2016 January 29. One Day in the Life of a Creation-Loving Volunteer. Today was a Friday though it felt like Saturday. After breakfast of the standard oatmeal porridge, OJ, and tea, but without the usual hard-boiled egg and slice of bread with jam, I filled up the tank of my VW Diesel. (I’ll write about VW diesels and their scandals later some day; my wife and I have two of them.) With prices so low, it only cost me 44 and a half bucks to fill up from really empty. Heading east, I came past the new Lowe’s building supply store—we need more building supply stores?—and onto the 403. Traffic was fine. I spent the morning with three friends from the Bruce Trail Iroquois Club on our newly-restored old barn. We spent the morning putting rock wool insulation in the walls and finished the job by noon. The barn belongs to the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) and stands on land that was given to it. The BTC is the charitable organization that operates the Bruce Trail and raises funds to buy land, and it is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Bruce Trail (www.brucetrail.org).
Do you know the BT? It’s over 900 kilometres of trail along the Niagara Escarpment that runs from Niagara Falls in the southeast to Tobermory in the northwest. The escarpment is a cliff of limestone rock that is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. It contains many protected and endangered species of birds, reptiles, and plants. Why did I join and what do I do?
I joined many years ago and started volunteering about five years ago. I’m a Trail Captain for the section from Tiffany Falls to Sherman Falls, both in Ancaster. I’m to walk the trail about once a month, get reports from my Trail Monitors, keep the trail in good shape by fixing any small problems, report big problems to my Zone Captain, and file a report three times a year. I’m also a donor so the Conservancy can buy land. Most of the trail is on private property, but whenever sections come up for sale, we try to buy them, especially if they are ecologically significant. I joined the BTC to help protect this unique part of God’s creation. We’re all called to take care of God’s garden.
When my volunteering was done, I stopped in at the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) to check out the new Reptiles exhibit—it’ll be a great to show it to the grandkids! Again, Diane and I are members (and Diane volunteers their) to help take care of creation. Who did I run into, but Cindy, a student of mine when I was teaching back in the 1970s! She was there with her daughter (my grand-student, I call her) and her grandson (my great-grand student); that’s how I think of my teaching career heritage.
Home again! I cut wood to bring into the house for the woodstove. (Wood is okay to burn, I’ve read, as it is not fossil fuel.) Three loads ought to do us for a week if the weather doesn’t get too cold. I actually like the mild weather: It will be easier on our (electrical) heating bill. (My wood has all been free so far, since 1993!) Diane and I had a nice supper of potatoes, carrots, beef, and applesauce with fruit and yogurt for dessert. Sounds great, right? After supper we watched the movie The Young Victoria, the Queen Victoria from age seventeen until her much-loved husband Albert died after twenty years of marriage. A tender story and a fascinating glimpse into those times; it ties in with my course on modern Europe as well.
Life is good, ain’t it? Hope it is for you too. Shalom and sleep well.
Here’s Tiffany Falls.