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Bob’s Meanderings: Unexpected


Life is full of unexpected surprises. Most have a twist – generally hopeful or depressing. When things change suddenly in our lives, naturally we experience emotional reactions in order to make ourselves ready for the change. Emotions make us take notice and gather together the energy for dealing with important life events. This unexpected change can be positive or negative depending on its nature and how we feel we can cope.

When a funding grant from Ontario Trillium was successful for a new entrance and walkway in the spring of 2019, euphoria spread. Construction could have begun but being an 8–10-week project, we waited until early August, allowing for major events to play out.

Unfortunately, the contractor needed until mid-Sept for all its details to be confirmed. They were still optimistic to finish by the end of November and in time for Christmas events. It didn’t happen. An early frigid winter put the kibosh on that possibility and the project was shuttered until spring – entry into the Hall through the back stairs..

Spring came, construction was renewed. Then another setback. A forgotten artesian well located right in front of the entrance was interfered with and the project flooded out. That obstacle, a few other blemishes and Covid delayed the project until the Fall – nearly a year late.

Out of the blue, a grant I had given up on was awarded. This one included enough items to enable WDRA programming outdoors rather than inside the Community Hall where people were still hesitant to gather due to Covid. If we get pleasant weather, changes should be noticeable in May. Am I worried about delays? Not in the least.

I can’t predict what surprises are in store for me in the future but if they are as enjoyable as a story sent to me (see below) I would be pleased.


Hi Bob

I enjoyed what you had to say about Music and healing. I just thought I could share with you a little personal experience I had about twenty years ago when I was in the Shouldice Hospital in Toronto for a Hernia repair.

After the operation the Doctor told me to exercise each day until I became uncomfortable. It would enhance recovery. So, I walked around the hospital and the grounds regularly, and during my walk I went through a dinning room where there was a beautiful grand piano. I was wanting to try it out, ( it is my nature to explore musical instruments) so I asked the kitchen staff if it would be possible to try it out as part of my routine. So I would walk for twenty minutes, then stop at this piano and play for ten minutes.

Others were in the hospital doing similar things, but when I sat down at the piano, others were sitting down in the hall and as I played they would listen. Each time I arrived, there would be a bigger crowd gathered in the listening area, including doctors, patients and kitchen staff. I was just playing some Folk tunes. But, I had an appreciative audience. After doing this a few times, a sizable audience was gathered in front of me. One gentleman from the audience approached me and gave me his business card, which I have unfortunately lost. He was the owner of a pharmaceutical company and was responsible for a series of nursing homes in the city of Toronto.

The gentleman said to me, “If you would come to Toronto and just do what you are doing here, I could provide you with a full time job. Your music is doing something for these folks that drugs cannot touch.”

I had always been a little reluctant to sit down at a piano in a nursing home and play, but his words gave me the courage to do so. I now do that sometimes, not on schedule, but when it fits in with my life, and I think the old man knew what he was saying. I call my music “Healing Music” and I find an appreciation for it whenever I get a chance to play.

Just thought I could share this with you.

Have a good day