Chatham-Kent is Home
Spring is here, and Easter is less than a week away. Among all the rebirth and renewal, we are seeing in our gardens, and reminded of in a roundabout way with bunnies and chocolate eggs, it is a time of new beginnings. This week also marks a year of life amid a pandemic and for me personally, five years living here in Chatham-Kent.
Growing up in Elgin County, more specifically Dutton-Dunwich, Kent County did not have much resonance for me. Sure, my dad was a Ridgetown Ag Grad, and carpooled to work at Navistar, but lying East of the Mason-Dixon line that is Rodney, Ontario we tended to gravitate to the St. Thomas and London direction. Moving initially to Chatham was a change, and no small one. I am proud to have been an ‘outsider’ and having since found a home here.
Amalgamation is not a term that rolls off my tongue, and I appreciate all the distinct communities resting under this larger umbrella. I am fortunate to have had coffee, personally or virtually each week for the last half a decade with some gentlemen well-versed in how it used to be – insight worth its weight in gold. Funeral Service has allowed me to experience the Buddhist, Reformed, Episcopal, Baptist, Old Colony Mennonite, Greek Orthodox, and Catholic traditions that have all culminated here. Chatham-Kent is extremely generous, and notoriously last minute. The amount of local musical talent continues to amaze me! There is no shortage of agencies and organizations working for noble causes, and I am proud to count Rotarians, Kiwanians, Legion Members and more among my friends. As a history buff, this area is rich with nuance and important stories that have impacted our whole nation. Is there a rumour mill? Of course there is!
For all it is and is not Chatham-Kent is home. Thank you for helping me to find a place where I can be known as myself, with the awesome honour of helping others come to know, acknowledge, and remember the people that make this community great.