The Welcome



Imagine a wagon moving slowing across a dry, barren land. It’s very hot. Your bonnet is only so much protection from the blazing sun. Your baby cries in your arms.

Your sixteen year old son leads the oxen across the dessert and your husband walks along beside the team. You’re on your way to a new land and a new homestead. You are part of a pioneering family and you know that one day your picture will be in every history book. You only hope that those writers remember to mention how hungry you were when that photo was taken, how your back ached from holding yet another child, and how you dreamed of living another life, one in the city where there’s a college and women could where new crinoline dresses. (I’m digressing.)

Once you reach your new homestead there is a visitor on the horizon. Her wagon, unlike others, has a special aura around it. It’s, in fact, a magnificent wagon, unlike your tired one and your husband is just as intrigued as you are when if approaches you and your family.

She, let’s call her Sarah, pulls back the tarp and inside the wagon is an abundance of riches; these luxuries glisten against your tired, sun damaged eyes. “Welcome”, she says. “I’ve been waiting for you”.

Sarah is, of course, the Welcome Wagon. She bestows these gifts to you as a form of acceptance to this new land. Sarah is good with commerce, too. She knows the importance of helping families and helping local businesses. Sarah paid off her wagon in no time, saving money to start her own preserve company.

The present Welcome Wagon can help you as well.  Our wagon has been replaced with more formidable transportation but the riches still remain.

Sarah’s program has now expanded to include: Baby Welcome and Business Professional Welcome. The Community Welcome is still what we are know for and we are recognized not by our wagon but the large wicker basket.

I, personally, am in charge of the Business Professional Program and for Woodstock, Ontario, it’s called “Woodstock Business Welcome”. I truly care about Woodstock business and do my best to promote local business through gifts/tokens from our sponsors, blog writing, Tweeting, and Facebook communication.

Interested in become a Woodstock sponsor? Please message me for more information:


Spiders and Snakes


Jim Stafford sings to me about the dangers of spiders and snakes. It’s a nostalgic memory, filled with 8-tracks, t-birds and The Brady Bunch. “I got silly and found a frog”, Stafford croons. I know the crowd in the store have probably never heard of Jim Stafford, or even Mary Lou, the girl he sings about. However, I’m okay with that. I’m from a time when music told a story, even if it’s about a boy showing his girl a frog. Who here likes spiders and snakes? I do, I say proudly and proceed to the 70’s section of the store.

This store has most genres – my family even revels in the Bing Crosby selection. CD’s are both used and new.  The back section of the room offers value CD’s for only $1.00. Doug says this is a popular section of the store.

The Record Works has been present in the Woodstock for a long time – 29 years in fact. Doug Marsh started with records only, but soon proceeded to videos, then on to DVDS/bluerays and now stocks video games. His store also offers cell phone repair, with Cellular Magician. He offers a wide assortment of most forms of media. His trade- in option is popular, too.

When asked to reflect on his time in Woodstock, he is proud of his longevity. He’s still here and he’s still strong. Many businesses have come and gone, but he’s still evoking memories of the 70’s.

The Record Works, 399 Dundas Street, Woodstock, Ont.  (519) 539-7707

Amanda’s Taxis


The baby bounces on her knee. Amanda does not miss a beat. She continues to bounce the baby and talk to me, too.

She’s the face behind Woodstock Taxi – manager, book keeper –  a regular Jill of all trades.

“I believe in this company” she tells me one day in her living room. Technically, she’s on mat leave, but that does not stop the employees from emailing her or calling. Of course, she answers. That’s the type of person she is – she’s all about the details and nothing goes over looked.

She even feels guilty about a toothache and she shouldn’t really. However, this shows you the diligence of Woodstock Taxi. It’s been a fixture in Woodstock for about 10 years now and for many of those years, Amanda has been steering its progress.

Woodstock Taxi consists of a fleet of 25 cars, with 7 cars on the road in an average day. With that said, Woodstock Taxi operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Not many companies can testify to that.

They offer discounts for seniors, too. Woodstock taxi asks that you identify yourself early in in the ride as being eligible for such a discount. One of their cars is wheelchair accessible, she adds. That’s so convenient for the customers.

Woodstock Taxi also specializes in airport runs. Just name the airport and you will have a driver waiting to take you.

They also excel in customer service. This is something she’s quite proud of.

She pauses for a moment. They baby needs a bottle.

“Where was I?”, she asks imploringly. I remind her and she continues.

All her drivers have defensive driving training and years of professional driving experience. She won’t hire just anyone to drive her cabs – only the best.

Some companies have exclusive contracts just with Woodstock Taxi. She reminds me it’s not too late to book Woodstock Taxi for that company barbecue or family reunion.

I guess it’s time to hail a taxi.

Or, calling might be easier. Woodstock Taxi 519-537-5500

To Color, or not to Color


I’ve taken to coloring lately. Adult coloring books are hot now.

My book contains garden images and I’m coloring a garden with whimsical flowers. These posies won’t appear in any vase, their seeds cannot be purchased at any nursery, but they’re my flowers, unique and as strange as I am.

At times, my crayon goes outside of the lines, and I remind myself that this is an elemental rule in life: don’t color outside of the lines.

I find I’m quiet during these times, too. Concentration is at its highest as I make sure that each leaf is perfect.

I secretly dream of a showing at the local gallery. Ten or twelve pieces should do it. I even know the wine I would serve and of course, some local cheese. People would linger before each piece and comment on how the red complements the brown of the trees, or perhaps one crayon “stroke” was too heavy near the grass and I would, therefore, never see a showing in Toronto. These are adult dreams, though, with a child’s activity.

Needless to say, I will be buying more coloring books and more crayons. A good pencil sharpener is needed, as well.

All these items can be found at Buck Buck Goose in Woodstock, Ontario.