If you read my other blog, With Humour and Hope: The Only Way to Live, then you know that I grew up in Toronto. (I’ve just done a post on “Being a Tourist in My Old Hometown”) I lived there until 1978 when my husband Jim was transferred to Sudbury with his job as a parks planner with Ontario Parks, in the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Sudbury was a great place to live, and both of our sons were born there. We moved again in 1984, due to a change in Jim’s job, this time to Prescott, a small town on the St. Lawrence River. The boys went to some great schools, and we enjoyed our time there—and then it was time to move again. This move brought us here, to Napanee, where we have made our home for the past 22 years. We love it here. The town’s motto is “Greater for Many Reasons.” Whether you like the slogan or not, you have to admit, The Town of Greater Napanee is a pretty great place, with some wonderful local businesses and organizations.
One organization especially close to my heart is the Seniors Outreach Services (SOS) and its 55 Plus Activity Centre. Take a peak at the website, or go and chat with some of the staff or volunteers, and you’ll see why it is so special. I spend four mornings a week there, co-leading a Nordic Pole Walking (NPW) group, teaching a creative writing class, and leading a strength training class. There are fitness classes, art classes, textile groups, and too many programs to mention here—but there is definitely something for everyone. Not only am I keeping active and improving my mental and physical health, I’ve made some great friends!
My co-leader for the NPW group, Lillie Normile, is also a member of the creative writing group. Lillie has written about the NPW group and the chair yoga class she takes on her blog, Notes from Napanee.
Grace Vanderzande, a.k.a. “Buttons” is also a member of the writing and the NPW group, and she’s written about the walking group on her blog, Buttons Thoughts, and in her column for the Napanee Guide newspaper.
I consider these women and all of the women who are in my groups, friends, even though I may not know some as well as others. We share laughs, and hugs—just like friends do. We are always supportive and friendly, and when someone has been away for a while, we welcome them back with a hug. You see a lot of that in our centre.
I have fond memories of all of the places I’ve lived, and there is a saying, “Grow where you are planted.” I definitely have grown here, and I’m very happy to be planted in Napanee.