I have started walking regularly everyday for 40 minutes. At first, I had to figure out how far I could go before I needed to turn back for home. No, the blisters were not building up on my ankles and I was not out of breath, I have just limited myself to 40 minutes as it seems to be plenty of time for me to build up my cardio and still give me time for all those other things that need to get done in a day. I even encourage my daughter and husband to join me when they are available. So far, I have not missed a day since starting this regime two months ago. Rain or shine I seem to find a time in the day when the clouds part allowing me to stretch my legs for my outdoor jaunt. Even with out of town trips I have been able to fit in my walk. Last night I broke the walk up, as I could not fit it in otherwise.
I forgot my running shoes last week at the ball field and luckily, our captain picked them up and kept them in the trunk of his car until he saw me again. Interestingly enough my shoes made an unexpected trip down to Southern Ontario, as my captain was called away for an urgent family matter; you will not catch me walking that far though. All this walking has increased my thinking capacity and I started mulling over how my ancestors walked their paths in life. As the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference approaches this coming weekend, I am thinking about the presentation I will be making regarding research in Northern Ontario; part of this speech will include migration patterns, modes of transportation to the North, and why they came here in the first place.
Now my daily walks are good for me physically, mentally and spiritually, but a walk in my ancestors’ shoes would tell a different story. I can tell you that some of my ancestors arrived by horse & buggy and some by train, but none came by automobile or plane; yes my ancestors were very early settlers indeed in Northern Ontario. As for the why, one just has to look at what Northern Ontario has to offer and realize they come for land and work. Fur trading in the 1600s was a big attraction for my very early immigrant ancestors and logging beckoned many as well. Mining in Cobalt & Sudbury attracted the Francophone community and railway construction attracted the European immigrants. So,…if I think hard and really use my imagination, I can picture some of my ancestors on foot, trekking through the Northern Ontario wilderness not so much for the exercise, but for work opportunities and just the shear adventure. Although, walking in my neck of the woods does sometimes produce unexpected adventure with the plentiful deer herds munching on the neighbourhood gardens, a mother bear and her cubs feasting in a nearby compost bin and the local porcupine gnawing at our neighbour’s garage door made of wood. Try walking in your ancestors’ shoes sometime, you might learn how life was like for them and begin to understand where you came from in the process.
“MAY ALL YOUR GENEALOGICAL DREAMS COME TRUE!!!”
Tammy Tipler-Priolo BASc, PLCGSThe Ancestor Investigator
is also the Ancestor Whisperer.