Editorial – October/November/December

A warm hello from rural Ontario in the midst of a fourth wave of the Covid pandemic, the day after our ill-timed (and expensive) 44th federal election and entering our second Corona Virus autumn.

Are you as weary of it as I am?  

I look at the face of the young Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on Page 4, beside this column,  and wonder what he would think of all this. He gave his life serving this country, and the unspeakable hardship and horror he had to witness prior to that untimely death are experiences we can hardly imagine. This year  Flanders Field seems even more poignant, although I don’t know how that can be… but somehow the past 20 months or so  have made me reflect on the sacrifices made by the generations before us and it makes me realize how “selfless” they were.  

As I grow older and my parents’ generation gradually (and sadly) leaves us, I miss those people who had “knowledge” of the war and other hardship. It gave them a quiet wisdom and a gift of common sense that is only learned through difficult times… times when you often discover the true value of life and have to strip away all the accoutrements to figure out what is truly important.

Please remember to take a moment to reflect on the people we owe our freedom to not only on November 11th but perhaps on Thanksgiving as well… or when you stand in a grocery store filled with an abundance of food, or take off in your car to head just about anywhere you like, even in these pandemic months. Life today might have been very different if it weren’t for people like John McCrae. 

I would also like to pay tribute to our dear friend, Leo Howitt, whom many of our advertisers will remember.  Leo delivered the Wayback Times for Jay Telfer back in the early days, right through until about seven years ago when his mind said “yes” but his back said “no” to hauling around bundles of papers.  He loved the route and was a welcome visitor to many locations but always came back regretting that he couldn’t accept the multiple offers to visit for a while.  His routes were long and there was just never enough time .  Nothing would have pleased him more. Leo was kindness personified.  And he was also a “giver” – one of those people who was always doing things for others,  giving of himself and his time. He was simply a loveable guy. Sadly, like so many others,  Covid took him from us.  We are so saddened by this loss and our hearts go out to his wife and family.  What a wonderful man he was. 

It’s bittersweet to have another summer come to a close.  Where the heat and the bugs (including invasive caterpillars) were hard to take at times, it turned out to be quite a lovely summer in many ways.  Once the last lockdown was “unlocked” it seems that buyers were out in droves looking for items that you can’t find at Ikea or Wayfair. It has been incredibly refreshing to hear such good news from many of our advertisers. (One of my favourite advertisers said it was “like the good old days” and that’s saying a lot!)

Show organizers didn’t fare quite as well, although several are slowly making a comeback – cautiously.  The shows that have taken place have been extremely successful and observed the Covid protocol guidelines, as will the future shows listed in our somewhat limited Events Calendar below.  We’ve been asked time and again why one show has been cancelled and yet another was able to run – and we don’t really know the answers to that. Our guess is that it has to do with different municipalities – or if you rent the property the event is taking place on, or own it. In any case, we’re so pleased to hear that the ones that did actually take place were well (and enthusiastically) attended which was good for everyone involved.  Here’s praying that 2022 is going to be a “doors open” kind of year and we can all enjoy the comraderie and wares of our diversified vendors at ANY location, be it market, auction, event or store, hopefully without masks.

A note to the wise … I keep hearing that it’s going to be difficult to purchase Christmas gifts online this year due to the vast number of shortages in everything from circuit boards to wood.  My suggestion to you is to get out there and visit our advertisers and pick up something unique, something beautiful or something quirky – bring a touch of the past into the present, give it new life and fresh appreciation.  

After making some changes to our old house here I’m getting a better idea of some things I’ll be looking for once the fall issue is “put to bed.” Some of these could be antique furniture, some will be treasures for our little granddaughter and I’m certain I’ll come across some things I’ll fall in love with when I see them. I can’t wait to get out to visit the shops and shows and maybe bid at an auction or two.

We wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.  For us, I’m hoping it will be the first time since September 2019 that we can have a family gathering of more than five people. If we’re blessed with a beautiful Indian summer, that could be the determining factor. Despite the challenging times (and who isn’t sick and tired of that term??) family is such a blessing and we live in a country that is hugely blessed!  Give thanks! 

Be safe, be kind, keep well, and God bless you and yours. 

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