Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Self-care important in winter

Category : Uncategorized

It’s easy to be pessimistic about winter, and on one hand — why wouldn’t we be? In Huron/Perth, winter is hard. It’s not easy to navigate local roads caked with ice and snow, and none of us is fond of shovelling our driveways when the weather flares up.

Winter is particularly difficult for people with mobility issues, and health conditions like arthritis that seem to get worse in cold temperatures. It’s also easy to become isolated and see our mental health decline if we are stuck inside all the time.

In winter, self-care is extremely important. We need to know our limits and not push too hard. We also need to keep our minds occupied — perhaps with a good book from the library, an active hobby or a game like chess.

It’s also important to connect with other people when we can.

I don’t want to minimize the limits winter places on us, and I’m certainly not here to tell you it’s easy. But I wanted to share with you an insight from the British writer Edith Sitwell I happened upon as we sent this issue of Boomers to press.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire,” she wrote. “It is the time for home.”

Yes, winter can oppress us. It spoils certain kinds of fun. It keeps us cooped up inside. We can see it that way, and perhaps we should.

We can also see it as an opportunity to enjoy our inner lives — the lives we can escape to in novels or in the small pleasures that are most effectively felt at home. Not everyone enjoys warmth, fellowship and good food over winter, but most of us do.

Winter is a time to take note of this, and to be thankful. It’s also a time to reach out to those who are less fortunate, and do what we can to help.

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We must continue to tell stories of war heroes

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In his novel The Issa Valley, the Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz wrote a phrase that is sometimes invoked on Remembrance Day

“The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them.”

This is a portion of our debt to men and women who fought in the major conflicts of the 20th century — and every conflict before or since.

We must remember them, and we must continue to tell their stories.

In this issue, we highlight two sets of people carrying on this tradition.

The first is about the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary Branch 180 in Wingham (Page 34), a group of women dedicated to honouring veterans who have died, and supporting veterans who are still with us, as well as their families.

Our second story related to war is from Dennis Makowetsky, a retired history teacher-turned travel guide who has led several life-changing trips to European battlefields. Read his account on Page 22.

We also take an in-depth look at arthritis (Page 14), the most prevalent chronic health condition in Canada, and we travel with writer Amy Muschik to Jordan — a jewel of the Middle East (Page 4).

In her “If These Walls Could Talk” story, local historian Jodi Jerome brings us the story of Wingham’s landmark twin towers (Page 10), and we also explore the story of Admiral Henry Wolsey Bayfield and the Ontario village that bears his name (Page 28).

As we enter another busy autumn, I hope you will be able to enjoy all our communities have to offer. Please also take time to remember those who have fought for the life we enjoy in Canada.

Our mantra is our promise: We will remember them.

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Summer is here!

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Audrey Hepburn, the iconic movie actor of the 1950s and ’60s, said that to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. It was a characteristically elegant way of re-phrasing an idea many of us heard from our parents when we were growing up — “You reap what you sow.” It’s also a beautiful metaphor for summer.

This time of year, the plans we make in winter and spring take root and grow. Seeds and bulbs become plants that produce vegetables, flowers and fruit. If spring is a time of rebirth, summer is when many of us feel most alive. Whatever summer means to you, I hope it’s full of joy, adventure and quality time with family and friends.

In this issue of Huron-Perth Boomers, we’re celebrating several stories that reflect the vitality of the season, along with some practical tips about how to live happily and healthily. Boomers contributor Elizabeth Bundy-Cooper brings us a fascinating profile of Stratford artist Philip Yielding (Page 24), whose work appears all over the Festival City. Jenessa Dalton, of the North Perth Family Health Team, offers a primer on the new Canada’s Food Guide, and how it informs healthy eating (Page 30).

Wealth manager James Gauthier discusses how to avoid tax inefficiencies to save you money (Page 34), while public health promoters Courtney Feeney and Candace Cunningham of the Huron County Health Unit give us a rundown on cannabis in 2019 (Page 12). Spoiler alert: Today’s cannabis is more potent than the stuff you may have smoked in your youth. In her latest ‘If These Walls Could Talk’ feature, historian Jodi Jerome recounts the story of Hicks House, a landmark property in Mitchell that traces its origins to Goderich Township around 1830 (Page 16).

As you read this issue of Boomers, I hope you’ll enjoy summer to the greatest extent possible — without pushing too hard, of course. Soak up the sun (using sunscreen), putter in the garden, and start that book you’ve been planning to write.

“Pick the day,” Ms. Hepburn said. “Enjoy it – to the hilt.”

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Welcome to Spring!

Category : Uncategorized

I’m going to be honest, I’m a fair-weather type of girl. While I want to love winter – and each year I make big plans to go skiing, snowshoeing, and skating in order to fully embrace our own Great White North of Huron and Perth counties – if I really stop to think about it, the idea of partaking in winter is much more appealing than actually leaving my house.

Give me a good book, a great movie, some board games and my family safe at home, and I’m happy to “embrace” winter from inside. I have come to realize that this is OK, and I hope you had a chance to take advantage of winter in whatever way makes you the happiest.

Once again, we have some great articles in this issue of Huron-Perth Boomers, including a look at Nashville, a city known for its music but one which has so much more to offer (Page 4). The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance outlines the differences between Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, and provides resources and support groups available to the people of Huron and Perth (Page 12).

This issue’s ‘If These Walls Could Talk…’ historical piece focuses on ‘The Ridge,’ one of the original homes of Goderich, which overlooked the new town from the north side of the Maitland River (Page 16). The people who played a role in this home’s history are fascinating. Finally, our Bucket List feature takes a trip across the Atlantic Ocean with Dean Nisbett, of Bayfield, who one day decided to sail across the big pond and eventually did just that. First though, he had to buy a boat and learn to sail! Read Dean’s story on Page 26.

As always, thank you to our advertisers, contributors and readers! It takes a village to support small businesses and we are appreciative of your continued support and belief in Huron-Perth Boomers magazine.

Happy Spring!

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Welcome to winter!

Category : Uncategorized

Since our children were born, parents of older children have been telling me “Enjoy it while you can because time goes so fast.”

At the time, as a sleep-deprived young Mom, it was the last thing I wanted to hear; yet I now realize how true it is. I am more aware, with each passing day, that as our children get older both the days and the seasons fly by faster. It feels like I was just writing last winter’s Publisher’s Note, and here we are again!

Being mindful of how fast time goes, we felt it was important to take advantage of our time together, and we embarked on a trip of a lifetime to Greece in September.  Our girls – aged 11 and 8 – missed the first two weeks of school and joined us, along with my husband’s parents and sister, to explore three Greek Islands, as well as Athens. Intergenerational travel is something we had never experienced, and we had a fantastic time making memories in another country while enjoying another culture. There were lots of laughs, a few tears, and some learning curves, but mostly just fun!

This issue leads up to our 3rd anniversary of publishing Huron-Perth Boomers, and there seems to be no shortage of topics to discuss that are important to adults 50+. There are many things you’re thinking about, struggling with, and wanting a local expert’s opinion on. In this issue we cover topics such as low vision and eye health, how to pack a capsule wardrobe for your winter holiday, a trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon, a Bucket List travel feature of local women who hiked the entire Bruce Trail, and so much more!

Thank you for continuing to support Huron-Perth Boomers magazine. We are so very proud to be the only local, free magazine for adults 50+ in Huron and Perth counties.

Happy winter!

Amy Irwin
Publisher, Huron-Perth Boomers

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Keep travelling this fall

Category : Uncategorized

Yet another amazing Huron/Perth summer has come and gone. It seemed to be the perfect mix of just hot enough, with all the sunny days explorers and beachgoers needed to be happy, and just the right amount of rain at just the right time to keep the farmers happy too.

Our family had a fantastic summer, spending time camping, at the beach, and many evenings and weekends at local ball diamonds, as both kids played this year. Our girls also took in a couple of day camps, our oldest started babysitting a day a week (where did that time go?), and they experienced their first non-family wedding, where they danced the night away.

The experts say it’s going to be a beautiful fall, weather-wise, perfect for continuing to embrace all Huron/Perth has to offer. My family has become a proponent of the fall vacation (sorry teachers!), because we don’t think the exploring and travelling has to end as soon as August does. As life seems to get so much busier in October, we think it’s important to embrace travel in the September shoulder season, so this year our entire family – my husband’s parents and sister, plus the four of us – are heading to the Greek Islands (with a few days in Athens), when a good portion of the international tourists have gone home.

Although we’re less local than usual this fall, I encourage you to use our final beautiful days to do some last-minute exploring around Huron and Perth – most of the highlights are still there in all their glory, they’re just less busy!

As always, we have a great issue for you with many interesting stories, and our continued gratitude goes to our contributors, advertisers, distributors and you, our reader! Thank you for making Huron-Perth Boomers magazine the go-to source of local information for local adults 50+!

Amy Irwin
Publisher, Huron-Perth Boomers

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Spreading love and kindness

Category : Uncategorized

Summer – we thought you’d never show your true self!

Winter seemed especially long this year in Huron/Perth, costing us most of our spring, so it’s nice to finally be able to get outside and mostly know what to expect, weather-wise.

Summer is always a gem in our beautiful corner of Ontario. The fact that we only get a few months of it a year makes it that much more special. I think we should wring every drop out of it, knowing that local highways will be threatened to close again before we know it.

This issue marks our third summer of informing and entertaining adults 50+ in Huron/Perth, and this issue is extra special to me because, in all my years of publishing, I have never written an article… until now! In this issue I detail my volunteer trip to Nicaragua with a group of like-minded residents from Port Elgin and across Ontario.

I had the privilege of travelling to Nicaragua for 10 days in February on a volunteer trip where we did our best to help the people of that very poor, and incredibly beautiful, country. It was truly a life-changing experience, and I’m proud – and also a little nervous – to be putting myself out there in print for the first time. Read ‘Love and Kindness in Nicaragua’ on Page 14.

We also have interesting stories about the benefits of being connected to the natural world, how to be a support for people who have lost a lifelong partner, Huron County’s many connections to space travel, photography tips, and much more!

I hope you and your family have a chance to soak up all summer has to offer this year, and I wish you blue skies, warm sand and lots of memories!

– Amy Irwin, Publisher, Huron-Perth Boomers

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We want to hear from you!

Category : Uncategorized

We did it! We made it through another Huron/Perth winter!

My family spent a lot of time at the arena, cheering on our daughter’s hockey team, as well as those of our friends’ children. I love how the community comes together at the rink, especially for those exciting playoff games! However, I look forward to fewer Zamboni fumes and the absence of snow, salt and ice, and I can’t wait for green grass and temperatures above zero!

My thanks goes to all of you who provided feedback on our Winter 2017/18 issue! We love to hear from our readers, so be sure to reach out and tell me what you enjoy, and if you have story ideas for future issues please touch base. Also, if you have a minute, please fill out our readership survey, which provides us with important information about how to best serve you! Find the link on our Facebook page or click here.

We have curated another awesome issue of Boomers for you this spring. We have a very informative health article about shingle and the new vaccine, the combative nature of the area’s earliest newspapers, and a feature on mindfulness and meditation. Our Travel feature takes a trek to Utah, which – as the story states – is somehow the forgotten destination when you talk to people about America’s western states. When you see the photographs taken by author Amy Muschik, you’ll start Googling the price of airplane tickets to Salt Lake City (at least if you’re anything like me!). Our Bucket List feature follows well-known Stratfordites Eddie Matthews and Lori Lupton as they explore the stunning fjords of Iceland and Norway.

As always, my gratitude goes to our advertisers, readers, writers and distributors for making Huron-Perth Boomers the premier publication for local adults 50+.

Have a wonderful spring!

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Don’t let winter get you down

Category : Uncategorized

Thanks for picking up the winter issue of Huron-Perth Boomers! We have another great issue for you, with one story in particular that gave me pause. It’s about beating the winter blahs (Page 4), and it explains how we’re physiologically dispositioned to conserve energy at this time of year, so we need to stop being so hard on ourselves when we feel the need to hibernate during the cold winter months.

The seemingly endless grey days that winter can bring does dampen my spirit, so this year I’m going to make an extra effort to get outside as much as possible, whether just going for a walk (read our story on Page 8 about safe winter walking), cross-country skiing, playing with my kids or public skating at our local arenas. Sometimes, the crisp air is all I need to get the bounce back in my step.

Much of our ability to enjoy the outdoors this time of year, of course, depends on what Old Man Winter brings. With the past two winters being so mild, the prognosticators are unsure of what to expect this year – some say we’re in for a ‘true Canadian winter’ with deep snow and long cold snaps, while others see another ‘open’ winter, with yo-yoing temperatures and on-again, off-again snow. Though I’m not a huge fan of the white stuff, I do hope it’s one way or the other instead of bouncing between cold and mild. It could be an old wives tale that cold weather kills the bugs that make us sick, but I know the past two winters have allowed cold and flu season to hang around our house for what felt like the entire winter, as it did with most of our family and friends as well.

Regardless of what the winter brings, I must thank our writers, advertisers, distributors and readers for their continued support as we approach our second anniversary, which we’ll achieve with our Spring 2018 issue. Your kind words and willingness to be a part of the magazine allows us to be an important and entertaining resource for adults 50+ in Huron and Perth counties.

Happy holidays and all the best in 2018!

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Summer felt short, but fall is best

Category : Uncategorized

Yet again summer felt short, and, I admit, it was too chilly and rainy for my liking. On the plus side, I made sure to take advantage of the beautiful, sunny days we did have, making them that much sweeter.

The turning of the calendar isn’t all bad news either because fall is, by far, my favourite season, so I welcome it with open (although sweater-covered) arms. Growing up on a farm that featured a small apple orchard and roadside market, on Hwy. 21 north of Goderich, fall was always our busiest season, as the apples were harvested. This fall marks the first year in a quarter century I won’t be helping my parents on the home farm, as they are enjoying their first year of retirement. Had 15-year-old me knew I would one day miss all the work that goes into an apple harvest, she’d be floored, but fresh apples off the tree just can’t be beat, regardless of how much work it takes to put them in your hands. I wish my parents, Roger and Gail Farrell, a well-deserved retirement!

We received a lot of positive feedback about our summer issue, including much about our Hospice story, however please note Jessica’s House in Exeter was inadvertently overlooked in that feature. Be sure to update your list of hospice resources in Huron-Perth with Jessica’s House and learn about the amazing work the community is doing to make this dream a reality at

We’ve worked hard to put together another fantastic issue of Huron-Perth Boomers for you and I think all the articles, written by local authors about local people in Huron and Perth counties, are worthy of enjoying with a hot cup of coffee or cold glass of wine! Welcome to our new advertisers and a sincere thank you to our ongoing advertisers, readers, writers, distributors and supporters. We strive to be a true community publication and it’s only with your support we can be the premier publication for local adults 50+. Please continue to support those represented in our magazine by keeping your spending local as much as possible!

And enjoy all the amazing sights, tastes and events our area provides this fall!

Amy Irwin
Publisher, Huron-Perth Boomers