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As a child I was exposed to many ways of life. It was a time when doors were open to all and sundry. Dropping in and being welcomed was a way of life, both in the country and in the town.

The United Empire Loyalist farmers settled here first: Fishes, Posts, Featherstones, and Biggars. The Goodwins fled the Irish famine and spent their first winter in a tent. Listers from Yorkshire lived in a fine brick house with no electricity, just oil lamps. In 1920 my family moved from Oakville to a farm five miles north, to an unheated house built in 1888.

Weather, barns, horses, chickens, crops and hard work was the norm. Town friends were different with musical evenings, bridge, ballet classes, parties, piano teachers, and bigger schools. Being curious and appreciative, I belonged to both.

Country is forever in my heart.

There is something very special about living with nature: the freedom of wandering in the woods in spring, smelling new-mown hay, listening to cows chewing cud in the barn, picking apples, skating on the pond.

This is no longer possible, but my hope is that the gardens, orchards, labyrinth and heritage buildings of Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre will bring knowledge and appreciation of the past,
and the importance of living with nature.