ParkTales out of gas



Frances escapes to lake to recharge batteries for election battles

But boat runs out of gas and leaves her blowing a whistle for help

By Frances Sedgwick

True North Perspective

Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.

Three elections in such a short period of time is enough already, give me a break. 

And a break  I took from all candidate's meetings, electioneering, leafleting, talking my head off warning of yet another possible Conservative Government, this time at the Provincial level.
We have the Harper disaster federally. Not really by a majority vote like he likes to pretend.
Then we have the embarrassment of Mayor Ford in Toronto.
I said to my friends if a conservative government is elected provincially, I'm leaving  the country for Cuba. Enough already. Disaster.
So off I went to my lakeside trailer on a park by Rice Lake. Just had to get away. Just had to take a deep breath to recharge my batteries to continue the struggle against all this madness.
And what a relief it was.
This time of year during the week there is hardly a soul there.
Country bliss.
No loud music. Just the sound of nature.
You can hear the crickets sing, yes sing or buzz.
You can see stars, yes all those formations you learned about in school. There they were.  
The big dipper, so clear.
I couldn't stop "drinking" in all this environment.
I didn't realize how much I had been missing nature. 
The saying, "Take time to smell the roses" came to mind.
I certainly did that.
I had not been out on the water for several years and when Wayne, the trailer park grounds keeper, asked me if I would like to take a spin around old fishing haunts that my husband and I used to frequent, I said sure.
Off we went on the lake at full throttle. 
As Wayne and I were roaring out on the lake I said to Wayne, I remember being stuck out on this lake by myself on a hot summer day when my motor died. I had to row to shore.  Being a hot summer day there were lots of boats on the lake and no one stopped to help me.
I was so mad, I yelled out, (voices carry on the lake), "If I was a beautiful blonde you would all be turning somersaults to save me."  
Wayne laughed. 
At that moment the motor on his boat sputtered, then died.
Out of gas. We both laughed at the coincidence.
Now it was getting near dusk and his big boat was not one you could row. 
He had one paddle and tried in vain to manoeuvre the boat towards our docking area.
Fortunately the wind was in our favour and we were drifting in that direction.
I didn't panic at first, experienced as I was after 25 years on that lake, but as dusk was descending I suggested we wave to others.
Wayne finally agreed and blew the whistle we are legally obliged to have on board in case of such an incident.
No response.
We saw a rented float boat go by but they just ignored us.
By this time I was getting more than a bit nervous.
I blew the whistle and yelled.
Finally one the residents of our trailer park, coming in from fishing, saw us and towed us in.
You can imagine that the talk of the Park was about our "incident".
A comic relief from my election woes.
The furor was over the fact that the float boat did not stop to help us and that that was in violation of the regulations when getting a boating license, "You must help someone in need of help unless it endangers you".
So what a different world with different questions.
Now back in my Parkdale I am ready to continue in the final stages of the election campaign to get the message out there, "Defeat the Right" and put People before Profits.
My Parkdale.

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