Posts Tagged ‘Barrie’

Here in Canada we truly know it’s fall when Timmy’s starts serving their Pumpkin Spice Muffin and the leaves start to change colour. I have promised several of my readers that do not get to witness this (because of their lack of seasons where they live) that I would post some pictures for them. Sunday was the first day I actually saw any myself. I was a little further north than where I live and spent the day in Barrie and on Base Borden with family. Without further ado I give you colour…


Barrie Boardwalk






BASE BORDENWhat do you think was the most prominent colour of the day? Think pink. It was everywhere. Of course, that is because Sunday was the CIBC Run For The Cure held right across Canada every year. My sisters and I participate together and make a day of it. It is great fun to see everyone gathered before the start to see who has out pinked who this year.

The turn out was excellent.


Some wore stripes …


… a wedding dress or a grass skirt.


For some a simple pink boa was enough.

SPOTTED DOG with boaThere were all kinds of hats …Pink Hats

… and various shades of pink hair.Pink Hair

This was my favourite team.


People like to warm up before they start to run or walk. Some do it like this.

Warming upPat warms up like this.

PAT WARMING UPThen it is time to begin.

START/Finish Line

We are all heroes this day — the organizers, the runners, the walkers, the survivors, the people we’ve lost to breast cancer and the people who support us every year as we try to find the cure.  We had raised over $304,000 by the time I left (the final total is still to come), just in this one town. Thank you to everyone who supported anyone in this cause. Most of all, I would like to thank everyone who supported me whether it was with a kind word or hard cash.

I hope you enjoyed the colours.


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He-Who arrived home at 2:00 am Sunday morning, which I like to call “very late Saturday night”. He flew down to Florida last week for some R & R and to join a buddy on the drive back to Ontario. Unfortunately for them they had some car problems and ended up abandoning their vehicle  in Chattanooga Tennessee, renting a car and then completing their journey. There had been several phone calls marking their progress (in vivid detail) while still trying to continue the drive in the vehicle eventually left behind. As I listened, I was reminded of an adventureous road trip my sister Pat and I had years ago.

This is not a tale of some wild “bucket list” adventure, but of a simple road trip gone wrong, long before we were all tethered together via cell phone, computers and GPS.  Pat was moving from Barrie, Ontario to Calgary, Alberta. Her husband and a lot of their belongings were already there and she was driving their car and the remainder of their belongings to finish the move.  We started in Niagara Falls (where I lived at the time) on a beautiful, late August morning and after a couple of time-consuming side trips (Toronto) we arrived in Barrie at the storage unit holding her worldly goods. Our first challenge was staring us in the face. How do we get enough stuff that would fill a half-ton truck to fit into an already overloaded 1985 Mercury Lynx- something like this one.

For awhile it looked like I would be getting bungie corded to the roof along with various pieces of furniture. Instead, I promised not to complain as I was folded into the tiny space left in the front seat. I quickly lost  all feeling my lower extremities.  As we passed through Sudbury (home of the big Nickel) I had my eye on the gas gauge praying for a pit stop. Unfortunately for my legs and bladder, Pat went on to Whitefish (don’t ask I have no idea). When we got back on the road it started to rain. A lot. The tapedeck (yes, I said tapedeck) got a serious case of the munchies and started eating our tapes which meant we might be forced to sing to amuse ourselves.  My attempts at resurrecting the tape deck proved to be temporary fixes at best and dash damaging at worst. As we passed through Sault Ste Marie around 9:00 pm, the car stalled out in 4th gear. We started it up again and pressed on through vast areas of nothing to the next sign of civilization. Around 10:30 we were witness to a spectacular display of Northern Lights.  After many hills and many more “Moose Crossings” we arrived in Wawa (home of the giant goose). It was 1:00 am.

Just like Texas…Canadians like “big” stuff.

We got on the road again, still in the pouring rain, only to have the car misbehave in White River (birth place of “Winnie” of The Pooh). Fortunately, they had a “24 hour mechanic on duty”. Unfortunately, he had gone to lunch and would be back in an hour. I ask you, does that not make him a 23 hour mechanic?  Upon his return he diagnosed our car to be terminal and said there was nothing he could do.  We decided to take our chances for now (famous last words). Somehow we survived “Hell on Highway 17”. All we had to do was follow the trail of mufflers on the road. We were told we would hit “a little construction”. I consider actual mine-sized holes quite a bit of construction! We reached Thunder Bay and the car simply could go no further. We literally rolled down a hill into a hotel parking lot. Needless to say, beverages were needed this night!

After waking up and finding I had been eaten alive by bedbugs, a plan was formulated.   The first thing we did was move to a new hotel for the 18 – 20 hour wait while my brother-in-law drove in from Calgary. A trip to the mall helped kill some time but not quite as much time as it took for me to get out of the cab upon our return.  The door in the back  was broken and somehow triggered the locking system. I was trapped in the back seat for quite a while. After calming down, we went for dinner, where I found a hair in my soup and I was served a hoagie without the steak. I gave up and went back to my room to put ointment on my bites.

Pat’s husband finally arrived to rescue us, a half-hour after the rental place for towing things closed, so we spent another night in Thunder Bay. Now remember that part about no GPS or google maps? We got lost trying to find the U-Haul place!  Wonder of wonders we finally made it out of Ontario and into “Friendly” Manitoba, my brother-in-law towing the car with his pickup. Only two more provinces to go. Sixty miles east of Winnipeg, smoke started billowing from the truck. The transmission was pooched. One of our delightful RCMPs came to our rescue and arranged for a tow truck. He was laughing the whole time as he watched the tow truck towing the pickup truck towing the car to the nearest service station. Hadishville, Manitoba (at the time) consisted of the Parkview Inn (four rooms)/Restaurant/Bar and a service station and we were stuck there until the parts could come from Winnipeg to fix the truck – Monday morning. We  had the run of the place for the weekend. The restaurant was closed on Sunday so the owners lent us their vehicle for the day to drive into Winnipeg (home of the author of Winnie The Pooh). By Monday morning we were clearing tables, doing dishes and peeling potatoes to keep ourselves amused. We were back on the road by 5:30 pm with me driving. An hour later there was a big clumping noise. We pulled onto the shoulder but found no problem. After another hour on the road people were waving at us as they passed, mouthing something. I finally made out the word “smoke” and stopped again. It appeared to be the muffler. Back on the road. As the sky darkened and the sun sank, we realized the headlights weren’t working. Off we went again to a service station to replace a fuse. The lights went off again before we left the parking lot. It appeared to be a short. When we reached Brandon (hometown of Amanda Stott, Pat’s hubby did a “MacGyver” with a paper clip. Voila, we had lights … until they started to flicker. Then the fuse board flashed! We were staying put for the night. Did I mention the freak snow storm that had enveloped us? As it turned out, they closed the highway because visibility was so bad, with or without headlights.

The next morning we rose with the sun. The rest of the trip had to be made in daylight. We made it through Saskatchewan without incident and limped into Calgary, white-knuckled and holding our breath. The “Road Trip from Hell” had ended. I was quite content walking around Calgary for days until boarding a plane for my return journey.

The Road Trip From Hell – 3,555 km

I love my sister and missed her a lot. I was really happy when years later she came back to Ontario.  And even happier she didn’t ask me to join her on the road trip back.

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In 1969 my Mother lost her battle with breast cancer.
In 1992 I survived breast cancer.
In 2004 my Sister survived breast cancer.
In 2009 my Cousin – In – Law survived breast cancer.
These are some of the personal reasons I walk in the CIBC Run For The Cure .
I walk in Barrie, ON because that is where my survivor Sister started our team “Busom Buddies”

Bosum Buddies 2010

and because my Sister who lives in Angus is also part of that team. Each member of our team is either a survivor or has lost someone to breast cancer. There are a lot of teams in the Barrie run. There are a lot of groups in the Barrie run. There are a lot of people who participate in the Barrie run. The numbers rise no matter what the weather. So does the amount raised.

Great Turnout

This year, on Oct. 3rd, I woke up to temperatures below 5 degrees and pouring rain in Oakville. I thought of one of my friends who sponsors me, Tim, who’s last comment to me the day before was, “I sure hope the weather gets better for you”. Apparently Tim has an in with Mother Nature because as I drove towards Barrie, the rain cleared and the sun shone. It was a beautiful day.

The people of Barrie take their Run for the Cure very seriously. Women & men of all ages, children, babies and dogs (lots of dogs) participate.

Pink Dogs

Men With Pink Hair

There is a lot of competition for running, for raising money and for the wackiest “pink” costume. This year was a first for the Barrie Fire Department. Starfield Lion manufacturers of high-performance safety clothing for firefighters, police, and other emergency responders donated Pink fire fighter gear for the lads to walk in. These men, who most already consider to be heroes, proudly donned their pink garb and strutted their stuff the whole length of the course. Not an easy task. Their patience never wavered as they talked and laughed and posed for pictures with everyone who asked (pretty much everyone including yours truly).

Pink Firemen!

Kudos to Starfield Lion and the Barrie Fire Department  for caring about their community and doing something about it.

Barrie Taxi was there preparing to unveil their “Pink Ride
donating a portion of their fares for the month.

Pink Ride!

By now you have figured out, that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Everyone can do something to help. My friend Marty Fawnkey deviated from his usual “business and marketing” blog post to  share information that Dr. Aaron Tabor was giving away his book “Fight Now: Eat and live proactively against breast cancer” as a free digital download. An amazing number of young people volunteered to simply be posted along the route of the Run for the Cure in Barrie, to simply cheer on all the participants.
Everyone can do something. How about you? What are you doing? What’s happening in your community?

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