|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | May 17, 2018|
I was talking to a reader this week and he joked that Christmas comes to Haliburton County on the Victoria Day long weekend, not Dec. 25.
He called to chat about the lack of affordable housing and the cost of living. He said he empathized with those struggling to make ends meet here but said it wasn’t about laying blame – such as pointing a finger at seasonal residents and accusing them of driving up housing and other costs.
He’s right. After all, our seasonal residents are the economic engine of Haliburton County. If we didn’t have them, our social woes would be far greater than they are and that is something none of us wants.
So, as we often do in our Victoria Day edition, we welcome back our seasonal residents and visitors because we do appreciate what they bring to the county. And, by that, I don’t just mean money. Which isn’t to say we don’t appreciate the millions of dollars that pour into the county during the summer months. However, we also appreciate renewing old acquaintances, seeing new faces and hearing new stories. It broadens our collective perspective without having to leave home. Because many of us full-time residents don’t leave home in summer. We’re far too busy working.
I was up in Sudbury last weekend and somewhat lamenting how my partner and I work a lot during the summer and how we can’t get away for a holiday. But, my wise sister-in-law pointed out that when it comes to the distinct pleasure of living in Haliburton County, every day can be a holiday, as we are surrounded by beautiful places to play. People come from all over the world to explore Haliburton County and its immediate surrounds, she pointed out.
For those of us who live here full-time and are preparing for a busy season ahead, it is a timely reminder to take time out to play in our own backyard. It means carving an hour out of each day to go for that walk, hike, bike ride or paddle. It is time to give ourselves the gift of fishing at sunset or joining family and friends for a float down the Gull River on the weekend. Take a day out and drive to Algonquin Provincial Park to recharge your batteries. And, jump in the lake. Okay, maybe not on the May 24 weekend. The ice is not long off some lakes. It’s freezing. But take plenty of summer plunges. Eat ice cream and drink milkshakes. Watch lots of sunrises and sunsets.
It’s been a long winter and we all need to remember why we come here every summer, or live here all year long. Welcome back cottagers and visitors and welcome back summer.
Lisa Gervais is the editor for The Highlander.