Patriotic retirement

These past few weeks have been a ball for me. In addition to having several pair of my canaries build nests and hatch their young in cages on my windowsills, I managed to get up to my son’s family farm for a couple of days. There I managed to heavily mulch around a dozen or more large trees along their laneway, in readiness to planting bird, bee, and butterfly gardens when the weather warms.

I usually mulch heavily late in the fall with amply aged horse manure. This is quite easy to handle, especially if they bed down with shavings. But the snow came early last fall and I didn’t get it done, so the alternative left was mulching early in the spring. Unfortunately, there was no aged horse manure available, so fresh was used, and this causes no problem, but it has to be in place early and only on areas not yet planted.

In addition to that, it just happened to be tree-tapping time, and I’m not going to tell you, but I bet you could guess who came home with a bottle of maple syrup in his duffle bag. Though the boiling down took place outside on the cross-the-front porch, with the barbecue the source of heat, it brought back many fond memories.

As a preteen boy, I used to like when asked to tend the fires, both day and night, in the old sugar shacks that seemed at home in almost every hardwood bush. It was the then custom for the grandfathers of the neighbourhood to do this job, and I learned far more of my life skills from them during our springtime late night chats than from any other source of education, both then or now.

On Sunday, April 5, I attended the Elora Cataract Trailway Association’s annual general meeting, where the topic of the guest speakers dealt with the various trails in Wellington. This is a group well worth joining, whether for exercise, jogging, bicycling, bird watching or just plain wandering in the country. I have been a member since before day one, some 20 years ago, and believe me, this trail has become a great boost in many ways to our local environment.

As well, this coming Tuesday I will be attending the first annual general meeting of the Independent Authors & Illustrators of Canada, of which I am a founding member.

This is an interesting group of diverse ages, areas, and lines of thought, who will be holding Author Days in various locations throughout our locale. Watch for them; you just might find the book that you have long been looking for.

In the meantime, since I put my point of contact at the end of my articles, I have been receiving both email and phone calls from a far greater, encouraging area than covered by the Wellington Advertiser. Some of them interest me more than others. Here is one that stems from across the border.

This was an article from the St. Petersburg Times newspaper on a Sunday. The business section asked readers for ideas on How Would You Fix the Economy? I think this guy nailed it.

“Dear Mr. President,

Patriotic Retirement:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the workforce: pay them $1-million apiece severance with stipulations:

1) They leave their jobs.  Forty million job openings – unemployment fixed.

2) They buy new American cars. Forty million cars ordered – auto industry fixed.

3) They either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – housing crisis fixed.

All this and it’s still cheaper than the bailout.”

Right on. Right on. Don’t you think? I wonder if this guy holds Canadian citizenship. We need him up in Ottawa. Take care, ’cause we care.



Barrie Hopkins