Editor's Musings

Garage Sales are a great way of getting rid of unwanted items around the house. In my home, after some 33 years here, plus with the lifetime of collecting before that, I might venture to say that me wife and I could dispense of upwards to 50% of the stuff we have, 25% for sure, and that would give us a chance to again start collecting anew.

I may have mentioned once upon a time that I have three sons. I am visiting the oldest, Tim, in Cochrane Alberta and we were talking about the Harley I own sitting in his garage. I wondered what I could get for a 2003 100th Anniversary Ultra Classic Electra Glide if I advertised it. His comment was that if I ever wanted to sell it, he’d buy it. That led into the nonsense of what I should have in a will. I told him he could have the motorcycle, Chris could have the truck and Jamie could have everything in the garage, which by the way has a nice Honda Goldwing in it plus way too much other stuff. So to save him some money (for a garbage bin), someday, I might dispense of some of my jewels, some of which have hung on the garage wall - snowshoes - since the day we moved in 33 years ago. But I just know, within days of a downsizing, I will need one of the things I just got rid of.

So back on topic of why I really mentioned garage sales,  it would not hurt my feelings if there was a bylaw and fine that insisted people get rid of their GARAGE SALE signs by midnight of the day of the sale. I find it rather irritating seeing a sign that says there is a garage sale at such and such a spot, driving there and finding the doors closed, abandoned, nothing.


Breaking news this morning, Tuesday, suggested that Sears Canada is questioning their ability to continue. I have heard that catalogues are not as plentiful as the day when we got at least two a year, each almost two inches thick. There was an Eaton’s catalogue as well, just as thick as the other. Grampa use to brag about how he took the older ones to the wooden shed out back and through the half moon of the door, read it. Funny how it got thinner and thinner out there. (Do you think everyone will understand what I am saying or does that indicate my age?)

Downsizing or rightsizing is a sign of the times.

It was disappointing to see the little stores in rural parts of the country close. I think of Allenwood’s little general store or Silas Anderson’s Crossland store - which some of us still remember. The closest thing to that that still exists is in Dalston - not alike but quite similar. If you are ever driving by, drop in. It will be a stop you can talk about for years. I visit some like it in Alberta. One has a liquor/beer store just beside the two or three tables around the old woodstove. I often wonder if they are really drinking tea or coffee. But I don’t disagree. I have friends that I can very easily picture sitting around there giggling and laughing, telling jokes, talking about the crops and passing on interesting tidbits. Gossip? Never!!!!

It is not so many years ago, the Elmvale Sales Barn, now renamed the Elmvale Flea Market - it is for sale if anyone is interested - had so many vendors, in front and out back, that it took a good evening to see everything even if there were three, four or five of exactly the same merchandise. One night, as they closed, I watched a van go from one site to another picking up the sales people, possibly family members or sales partners, and their merchandise.

What happened?

Little stores could not compete, price wise, with larger stores, thus the end of the country general stores.

Entrepreneurs started dollar stores. Now, we had a larger variety in one spot and thus, no need to go to the sales barn.

Eatons and Sears and their catalogues are replaced by an ever more computerized society where they can go online, put in what they are interested in, search for the best price and have it delivered to the door - no gas, very little time, no crowds, etc., etc.

You have heard it numerous times. We are our own worse enemies!!!

And today, grampa goes into a warm/air conditioned/comfortable room, minus the half moon on the door, turns on the light and sits and reads the news on his electronic devise. Beside him, on a little roll, is some  boring downey soft tissue with no writing on it, paper that has almost no use, so easy to flush down the drain and nothing lost.


I joined the Probus Club in Wasaga Beach. Pro means professional and bus means business thus PROBus.  As of May 31st, there were 240 active PROBUS Clubs in Canada with 34,475 members, an average of 143 members per club. If you go to their National Website, you may find there are five clubs in Wasaga Beach, and if I read it right, 10 in Collingwood, five in Midland, three in Barrie. and four in Orillia. In Canada, the PROBUS entity celebrates their 30th Anniversary in Canada.

As a qualifier - I have only been to two meetings but as I have been told, this is a non-fund raising group. The constitution says the clubs will not be competitive with any other organization, and that a club will be non-political and non-sectarian. And you can be a member of any number of PROBUS clubs.

Friendship is the main idea and since you are supposed to be 55 plus and at least semi-retired, it is another outlet for the individual. Apparently there are men’s clubs, women clubs and couples clubs. As a member, you qualify for a few benefits including a Travel Insurance Plan.

This group meets in the Wasaga Beach Arena (usually because the next one is at the Rec-Plex in WB) on the second Thursday of the month at 10 in the morning.

There are 106 members. 56 were in attendance last Thursday. Attendance is not mandatory but when you pay your membership fee, less than $100 I think, there is no refund.

There is coffee and donuts available paid for from the revenue of the 50/50 draws. The first 1/2 hour is business - minutes of the meeting - what we are planning - if anyone has been sick - initiation of members - whatever. This is followed by a half hour coffee break and from 11 to 12, there is a guest speaker and at noon, the meetings over.

At the last meeting, the guest speaker spoke of the endangered Piping Plovers at Wasaga Beach (and around Canada). There are two nests on the WB waterfront/beach this year. Each nest has 4 eggs. The incubation period is approximately 26 days. The male and female spend equal amounts of time caring for the eggs/young ones. Their main fodder is insects. The eggs should be hatching any day now. 30 days later, they can fly. After her presentation, there were many questions. Very interesting. At the next meeting someone from the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit is going to talk about Global Warming or their new term, Climate Change.

Meanwhile, there are interesting excursions upcoming. On June 20th, they go to the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada on a coach.

On July 18th, they are going on a Dufferin Wind Power tour. You have to pay your own way to get there and the $5 for the tour.

In August, they are going to an afternoon performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at the King’s Wharf.

If you want something to do, this may be up your alley.


Does bottled water save water? This is only hypothetical but worth considering.

How many of us walk over to the tap, turn on the water and let it run until the water is cold enough to drink? Then maybe, we rinse the glass to cool it down and clear it from  some unknown debris.

Probably even worse comes from the garden hose. As the water runs, no one I know can swallow that much water so it goes unto the lawn - ok but what about down the drain or unto the driveway.

Bottled water in many cases comes out of the municipal tap but ounce for ounce of swallowed water, maybe less is used if you drink bottled water. I do not know but some day, if we encounter a water shortage, wil that be a concern? Like I say, it is only hypothetical.


Community Newspapers - As of June 2016, there are 1,060 community newspapers in Canada and 1,160 editions. Community newspapers publish almost 20 million copies each week and the majority of circulation is free (controlled), accounting for more than 18 million copies weekly. Community newspapers publish in both broadsheet and tabloid formats, although 88% of all editions are tabloids.


That’s it Charles - more in two weeks...