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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer golf and giving hearts



Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.
                                    ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

We have had three absolutely perfect summer days in a row. 27 degrees under a cloudless sky, with a cool breeze blowing. Country folk just have to open all their windows and let it blow on through. No need for air conditioning. These are good days if you are on holiday, and even better if you need to do some work outside.
Many farmers are getting the last of their hay in now. No one minds working a long day outside in this weather. As I pull weeds and flick potato bugs in my garden, I notice that the breeze keeps the bugs at bay while the sun warms my shoulders.
The horse spends most of her summer days in the cool of the barn. If I go into the barn to do something she will often follow me out, thinking I might let her into the stable. Of course she prefers it there, because there aren’t many flies and hay and water are also available for the lazy girl. But I don’t look forward to mucking out stalls in this heat so I try to keep her outside for the most part.
Misty will be inside less than a minute before she starts complaining that Donkey is not with her. She will whinny loudly at him until he appears outside the stable door, pushing it with his nose to get in. If I’m weeding the garden, he ignores her, choosing instead to stand at the fence where I throw the fresh green weeds.
The Farmer spends his days mending fences and farming equipment, taking advantage of the more temperate weather to get some of the heavier work done.
The Carol Durie Memorial Golf Tournament was a huge success last Friday. Carol’s former students, both from school and the equestrian field came to celebrate her memory by raising money for a good cause. At the end of the day, $60,000 had been raised for the Mammography Unit at the Kemptville District Hospital. Harry Pratt came through on his vow to have his hair dyed pink if he raised $2,000 in pledges. Following the day of golf, he celebrated by having his head shaved.
The other bald heads in the group were the organizers of the event: Pat Poirier, Dean Tataryn, Mark Hyndman, Pete Johnston and Carol’s son, Todd Durie. They were more than happy to have their heads shaved, as they have been sporting mullets for the past few weeks, in memory of their favourite teacher of the 1980s.
The speeches were very moving; at times there were more teary eyes than dry ones in the room. The biggest applause went to Carol’s grandson, who raised $500 with a lemonade stand.
Harry Pratt spoke about the men who first banded together to raise money to build Kemptville District Hospital, in the late 1950s. Norm Goldberg (father of Bob Perry) worked alongside Jackson Flay to raise a quarter million dollars in ten days! The grandchildren of these KDH founders, Jim Perry and Jackie (Flay) Dillabaugh, were on hand to celebrate Carol Durie’s memory and to raise money for a worthy cause on Friday.
The event was titled “The 1st Annual” Carol Durie Memorial Golf Tournament but organizers have not yet decided whether they will hold the event next year. It’s kind of like having a baby. You put so much work into it; people shouldn’t ask you about the next one for at least 6 months.
In any case, the day is one that will be remembered by all in attendance for quite some time. Here’s to you, Carol. Your memory lives on in the hearts and minds of your students, family and friends.

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