In 2004, Glenn and I made a major life change. We purchased Monk Funeral Home in beautiful Bobcaygeon, Ontario. Friends and family thought we had taken leave of our senses, but we had news for them. Our senses abandoned us years ago and we have been looking for them ever since. I believe they left the country.


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Chaos Reigned Supreme

We arrived in Bobcaygeon on February 6th, exhausted and unable to find the funeral home we had just purchased — only slightly embarrassing.

The problem was an intersection that required two quick left turns — turn left from Highway 36 onto Duke Street and then left IMMEDIATELY onto Helen Street.

We planned to sleep on the floor because our furniture would not arrive until the next day. However, good friends from Marmora, Lee and Pauline McNaughton, knew we were too old for such foolishness and booked a room for us that included dinner. For the next month or so, we were regulars at Just For the Halibut.

Our first full day in Bobcaygeon was one to remember. Five people died, and we were completely lost. It was baptism by fire, making arrangements for ministers, newspaper notices, lunches, musicians. The person on the other end kept saying, “Who did you say you were?”  They had never heard of Glenn & Melda Clark which required a long, detailed explanations.

A condition in the purchase agreement specified we could not reveal we were the new owners until everything was finalized.


And bookkeeping? Shiver. Shudder. Cringe. Panic. I had not even taken a basic bookkeeping course in high school or college. The accountant kept speaking gobbledygook that I didn’t know: A/R, A/P GL, P&L, Balance Sheet, Trial Balance, ITCs, Reconciliation, and my biggest nemesis, Journal Entries. I had a mental block about which accounts to credit and debit. You mean I have to file HST returns? Who knew that bookkeeping could be so complicated? Oh, the mistakes I made. Groan. On the bright side, I did not go to jail for defrauding CRA.

Knock, Knock, Who’s There

Ten years later, a funeral director from a neighbouring community visited us and asked if he could buy our business and we accepted his offer — a sweet day for me. It was time to move out of the funeral home into our own home close to town. At last, I could sleep in and wear my pjs all day if I wished. I had plans, big plans. I would leave Susie Homemaker, Molly Maid and Martha Stewart in the dust. Believe me, that foolishness was short-lived; I needed something more stimulating than making beds, swiffering floors, dusting and baking 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies.


I needed an outlet of some sort, but not baking, sewing, knitting, crocheting or quilting.  Local people expressed how much they missed the articles I used to put in the Promoter, but I could not continue because it was paid advertising for Monk Funeral Home.  How could I get my stories out without having to pay for them? Aha! A blog!  One of my earliest blogs was about West Head. My blogs led to storytelling and mental health speaking and it continues.

The Next Chapter

And now we are making another major life change. Our home has been for sale forever and we are moving to my family home in Nova Scotia. As I speak, every room upside down and boxes are everywhere because the movers are coming next Friday, the 27th. It’s too bad the dump doesn’t award AIR MILES®  because we could spend all of next winter in Cuba. We have sold off some furniture because the West Head house is fully furnished. Only the new master bedroom and ensuite bath we are building on the main floor need furniture.

As shameful as it is to admit, you know that I am not a devoted housewife. A clean toilet and shower are the only things I care about. Pull out furniture to clean under? Nope. That means some pieces of furniture have not been moved since put in place in 2014. Naturally, several generations of dust bunnies had to be evicted.

Very recently, I was sorting out the brush/comb drawer in the bathroom. Why do I have ten hairbrushes? I can account for half of them — away overnight and I forgot my brush at home and had to buy a new brush, usually a cheap one that pulled my hair. I kept two brushes and two combs. The same applies to toothbrushes and toothpaste. I think I have every sample from the dentist. Old toothbrushes are great to clean small places every ten years or so.


My night table drawer is a treasure trove of goodies. It’s one of my chosen places to put things so I will know where to find them. It is home to my private tool collection of scissors, tape measure and screwdriver;  junk jewelry, letters and cards that I want to keep but don’t know where else to put them, old eye glasses and anything else I can squish in there in a hurry and still open and close the drawer.

But I Have a Lump in My Throat

The emotional part is leaving our children and grandchildren here. I am trying to remain objective and stay away from the sentimental rabbit hole just in case the dust bunnies I evicted are living there.  Maddie and Isaac love to spend time at “Nanny’s other house” and Greta talks about going to “the yellow house.” I’m sure we will see them in the summer. We plan to return to Ontario in December to celebrate Christmas at the Great Wolf Lodge with both families and we will remain in Ontario until the end of March.


Glenn’s mom, Annie, is amazing for 92 and lives in Peterborough. Glenn’s brother and sister-in-law spend three months in Myrtle Beach so we will move into their Norwood apartment to be close to Annie for appointments and shopping and just because we love her so much.

Still, I have a lump in my throat about leaving Jeremy and Dana, Ed and Allison, Edison, Isaac, Maddie and Greta. I know we can Skype whenever we want, talk on the phone as many times a day as we wish with our “Canada Wide Phone Plan.” And we can hop on a plane and arrive in Toronto in just two hours.

I will dearly miss my good friend, Frances. We have had morning coffee together at The Full Cup, McDoos and now Shakers since 2004. Kindred spirits, that’s what we are — just like Anne Shirley and Diana Barry. Frances and I will see each other in July as we fly to Scotland for the gathering of the “Clan Gregor.”map-of-nova-scotia

Come On Down

Always remember the welcome mat is out for you. You can tent on our hill as long as you bring your hurricane-proof tent pegs, camp in our garage, sleep in the house, connect to our services,  do your laundry and Glenn will feed you. There is one tiny catch: bring your work clothes because “Richard the Builder” has a job for everyone. If you get lost, stay where you’re at and we’ll come where you’re to. And as they say, don’t be a stranger.

Céad míle fáilte!