Rubber chicken circuit

Life is busy, so much so that the time left after kids’ sports and after-hours responsibilities leaves little time to attend social events. It is a big deal to go out.

Many years back, however, we had more than enough nights out and weekend afternoons spent at community functions. We can’t recall whose joke it was, but apparently that lifestyle is called the rubber chicken circuit – where flesh is pressed and appearances made. The odd time there was a chance to speak or bring greetings. These days we play the role of observer, which is far more pleasing. 

Such was the case recently at an Elora Centre for the Arts event called “Moonlight at the Mill.”

The Elora Mill was a primary sponsor, followed by the Mochrie and Voisin Real Estate Group, BMO – EDK Wealth Management Group, Elora Home hardware and The Wellington Advertiser. 

The arts centre is two-thirds of the way to securing the capital required to add a beautiful addition to its current site (the old Elora Junior school) and an amphi-theatre of sorts to the school grounds. After much planning and work, the local arts community will have enhanced opportunities to practice their craft. Once this first level of fundraising is well underway there will be chances for the public to participate financially. 

Listening to the presentations, we watched as members of the crowd nodded their heads in support of advancing the cause of arts in Centre Wellington. There were people from all corners of the township; some proficient in fine art, friends of theatre troupes, sculptors and a cast of program volunteers bore witness to this exciting launch. The air breathed enthusiasm.

The Mill outdid themselves with a marvelous cocktail hour and a wonderful meal. The hospitality was first rate.

Why on earth that rubber chicken circuit expression even entered our mind is still a mystery. But it did, and a thought emerged over the course of the night.

Travelling the circuit as we have, from 4-H dinners to municipal events and hospital fundraisers, as well as industry affairs across this country and even Europe, people of all walks of life have more in common than they know.

The pursuit of excellence and what that looks like may mean different things to different people.

Whether it be learning to puff up a Hereford calf’s tail for the show ring, crafting clay into a statement, applying the tip of paintbrush to canvas, marrying flowers for a bouquet, or performing on stage to delight a crowd, all are an art form in pursuit of perfection. 

Providing the opportunity and space for people to learn new things and embellish natural talent is a societal good. Leveraging talents from all walks of life to elevate the world around us is a common thread of humanity on which the richness of our lives depends.

Put it down

It was a typical ride home, much the same as every resident who relies on a car to get to work.

Not that many years ago, the ride home was a relatively mundane event. On a good day you may have seen a few cars or pickups on the way to the farm in old Eramosa.

Today, a dozen vehicles stand waiting idling at an intersection. Heading down Jones Baseline, Highway 6 in the distance carries a steady stream of commuters.

Considered by most passengers as a driver with a heavy foot, we find ourselves passed these days with regularity. We don’t recall a time where drivers needed to be more alert in this area to the very real risk of collisions and what fate opposing drivers are willing to risk in order to shave seconds off the ride home.

There is a silent killer out there that we almost met with the other day. Heading home an SUV-style vehicle started inching across the yellow line and ended up half within our travelling lane before correcting and returning to where he should have been. Luck was on our side that day, as well as other drivers using the road.

Distracted driving remains an issue despite numerous campaigns advertising the perils of not paying attention. Texting while driving is a dangerous habit indeed. Despite warnings it continues to happen.

Can any message be worth an accident? Put the phones down and save lives.