Tag Archives: Lost

Lost in Lanark County? Turn the Radio Down

Lost in Lanark County? Turn the Radio Down

One day in 1983…..

A friend invited me to spend a weekend at his cottage and drew a map showing me how to get there. I left right after work last Friday. I found the map hard to follow and wound up lost on a country road. I stopped to ask a farmer for directions. He hadn’t heard of my friend but he said there were about a dozen cottages some five or six miles away. He told me how to get to them. I thought it was worth a try so I started off.

After I made several turns the road began to get bad. Then it got worse. I slithered through a couple of mud holes. I scraped the bottom of my car on a rock. Once I even had to stop to remove an old tree limb that had fallen and blocked the way. Suddenly I found myself driving right into a swamp. My car bogged down to the hubcaps in black mud. Getting out on my own was hopeless. I knew I would need help.

By now it was dusk and I didn’t want to set out walking through unfamiliar country. I spent an uncomfortable night in my automobile. Next morning I climbed a big pine tree to see if I could spot any cottages ahead. There was nothing but more trees and rocks.

I did discover one thing pine trees are covered with gooey pitch and if you climb one you can junk your clothes. I decided the only thing to do was walk out the way I came in. It took all morning to get back to the farmer’s house. No one was home. I was sticky and hungry and hot and there was no choice but to hoof it another mile to the next farm. Luckily the people were in and they had a telephone. The farmer was very helpful. He said I’d been on a road to an old, abandoned mica mine.

He said snowmobilers and hunters kept it fairly free of fallen timber but it hadn’t been used by automobiles for years. The farmer called a local garage and it sent a tow truck. We all rode back to the swamp. The tow truck couldn’t budge my car. The car was stuck too deeply. The driver said he would have to call another garage that had a big truck with a winch and four-wheel drive. The big truck had to come 30 miles and it didn’t arrive until after 5 p.m. The driver was sure he could pull me out easily and he was right.

But my total bill for both trucks was close to $50. I thought the first farmer, the one who misdirected me the day before, should pay part of my expense. After all, his bad advice had ruined my weekend and cost me a lot of money. I went to see him. He flatly refused to pay. He said I had made a turn he never told me to take. I’m sure I followed his directions exactly.

The farmer was probably right, that I misunderstood his directions. After all, he lived in the area and ought to know the difference between a mica mine and a lake. Anyway, there was plenty of warning that something had gone wrong. The fallen tree limb should have been an unmistakable clue. That wasn’t likely in midsummer on a road that leads to a dozen cottages 🙂 I guess I should have turned down the radio when I first realized I was lost LOL!

So why, then, are we wonky about the radio volume when it comes time to look for an upcoming exit sign or when we’re approaching an unfamiliar destination? It has to do with the demands on our ability to concentrate, and the limitations of the human brain.

Who Knew??

A Lost Letter — Reverend Canon Thomas Leech and Mary Empey Leech

LOST in Cedar Hill

The Lonely Grave of Barney Shiels of Cedar Hill

So Which Island did the River Drivers of Clayton get Marooned On?

LOST in Cedar Hill

LOST in Cedar Hill


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Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

The Lonely Grave of Barney Shiels of Cedar Hill

So Which Island did the River Drivers of Clayton get Marooned On?

I am a Freegan! The Big Ideas of Freeganism


Freegans are dumpster divers who rescue furniture, clothes, household items and even food cast off by others. Freegans aren’t homeless; in fact, most could easily afford to buy their own food. They’ve instead chosen to live what they believe is an ethical, unadulterated lifestyle and disassociate themselves from capitalism and consumerism.The word freegan is a combination of “free” — as in it’s free because you found it in a dumpster.” – How Stuff Works


As I glance at my latest free furniture find that needs a lot of work I smile. Who knew that years down the road the former “Ms. Shop Till You Drop” would try to follow a “semi” Freegan lifestyle.

I had no idea what I had grown into, or what I was, until Oprah did a one hour show on the subject of Freeganism. I saw a lot of people like myself employing anti-consumerist lifestyles as a way of life. We are called Freegans and use a stew of various ideas to create things, as we feel our society wastes too much money.

I have not dumpster dived for food because I draw the line somewhere and do not think my menopausal body could climb over one of those dumpsters these days, even with a step stool . Years ago in the 90’s when I was young and limber I did a few late evening ‘ bin dives” in Cleveland, Ohio for Food Not Bombs. Scavenging for bread stuff wasn’t bad and rescuing the dented canned goods and packaged broken cookies were easy achievements, but greasy food was and will forever be a one time thing for me.

Pulling into the back of Colonel Sanders that night I smelled what my future held for the next thirty minutes. Greasy cold chicken, fries, a sea of coleslaw and runny potatoe salad. If you can picture it in your mind just escalate the horror of it all by ten fold. I have never in my life wanted to run away out of “food fear” like I did that night .

My motto is “Waste not  Want Not” these days. Once upon a time I used to own two rooms of clothes, fourty three pairs of shoes and sixty seven bras. What does one do with sixty seven Victoria’s Secret bras? Not one heck of a lot except take up space in drawers and hope the elastic does not give out from age.

Here are some other thing I have rescued for free or bought from thrift shops– and with a few grandiose ideas have turned them into home.

The oil painting  on the back wall under the faux curtain was free. The 20 dollar couch I covered in burgundy tapestry, and added lots of throw pillows from a local thrift shop. Victorian tea table was 15 dollars and I later found  a  heavy marble table topper that was the same size of the top of the tea table.  It was free, but my backache from carrying was not.

The Walter/ Margaret Keane Big Eyed Pictures from the 60’s. Easel picture holders made from cutlery. All bought from local thrift shops.


The 1950’s Cuba Poster, tall floral vintage Rice Holder (sells for 45.00 on Ebay) and the Vertigo Shadowbox of movie posters,  ticket stubs etc. from Hitchcock’s film Vertigo. All found for free.

The fake expensive plants that are everywhere were left out in the hall when someone moved. Yes, that is my “hatch” on the second floor ceiling. (40 ft high ceiling). You open it up to get air and wait for maybe John Lockefrom the old TV show Lost to climb down and tell you to keep punching those numbers into the computer to save the world.

Thierry Mugler fashion illustrations (numbered) from the 1984 Spring Collection. I got these from an auction and four frames prints were $32.00. They even have pencil notations for which model they were going to use for each design. Heavy plastic background grates bought from a local salvage place, and I hang my pots on the same grates too.

The Clown body vertical cupboard was thrown away as it no longer had a head. I bought a film reel clock for $2.50 at a garage sale and created a head.

My kitchen table/desk that was a former glass-topped pharmaceutical table 52 inches long by 35 inches wide and weighs a ton.  I purchased it for pennies and pushed it home by myself for 25 blocks.

Today our society and especially the younger generations lives with the ‘must-haves” these days- when all you have to do is open your heart and eyes- and with a few ideas you too can live cheaply off the urban land.