s story about what it means to be an end-of-life doula (Page 38) is a fantastic case in point. Just as maternal doulas help with the birth of a child, end-of-life doulas help us prepare to pass on. It’s a compassionate, caring approach to end-of-life care, and something you and your family may want to consider.

In this issue, we also have an in-depth look at arthritis (Page 30), the most prevalent chronic health condition in Canada. We speak with Michelle and Harland Wake, of Saugeen Shores, about their Bucket List trip to Yukon and Alaska (Page 16) and travel with Amy Muschik to Jordan — a jewel of the Middle East (Page 6).

Local historian Jodi Jerome takes us inside Knarsboro Hall — also known as Markdale’s mansion — in the latest edition of If These Walls Could Talk (Page 12), while fellow writer, photographer and historian Rob Cotton has an in-depth look at the role of Owen Sound’s harbour in pushing the Canadian frontier beyond the Great Lakes (Page 24).

I hope this issue of Boomers finds you in a happy place, and I hope you’ll be able to enjoy everything autumn has to offer.

To paraphrase Lucy Maud Montgomery, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers (and Septembers and Novembers, too).”

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Summer is here!

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As you open this issue of Grey-Bruce Boomers, I hope it finds you well.

Maybe you’re relaxing on a beach somewhere, or just back from a hike. Maybe you spent this morning plucking tomatoes from your garden, and perhaps your kids and grandkids will visit tomorrow afternoon. In any event, summer is a wonderful time in our community. I hope you’ll do what you can to enjoy it to the fullest — without pushing too hard. As Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys said, “Summer means happy times and good sunshine.” I hope you’ll soak it up while you can (using lots of sunscreen, of course).

I’m serious about that last part, and so is Cathy Telfer of the Canadian Cancer Society, who shares with us two very personal stories about melanoma (Page 3). Cathy’s account of battling skin cancer is compelling, mainly because she writes well and also because it’s so relatable. We’re grateful for her candor, and for her wisdom.

When it comes to having fun in the sun, you can do worse than skydiving. Jumping out of a plane is an exhilarating experience, but also scary in more ways than one. Suzanne Leith shares her skydiving adventure in our Bucket List feature on Page 26. Also, Charlene Randle-Clayton takes us with her to Australia — figuratively speaking. Her account of a life-enriching trip Down Under starts on Page 6. Elsewhere, Jodi Jerome revisits a key moment in the history of long-term care for seniors in Walkerton’s House of Refuge (Page 20). As you’ll see, we’ve come a long way.

Finally (and pardon the pun) there’s been a lot of buzz in the news about cannabis. Now that recreational weed joins medicinal as legal in Canada, and with edibles potentially being legalized sometime this year, it’s natural to be curious. Today’s cannabis is more potent than what you may have smoked in high school, college or university. Our buds (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) at the Huron County Health Unit offer an update, and some tips, on Page 34.

Whatever this summer brings, I hope you find adventure, joy, a bit of rest and — to borrow another phrase from The Beach Boys — plenty of good vibrations.

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Welcome to Spring!

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I’m going to be honest, I’m a fair-weather type of girl. While I want to love winter – and each year I make big plans to go skiing, snowshoeing, and skating in order to fully embrace our own Great White North of Grey and Bruce counties – when I stop to think about it, the idea of partaking in winter is much more appealing than actually leaving my house.

Give me a good book, a great movie, some board games and my family safe at home, and I’m happy to “embrace” winter from inside. I have come to realize that this is OK, and I hope you had a chance to take advantage of winter in whatever way makes you the happiest.

We have some great articles again in our Spring issue of Grey-Bruce Boomers. ‘Unbelievable Utah’ will have you dreaming of warmer weather, so check out the amazing photos of this desert oasis on Page 6. Thank you to the Diabetes Grey Bruce Program for educating our readers on the signs and symptoms of diabetes, while informing us of preventative measures. Our history buffs will enjoy the article on the history of the railway in Grey/Bruce (Page 32), as well as the article about long-time harness shop in Priceville (Page 12). If adventure (or living vicariously through other people) is more your style, check out the article about local cycling enthusiasts who took part in the inaugural Gran Fondo Lake Huron (Page 16) last summer. Finally, as many of our readers are small business owners, or know small business owners, you understand how important it is to plan for properly setting up your business for when you exit, as described on Page 24.

As always, thank you to our advertisers, contributors and readers! It takes a village to support small businesses and we are appreciative of your continued support and belief in Grey-Bruce Boomers magazine.

Happy Spring!