Carleton Place Home Show Defies Wiarton Willie by Christine Armstrong


Thanks Christine Armstrong for this piece- I will be out there on Friday night taking pictures. C’mon Spring!

By Christine Armstrong

I must admit that my relationship with Mother Nature is feeling a little strained right now. I am starting to wonder if she is feeling ok. Has she forgotten what season she is supposed to be starting? Could she be experiencing memory loss? Is she menopausal and experiencing cycles of cold and hot flashes? Mother Nature, can we just have Spring already!

Since I have family roots in the town of Wiarton in Bruce County, Ontario, I still honor Groundhog Day. The town has its own groundhog, Wiarton Willie, which it shares with the nation. Locals, fans and news reporters come out to “hear Willie’s prediction” early in the morning on February 2 each year. Other events at the festival include dances, contests, parades and pancake breakfasts.

This summer I made the road trip up the Bruce Peninsula and went to rub Willie’s statue and dip my toes in the Georgian bay; but I must admit I’m also starting to question what is going on with Willie. Ontario’s Wiarton Willie earned cheers from a crowd of onlookers this year when he emerged from his burrow and failed to see his shadow, which folklore suggests means that spring is just around the corner. His prediction came as a major storm sent temperatures plunging in his home province and blanketed much of the region with up to 40 centimetres of snow.

No offence to Willie, but I’m hoping that the Carleton Place Spring Home Show happening this weekend will encourage Spring to come. Here’s my prediction: Record number of people come out to attend the wonderful Carleton Place Spring Home Show! Following this record turnout, Spring has started with a vengeance. Town Hall declares Spring Home Show new predictor for the arrival of Spring.

So do you cling to any old wives tale about spring? If so what are they or what are the strangest ones you have heard?

Christine Armstrong's photo.
Christine Armstrong's photo.

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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