A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Rural Life After Loss …...

In recent weeks our local news magazine The Owen Sound Hub has featured a series of articles about the difficulties faced by those whose income fails to meet the outgo needed to keep the 'wolf' from the door and food on the table. Over my more than 50 year working life my wife and I have been fortunate that whilst at times the outgo has been difficult to keep up with the income our frugal lifestyle and my hands on repair skills have permitted us to eventually own an idyllic property in Grey Bruce. Unfortunately my partner of 40 years was struck down with cancer 3 years ago leaving me to share our 30 acres of managed forest with only my working son during the limited hours he is not helping other folks in setting up their own retreat from the big city.

I thus then now spend my days trying to pass the time till its time to assemble something for supper for the two of us. Now make no mistake there is no shortage of 'stuff' to do be done to upkeep on the modest barn & house we built 20 years ago almost entirely with our own hands or keeping those woodland trails from becoming too overgrown. Where the problem comes from is when the ability and ambition to do those things does not match the volume of jobs to be done, lets just say that the previously reasonably tidy perennial flower gardens are now best describes as 'natural' plantings! Its hard to stay active and motivated when most of the time the only conversation and company comes from the woodpeckers and the squirrels!

This self assessment was brought about by the difficulty I have experienced in trying to find a 'companion' to share my idyllic (at least during the summer months, perhaps not so much during the winter) hideaway with someone who perhaps needs a little lift from their current situation. Having made several inquiry's of various social and support organizations in the last year or so with little success I begin to question both my own efforts and that of the groups contacted. In all but one instance the response to my offer of a semi permanent low cost home for a lady in need in return for a little companionship and some household help has met with either total silence or a 'not in our mandate' response. I was under the impression from the various articles features on The Hub that there was an increasing need for inexpensive accommodation for those whose financial situation has left them in need of help to simply put food on the table each week. Was I wrong?

Is the semi remote location and the need for transportation to go into town limiting the number of possible companions to near zero. Is it that the unfounded impression that we are a couple of helpless guys looking for a house cleaning slave or that any male that offers to help out a female is a sexual predator. Is it that my total avoidance of 'social media' is limiting my circle of 'friends' or simply that I have yet to find the right forum to offer our help and need, this then is perhaps my final effort in that regard before I crawl back into my corner and give up the search. Make no mistake at this point the 'companion' part is perhaps the most important bit and thus personal compatibility by both parties will be a key requirement of any successful relationship. 

DMR, Chatsworth, Ont



Anonymous said...


Firstly, I am very sorry for the loss of your wife - I can’t even begin to imagine your pain.

I just want to provide a little insight.

Your last paragraph pretty much nailed the reason your outreach has been unsuccessful. I think people are apprehensive to enter into an arrangement like the one you’re providing, largely due to the safety aspects and what your motives may be.

We live in a world where everyday on the news or social media there’s a reported sexual assault/predator, homicide, beatings etc.. It’s in peoples nature to immediately label people/situations as good or bad and blindly trusting someone you don’t know, especially in a secluded/rural area, seems like an unsafe choice to make.

I think, especially, a woman would be extremely hesitant to move in with two unfamiliar men in order to provide “companionship”, it sounds antiquated/unconventional and a little off-putting. But, please do not take that personally, it is nothing to do with you, but the negativity in the world.

I’m not saying that you have ulterior motives or are a danger, I’m sure you and your son are wonderful people. And based on your posts, what you’re looking for seems innocent, plus what you’re providing is generous.

I do have a question, if you don’t mind: What is the reason you’re looking for specifically a female to move in, rather than a male?

Rural said...

Thank you Anon for your thoughtful reply, I am well aware of the hesitation that single females may feel about replying to such postings and fully expect any ladies who reply to request assurances regarding their safety both initially and long term (hence the use of kijiji). Just about the only other forum to seek such companionship appears to be the various 'social media' (facebook and the like) which I do not subscribe to and distrust and thus this posting was very much a last resort as I am not very sociably active in other ways.
As for my request for a lady I think it is from the wonderful girls I have had in my life from my wife, daughter, cousin and workmates who have demonstrated their compassion and regard for those who need it!