Someone wrote me the other day to ask about the writer of this blog. He wanted to know more about the person writing this blog. So, guess I should write a bit about her. That would be me actually.
I’m middle age woman living near the village of Colborne, in eastern Ontario. Always love that term “middle age”– middle of what age? Would that be middle of my life or just middle of the road?
I currently am owned by three cats: Cookie (17 years old), Dawn (2 years old) and Fawnya (almost a year old). They are good company, usually curled up at various locations not far from where I’m working. Many say cats are aloof, I wouldn’t know that as Dawn meets me at the door every night with Fawnya not far behind her.
So, what do I do with my life?
In my working life, or part of it, I’m an insolvency consultant. I work as a service provider for a firm which does debtor representation. When people get into debt difficulties, my job is to work with them to get the credit restructured based on ability to pay. That often means a filing under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. The BIA is meant to be rehabilitative. It helps people get back on their feet and get a fresh start.
Most of the people I work with have gone through some sort of upheaval in their life which has thrown them off track financially. They want to pay their bills, just the ability to do so has gotten beyond them. Sort of like getting hit with a huge out control snowball. It just keeps getting bigger until it hits a wall and comes to a halt.
My faith is an important part of my life. I’m a church warden & secretary for the local Anglican church, Trinity. I was raised in the United Church of Canada, escaped when I was a teenager and as God so often does, I found myself pulled back after my husband died in 1989. I chose to be an Anglican.
So what is an Anglican? Well, in the US, we’re called Episcopalians, in the UK, Church of England is a term used. I’m part of the Anglican Church of Canada, specifically within the Diocese of Toronto. By virtue of being part of the Anglican Church of Canada, I’m also part of the worldwide Anglican Communion of which Canterbury, England is the heart.
It’s pretty hard to define an Anglican in a few words. Generally, we tend to be considered to be the middle way in a pretty broad spectrum of Christian practice. It is a church which has embraced diversity while living mostly in unity. Well, a few things rock the core of the church.
There are those in Canada who will fight to the death to be able to use the Book of Common Prayer instead of that upstart Book of Alternate Service. There are those who will continue to rail against the ordination of women, 25 years plus after the church starting ordaining them and most recently those who are railing against the full acceptance of gays. Hey, what the heck… what fun is unity in diversity if we didn’t have some controversy to test it.
Me, I have enough sorting out me and where I am on the faith spectrum. I’m not into deciding if others are right or wrong. A good friend at the Legion once leaned over to me as we sat listening to a table of members gossipping about all and sundry and quietly said, “young Patti (I was young then), I have a step at my back door that every morning I go out to sweep. I’m kept so busy keeping that step clean, I don’t have time to look at other people’s step.” That has always stuck in my mind. I’m often reminded as I make my way through this life.
Ah yes, the Legion. I’ve been and remain a dedicated member of that great Canadian organization. Dedicated to the care of our aging war veterans and honouring not only their service but the sacrifice of all those who are no longer with us. So very very many who never got to come home. In many ways, the Legion is where I came to appreciate what it is to be a Canadian. I was the first woman to be the president of our local branch and remained so for six years.
Being involved in the Royal Canadian Legion is always an adventure, especially in a small community. The banquet room often becomes the go to community hall in times of need like in 1992 when a small apartment building burnt to the ground. Several of our members, including me, spent the night at the scene serving coffee and sandwiches to the fire fighters. The following day, the hall was opened and the community poured in bringing donations for the 14 families who lost their homes. It would take two days for us to locate the families who had dispersed into the community the night of the fire. We spent the summer working with the families getting them resettled, the donations were moved to the local curling arena so the banquet hall was available for use.
Some where along the line after I left office, the branch decided I should be made a Life Member. This is a high honour in the Legion, one that requires approval from Dominion Command.
In 2007, I apparently couldn’t resist the rocks that had been forming in my head and I once again stood for the position of President and was elected. I now have a small problem, I need a good exit strategy! In the meantime, I’m really pleased at how things are going there. See, what prompted me to take over again was sliding steadily towards closure. I was fortunate enough to assemble an executive who was willing to throw their hearts into trying to keep the place open. So far, we have succeeded!
We have found that the route to the hearts of the community is through their stomach. Two public dinners a month, the first a roast beef dinner and the second a different themed meal has been an essential part of the turn around. They are a lot of work, but we work cooperatively and have a lot of fun preparing them. Men and women work side by side preparing, serving and cleaning up. Young people are encouraged to come in and earn their community service hours they need in order to graduate from high school.
In my quiet time, I love to read. My reading interests are many and varied. I’m driven more by what has caught my attention at any given time than any special interests. It keeps life interesting and always something to learn or be introduced to. Needless to say, the internet is like having a huge library to explore at any time without any need to drive to it.
So, there we go, a bit more about the writer.