Tuesday, July 17, 2014
I hang out with a group of people who love to travel to small towns and big cities across North America. We love to camp, stay in youth hostels and sometimes splurge for a local bed and breakfast. Every once in a blue moon we stay in a hotel. Sometimes we travel together, other times we are all our own adventures. Some trips involve kayaks, canoes, skis or bikes, and often involve local cafes, libraries, museums, concerts, the ballet, galleries. restaurants and all kinds of interesting local culture. Most of our vacations involve the local laundromat (which is a great place to meet other travelers and find out what is going on in the community). There are many tourists, like us, who love adventures of all kinds. What I’ve learned over the years, from listening to travelling stories from my friends, is that when any of us have a great experience and find it memorable — the feeling about the place stays with us a long time. And the stories of the town, city or the park get told over and over at dinner parties. They get told from the perspectives of the kids, the teenagers, the young adults and the adults. A big part of the vacation is about the anticipating and preparing and the other part are the stories you tell for the rest of your life. My friends have lots of stories. A common theme that comes up as we sit sipping wine and chatting, is how it feels to arrive in a town that is obviously loved and cared for. The feeling that you get right away that this place is important and the community is investing in it. And when we feel that , it allows us to relax and enjoy the place right away. We feel at home. We feel welcome and cared for in ways that can’t always be explained but are felt. I can’t help but imagine what people will think when they drive into Haliburton this summer and see the new band shell pavilion in the park that was built by Alfredo Rico with financial contributions from the Rotary Club of Haliburton, The Trillium Foundation, The Municipality of Dysart and HCDC through the Eastern Ontario Development Program. The band shell is magnificent to look at. It is a one of a kind piece of art and I feel happy every time I look at it against Head Lake. So thank you to everyone who made it happen. It says a lot about our community and what we value. On a much smaller scale, but just as important in a different kind of way is the random act of art that I noticed on the windows of the Dollar Store (Henwood’s Variety). I don’t know who put those pictures up there, but they are really wonderful images of Haliburton County. It is a small act but it changes the face of the street for the better and that benefits all of us. It demonstrates that we care even if the space is empty. It takes everyone to build a village that is loved.