WHO ARE YOU, HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I was born in Nova Scotia, a proud Acadian Canadian. I was raised in Hamilton and obtained a nursing degree from McMaster and finished my 40 year nursing career as President of the Canadian Infection Prevention and Control Association. Outbreak challenges were a constant, including SARS in 2004. On full retirement in 2011, I vowed to close that professional door and open a window to all the things I didn’t have time to pursue while working and raising our three sons. In 2013, my husband of 47 years convinced me we should move to Grimsby, and boy am I glad he did!
WHAT ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW, GOOD? NOT HAPPY?
The Grimsby move brought us closer to our children and grandchildren. What a treat to be able to get the youngest onto their school bus in the morning and off the bus in the afternoon in a neighbourhood of young families that keep watch over each other.
Right now, I am exploring all the possibilities this stage of life can provide. Little did I know how many opportunities the town of Grimsby would offer.
SHOW US YOUR FUN SIDE
CATS OR DOGS?
Morris the cat shares our home.
My husband makes me laugh every day.
Swimming laps, yoga and walking helps me keep the blood flowing.
Who knew you could make new lifetime friends after 65? Just find a shared interest!
HIGHLIGHT YOUR CAREER (STANDOUTS/CONNECTIONS)
• My first community connection was with the Grimsby Breast Cancer Support Group. I had two close family members receive their diagnosis only months apart and this group was welcoming, supportive and informative.
• On my first “Art Walk” a friendly Art Gallery volunteer suggested I might like to help in the Gallery Shop. A great place to start; surrounded by beautiful, local artisan creations.
• The Library Book Club was the next connection quickly followed by the Author’s series book club discussions at Station House 1 coffee house in the winter and the library patio in the summer.
• Joining “Womenchant” a very active women’s choir that rehearses in Grimsby was my next venture. I discovered I was a “mezzo” and loved the amazing song selections that continue to give me goose bumps every time we sing them.
• Although I had never picked up a paintbrush of any kind, I felt a strong need to bring colour into my life and literally fell in love with watercolour. On discovering the Grimsby Lakeside Pumphouse Painters, my real adventure began. What an amazing group! Artists of every level welcomed me. There is a true sense of community at the Wednesday afternoon sessions that is quite rare in today’s world. If you are reading this and your interest is peaked, don’t hesitate to give it a try. My watercolour adventure continues by teaching basic techniques to cancer survivors at the Wellwood Cancer Support Centre in Hamilton.
• Retirement can be a very exciting and surprising time. I wouldn’t have thought in a million years that I would say that I co-wrote a historical play and acted in that play with my young granddaughter. The Lincoln Lamplighter Tour group made that possible. This one of a kind tour – traveling to linked plays at four different local historical sites has to be experienced.
• McNally House Palliative Care Centre is a rare jewel in the Grimsby crown. Volunteering there has become a very important part of my Grimsby life. After so many years working in hospitals, it is a pleasure to help in such a home like environment.
• There are so many more Grimsby experiences to choose from – the Nordic walking group, Tai Chi at the Livingstone Centre, Wednesday noon cooking demos at the Superstore (yum!) and the new Grimsby photography group.
WHAT DOES THE WORD COMMUNITY MEAN TO YOU?
The commonality in all these connections is – “one friendly face”. In every instance (at least) one person took the time to smile and make me feel welcome. That is what brings you back and makes you feel part of something, part of that community. I don’t think it’s an accident that the Grimsby’s motto is “Friendly by Nature”