Letters – Our readers write: Spring 2008

Letters published in the SPRING 2008 edition of In The Hills magazine.

March 23, 2008 | | Back Issues | Departments | Letters, Our Readers Write | Spring 2008

A happy outcome to a tragic accident

I have waited until this time to send this letter to y’all as I wanted to reflect the final outcome of our sad event leading to a wondrous conclusion. The flow of this “circle” could never have been predicted or anticipated. It has, however, a happy ending which has been a great relief to our family and all the families who in one way or another have been affected.

Let me state for the record that this is an unabashed letter of thanks. I hope you will publish it. I have so many folks to thank and it was the only way I could think of to get the job done – and we always “get the job done” here!

I have learnt much over the past four months as I celebrate my fiftieth birthday. Mostly, I know now that we truly have little control over our lives. The twists and turns it may take and the joy of it all is part of the mystery. I am sure I have learnt now to enjoy the journey, the people around me and the love which miraculously transcends everything around us.

Last spring, Monica Duncan’s wonderful article in In the Hills about our new therapeutic riding facility (“Therapeutic Riding Gives Kids a Leg Up,” Headwaters Equestrian Directory) alerted folks that horseback riding is not just for those with able bodies and minds. The benefits for the disabled are becoming better understood by both those who ride as well as by those who do not.

Later that year, on what was otherwise an unusually fine Thanksgiving weekend, a tragic lightning strike ended with the death of our three therapeutic riding horses, Faith, Hope and Patience. It was a shock to say the least. The pain was almost too much to bear. For a disabled child especially, the connection between them and “their” horse is magic! I am truly in awe of how a flash of lightning could change the lives of so many individuals. We had no idea how we would continue.

Something good had to come of all of this.

Jason Thompson, rodeo champion and farrier, but most of all friend, stepped up that day and for weeks afterward. Not a therapy lesson was missed thanks to Dallas, his award-winning quarter horse, who took on the daunting job of learning what these children needed and performing with uncanny intuition and sensitivity.

And the magic continued – I get goose bumps just recounting what happened next. A dear friend of mine, Barry, was ready to “cowboy up.” He contacted CITY TV and Global News. Both arranged for crews to come up to us and did what they do best. Our story caught the attention of a lot of people. A glimmer of light started to penetrate a very gloomy period. An offer to donate a horse came to us. It was an incredibly uplifting feeling to know others were feeling our pain and were willing to help.

However, it was when Monica Duncan caught wind of all this, that the sparks began to fly. No magician could have predicted what happened next. You see, Monica had met our horses while doing her article for the Equestrian Directory. It is rare to encounter people who “talk the talk and walk the walk,” but when she heard of the untimely death of our therapy horses, she contacted the directory’s project manager, Kirsten Ball. Thanks to her immediate action, our world and the world of “our children” was about to change forever. Monica’s urgent request for help on our behalf led Kirsten to send out a massive e-mail appeal to everyone in the directory’s database out there in horse country.

Kirsten, thank you for your incredible response to Monica’s request. Needless to say, the response from the local horse community, which was filled with compassion, love and generosity, was overwhelming.

For our new therapeutic riding horses, we wish to thank Margie and Tan for Joy, our dark chocolate standardbred; Bev and Ross for Courage, our milk chocolate quarter horse; Wendy for providing Grace, our cookies-and-cream Appaloosa; and Samm, for donating Honour, our vanilla and chocolate-chip thoroughbred. Thanks to them, there are once again special children who have fallen in love with “their horse.”

We also thank, in a huge way, the kindness and generosity of Greenhawk in Orangeville for setting up a donation venue in their store, and everyone who contributed.

Special thanks must also go to Sarah Wilson Show Horses. Sarah arranged for a horse show (without my knowledge I might add) where all the proceeds went to Traditions Farm Therapeutic Riding Centre. All proceeds from both efforts have gone towards the creation of the special equipment needed for our disabled riders.

As I write this, I am watching these four characters prancing through the snow-covered fields, proudly knowing their work has just begun.

Ian Woolf, Traditions Farm Therapeutic Riding Centre, Town of Mono

Alex Raeburn, left, accepts his award from the Honourable David C. Onley.

Alex Raeburn, left, accepts his award from the Honourable David C. Onley.

Alex Raeburn honoured with Heritage Award

Your readers will be interested to know that Alex Raeburn of Caledon, profiled by Ken Weber in your magazine (“A Man for All Seasons,” summer/05), has received The Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The award was presented by the Honourable David C. Onley on Thursday, February 21, at a ceremony at Queen’s Park during Heritage Week in Ontario. Caledon Mayor Marolyn Morrison attended the special reception hosted by the Lieutenant Governor.

The award falls under the Heritage Community Recognition Program which recognizes individuals who have made sustained volunteer contributions to preserving, protecting, and promoting community heritage over a period of twenty-five years or more.

I prepared his nomination documentation last September. It included letters of support from former Premier Bill Davis and former mayor Carol Seglins, and was submitted by the Town of Caledon with the support of council.

Alex Raeburn celebrated his 95th birthday last November and may well be the oldest recipient of this award.

Marg Foster, Heritage Caledon

More hockey practice wanted

I read “Confessions of a Hockey Dad” (winter/07) and loved every moment. I am in total agreement that we need to change the House League game-to-practice ratio from 1:1 to at least three practices to one game.

My son, who has played hockey since he was four and is now sixteen, agrees. He has always enjoyed practice when it is well designed with disciplined fun and constant movement within and between drills (no standing around). He knows from his own experience that without practice or skills camp individual skills are never developed. There may be such a thing as a natural athlete, but most of us need development.

My husband, who has coached for over ten years, has asked the executive team why the House League format continues at the 1:1 ratio, compared to the Finns who have a format that is far greater than three practices to one game, which is why they seem to be developing at the game so much faster then other countries.

I’d suggest we put it to the vote of the members and see how many parents really want to change the format.

Diana Goncalves, Hockley

Kudos from near and far

Congratulations on a great magazine. We look forward to its arrival with great pleasure.

The articles are always so interesting and we even enjoy the colourful advertising. We especially enjoy the calendar of happenings, “What’s On in the Hills.”

We are not residents of the “hills,” but have a summer cottage in the Hockley Valley, built by my father in 1930. Since my husband retired, we have spent the last few years exploring the area, thanks to your magazine.

In that time, we have learned more about the area than during the seventy-plus summers spent at the cottage. We are now members of Theatre Orangeville and Dufferin County Museum. We can find enough activities to keep us busy all year, and rarely have the need to head to Toronto for our entertainment.

We just want to tell you how much pleasure you have given us.

Joan and George Galliford, Brampton

After leaving Adjala Township five years ago (having enjoyed thirty-three years on the Third Line), we continue to anticipate the quarterly arrival of your excellent publication. To have watched its growth from the early days to its present status of excellence is certainly most gratifying.

Hans and Anne Kurz, Red Deer, Alberta

A pioneer’s tale sparks memories

Thank you for the article by Ken Weber, “Memoirs of a Caledon Pioneer” (winter/07).

The Camerons are my ancestors! I was able to share the story with my mother, who is 85 and a real historian herself, while she was in Barrie hospital after a fall that broke her arm. She was able to recall and expand on more details. Despite her pain, it was a delightful sharing time for both of us.

Ruth Willson, Caledon

I enjoyed Ken Weber’s article, “Memoirs of a Caledon Pioneer” (winter/07). It is hard to imagine the hardship the early settlers endured.

I noticed you quoted the location of Donald Cameron’s farm as Lot 16, Conc 6 East, at the northwest corner of Escarpment Sideroad and Airport Road. That lot is on the northwest corner of Charleston Sideroad and Airport Road.

And now that I’m in a correcting mood, may I go back to the autumn issue? If my memory is correct there was a reference that Bolton post office replaced the name Albion post office in the mid-1800s.

I remember that there was a station on the CNT Line north of the Catholic Church on the 4th Line of Albion. There was a post office there called Albion, with one rural route.

The book Settling the Hills lists a post office at Albion from 1907 to 1958. I recall this rural route becoming RR 3 Caledon East when Albion closed. Then RRs 4 and 5 were added to Caledon East in 1970 when Mono Road post office closed.

George Judge, Caledon

Ken Weber responds:

Charleston Sideroad is indeed the proper location, not Escarpment Sideroad. The error is entirely mine although the Peel Atlas of 1877 does give me a partial excuse. Although lot numbers in all other townships are clearly shown, for some reason the atlas does not offer them for the former Caledon Township.

The first “Albion” post office was established in Bolton in 1832 and officially took on the village name in 1892 when Samuel J. Snell was postmaster. In 1907 a post office called “Albion” was run from a private home just north of Old Church Road along The Gore Road, as the writer indicates. It was closed on September 30, 1958.

An interesting bit of trivia is that there have been no fewer than nine post offices in Canada under the Albion name, two of which, both in BC, are still operating.

Cinnamon bun query

I tried Sandra Cranston-Corradini’s recipe for cinnamon buns (Country Cook: Quick Fixes for Holiday Guests, winter/07), but found it a little difficult to understand. It calls for 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter; however, the recipe doesn’t say when to add it.

I also think the instructions given for the dough are wrong. If you microwave the beaten eggs and milk together, the eggs actually cook a little. Are you not just supposed to heat the milk, add the sugar then the yeast and, after it bubbles, add the remaining ingredients?

Finally, the introduction to the column says these recipes can be frozen. I assume you have to bake them first, then freeze them? I would love to have a cinnamon bun recipe that I could let rise, freeze for later use, thaw overnight and then bake in the morning. Is there such a recipe?

We always have juice/coffee when we wake Christmas morning, open gifts and then have a nice, fancier-than-normal breakfast. Ideally, I would love to be able to put these in the oven, open gifts, and have them ready for breakfast.

Thanks for any advice you can give me. I made the recipe, omitted the butter altogether, refrigerated it overnight and baked them this morning. They tasted okay, but the finished product was slightly harder than I think it should have been.

Sherry Woon, Shelburne

Sandra Cranston-Corradini responds:

My apologies for the butter confusion. There should be 1/3 cup of butter added to the dough, about 1/3 cup for the topping, and one tablespoon brushed onto the dough to facilitate the filling.

I always microwave the eggs with the milk; however, one has to be judicious and err on the side of caution. I’ve never had a problem with the microwave method and make these buns at least once or twice per month.

Unfortunately, you cannot freeze the dough raw, you need to bake it first.

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