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cathy-burkina-featby Cathy Hird

Most of us do not face life threatening situations on a daily basis, but we all feel fear. What are you afraid of?

For some of us, there are social situations that make our chest constrict. Standing in front of a crowd to speak makes our legs shake. We have to go to a party alone, will have to mingle with a crowd of strangers, and we break into a cold sweat. We avoid the friend who lost a loved one because we are afraid of saying the wrong thing.

Sometimes we are afraid of failure. We may over prepare, put in hours of extra work to get it right. Or we are so afraid of failing that we do not try. At times, we are afraid the world is failing, that peace is impossible and climate change is bringing inevitable disaster. We are afraid our life is headed for a crash. We are afraid our child is climbing into real trouble.

Whatever we are afraid of, fear shuts us down. We close our eyes so we don't have to see trouble coming. We close our hands so we do not have to touch the task we cannot handle. We put our hands over our ears and close our minds. Fear shuts us away from other people and from ourselves.

coffeecup-featureSaturday, April 18 the Sydenham Sportsmen's Association and City of Owen Sound are teaming up on a community litter pick-up in celebration of Earth Week. Anyone who would like to volunteer should meet in the city hall parking lot for a 1 p.m. start. Dress for the weather, as this is a rain or shine event.
Rubber gloves and plastic bags will be supplied, and pick-up areas will be assigned according to the number of "litter pickers" available. The Sportsmen will provide snacks and draws for prizes to volunteers at the 3 p.m. wrap-up.

swingbeam-featureJoin author Laura Lush at the South Grey Museum on April 22nd as she leads a tour down memory lane to historic barns in her life through a photographic, poetic narrative journey. Telling the story of her father's life spent on the farm from the early 1930s up until 2010, Laura will read from her book Swing Beam. Her father's story spans from farms near Burlington and St. George to his last location on Hwy 21 near Owen Sound. Laura grew up on farms helping her dad with the everyday chores and treasures a lifetime of memories in rural Ontario. The words in the presentation are those of Barry Lush, the poetry is Laura's. In the words of book reviewer Andrew Armitage, "the combination of the two makes Swing Beam a classic for many generations of farmers who have loved the land, their animals, fields, and barns. Barry remembers barns, thatched ones, bank barns, Dutch barns, Mennonite barns. Laura makes them speak." Event starts at the museum in Flesherton at 7 p.m. Admission is $7 per person and $5 for members. This is part of the annual speaker series, held the fourth Wednesday of every month at South Grey Museum – 40 Sydenham St., Flesherton.

localfood-featureAspiring food entrepreneurs will want to mark their calendar for Food Entrepreneurs: Growing Innovation, a one-day community seminar at the Georgian College Owen Sound campus on Monday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Highlights of the day include panel discussions by successful food entrepreneurs and interactive workshops as well as local producers offering a showcase of their food products.

The seminar addresses the growing need for education and training in the area of food entrepreneurship development. Local, sustainable food has increasingly become a priority for consumers and municipalities recognize the benefit of value-added agriculture and product development as a strategic imperative for economic growth.

cairn-featureby Jon Farmer

I met Lisa McAllister at Grey County's Black History Event standing in front of her grandmother's bible. Printed in 1867, the bible was on display in the atrium of the Grey Roots Museum and Archives, turned open to a page with the birth and death dates of relatives from the early 1900s. She had arrived early to prepare her presentation on Underground Railroad quilts and the way they told stories.

Lisa and I were both born and raised in Owen Sound. The roots of both of our family trees dig deeply into this soil. I'm at least 5th generation Owen Sound and I know that one of my ancestors bought land in the area in the late 1860s. Lisa's family history goes back further. Standing in front of her grandmother's bible, she told me stories about the heirlooms and keepsakes she found in her grandmother's home when she passed, describing letters and photographs older than our country. Her home had been in the family since Lisa's great-great-grandfather built it on 11th St West after arriving in the are in 1856.

Grey County's Black History Event is an annual function, organized by the Emancipation Festival. This year it featured presentations on our area's connection to the Underground Railroad, the lived experiences of local people of colour, a salute to Les MacKinnon, and culminated in the official release of the 12th volume of Northern Terminus: The African Canadian History Journal published by the Grey County Archives.

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