Detective Divas Clue # 2
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Detective Divas Clue # 2

Story Name – Carefree Playday Living in a rural area has its many advantages like being close to nature, freedom from noise restrictions, space to grow your own food, absence of picky neighbours etc. but one of the difficulties if you are new to an area is meeting those few and far between neighbours. Women’s Institute addressed at least two of the challenges one experiences in a new environment. The first was that of meeting neighbours. The local W.I. group welcomed me immediately. Secondly not only did I get to meet ladies in my area, I got to learn new skills like growing my own vegetables and canning them. Guest speakers would attend our meetings and educate us about a number of topics from taking care of one’s health to taking care of the environment, how to be safe around wildlife like bears, the importance of peepers. Not peeping perverts but frogs that sing like birds! At the end of meetings we socialize over tea and snacks. Yumm! Recipes are often swapped and even amalgamated into cookbooks. We get to know one another on a more personal level. Some of our meetings inform us about the needs of local people, the history of how the area grew into what it is today, the plight of people suffering in Canada or around the world. Our Ontario head office FWIO suggests advocacy projects like fighting Human Trafficking, battling Lyme Disease etc. We are interested, informed and inspired. We are connected. Not only are recipes shared with fellow W.I. members, but selling our baked goods or hosting meat pie luncheons or catering anniversary parties developed into fundraisers. Funds are then distributed to needy families or charitable organizations. What a wonderful way to support your community and have social time with ladies in your neighbourhood! W.I. is certainly not all work and no play. We have had pot luck dinners, carnival games, auctions, card games and restaurant outings. Now in celebration of 125 years history of Women’s Institute we have been asked to play, have fun, create. Some of the members of our scavenger group had never played with Lego before so they weren’t sure what to expect. The first part of the challenge was to obtain Lego. I was able to score a bucket of Lego from my grandchildren but it was all different pieces dumped together. Oh my! How does one work with this? After sorting the pieces into groups by colour we were ready to start. We donned our Kids Workshop aprons. First part of the challenge: create something that represents W.I. to us. That was easy. Our branch usually has speakers who teach about various topics so we decided to build the Bent River Schoolhouse where W.I. meetings were held. That W.I. branch merged with our current one and the Bent R. School has since been sold. Note: we still meet in an old rural schoolhouse at which some of our members in their youth attended and later taught. Some funds from the sale of Bent R. School were donated to our W.I. Archives group. But I digress. Problem: not enough Lego blocks to build all the walls so we settled for two walls. Looking inside the schoolhouse there is a speaker pointing at the blackboard which lists the topic of Food Safety. We have the members sitting at a table with fresh foods in front of them learning about food safety. Outside the schoolhouse are farm animals grazing. The Lego members are learning and socializing. The live WISH group members were snacking on cheese and crackers and red pepper jelly, drinking a beverage of light wine and listening to favourite background music. We laughed, we played, we created, and we discussed what W.I. means to us. We had a very pleasant afternoon. It was more fun than we anticipated and offered us an opportunity to be carefree and childlike again!!! We present our Lego creation ‘Bent on Believing You Can Make A Difference' by Detective Divas Iris Greer, Sharran Back, Brenda Stanbury. Photographer Janet Back. Photo taken Apr 23, 2022 in Windermere Muskoka