By Lynda Shadbolt

Published Sept. 3 2019

As I sit to write this article I’m sitting on a dock overlooking beautiful Drag Lake. I’m looking after a friend’s dogs while they drop their daughter off at university. Thousands of parents/ caregivers are packing up their cars and driving their kids to college or university this weekend. It is an exciting time.

Jim and I take our daughter tomorrow. As I sit here sipping a glass of wine and taking in the beauty of Drag Lake I can’t help but think about how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to raise our daughter in Haliburton. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
She has had so many opportunities through the early years centre the schools the community theatre the ski club the dance and music studios her places of employment and through all of her friends who have shared their homes and cottages with her. What a lucky girl to grow up surrounded by the arts nature incredible beauty lots of opportunities for adventure amazing music and in a community that is so creative and vibrant and constantly growing. It’s a great foundation and inspiration for life.
I hope that my husband and I have taught our daughter all the important lessons in life so that she can succeed in her first year and in whatever she chooses to do. I had to smile earlier today because we had two young men from North Frontenac Telephone Company (NFTC) come to our house to move our modem in preparation for our renovation (which I wrote about last week). My husband welcomed the young men in and then left to go do something. I was packing up the kitchen and I watched one of the guys look around our house. Every wall is covered in art quotes poetry and messages of inspiration in many colours.

Our friends had an end of summer celebration last weekend and we took the opportunity to use sharpies and magic markers and draw on the paneling cupboards and ceiling tiles in the area that we are renovating. It was a way to say thanks for and to remember all the good times we’ve had in our home and as friends for the past 30 years.
I used the opportunity to write all the things I want to say to my daughter as she heads to Queen’s. Be kind. Read local newspapers. Support independent coffee shops. Forgive. Say yes. Laugh a lot. You will fall and you will get up. Be willing to be uncomfortable. And so forth.

I realized the young man from NFTC was looking at our walls and probably wondering what was going on. So I told him about our renovation and our evening of writing quotes poems inspirational lines of music fun memories etc. He was kind and smiled and said he saw the drawings and wondered if we were really creative or some kind of cool hippies that chose to decorate our house with magic markers. He laughed and enjoyed reading some of the quotes. And I thought that I hope that as my daughter moves out into the world and meet new people and is put into new situations that she will be open and accepting like this young man. Curious and non-judgmental. There are always new possibilities. The world is a more tolerant place one person at a time!
We will miss you Madeline. Good luck and be a force for goodness wherever you are!