Quand j’étais en Europe,,,

It is I find a singular feature of most bloodyminded people (and by the way I include myself in that blunt assessment) that they go on and on about the charisma of the place where they happen to live, as though there were no other, as though the rest of the world were God’s insouciant production just to see if He/She/They got it right the first time. It’s called the “no place like home” eulogy, that seemingly warm and congenial endorsement meant to legitimize one’s return from a foreign land or as a commendation of the universe to which one is currently moored.

I have done a bit of traveling during my lifetime. Curiously enough I cling to that homespun image of domestic territory. Yes, I too believe there is no place like home. In fact my perspective is daily enlarged as I witness the healthful and beautiful evolution of my town, this place I have called home for close to fifty years. In fairness to my gusto (and to confirm my head’s not irretrievably in the clouds), years ago I was also part of what was a major and heated confrontation of members of the entire community. Not surprisingly it was a battle that involved riparian rights; that is, a dispute between the local government, the constituents, the provincial government and naturally the putative owner of the relevant portion of bed of the Mississippi River on which the proposed structure was to be constructed. Riparian rights (and in particular the usage of waterfalls for woollen mills) are the foundation of our town’s evolution both ancient and modern. In case you care, everything about that battle worked out fine, in fact better (the Midas touch of Thomas Cavanagh Construction Limited). At the time I was one of the directors of our local hydroelectric plant. We had an interest in the outcome of the challenge because it involved water control immediately upriver from our plant. Without question the ultimate decisions made by proprietor of the submersible dam were judicious and cooperative with their downriver neighbour.

I am reluctant to go on at length about the many other winning features of our town. It is a place which, aside from meeting all the expected standards of hospital, doctors, retirement residences, nursing homes, dentists, lawyers, chiropractic, massage therapists, banks, golf club, Town Hall, concert hall, hockey and curling arena, lawn bowling club, grocery stores, drug stores, hardware store, retail, art galleries, hairdressers and spas, churches, library, restaurants, butchers, bakers, gas stations, fraternities, service clubs,  etc., the undeniable advantage is that for half a century the town has preserved its native country atmosphere and congeniality. Almonte is still a lovely place to live. I have no remorse surrounding developments over that lengthy period; my aspiration for the future is equally buoyed. The improvements never end!

We have accordingly made long term plans for continued residency (on the other side of town) in this place we happily call home. Our vagabond spirit has again been quelled by the forceful plaudits called home. And for the moment we satisfy our appetite for travel by a similar correspondence with local distraction before heading south for hibernation.