Shakin’ the Roof (Apr 1994)

When I choose the picture of the cedar log being peeled for last month's front cover, I knew this photo would follow because it seemed like a logical sequence of events. I wondered what would be happening in my life to influence my next 'Musings' column. I want to thank my Mom for her photographer's determination to capture the moment in action when I was a kid: knowing that I didn't have to create a new front cover each month made starting this magazine much easier. I am delighted that so many of you enjoy ISSUES and I love all the comments and compliments you pass onto me. My Mom deserves all the credit for the cover page.

Her photo this month shows Grandad on the roof, stacking the shakes as David and Phillip hand them to him. The log barn is almost complete with just a bit of the roof left to nail down. The animals needed to be bought next and the hay would have to be cut and stored, but there was a sense of accomplishment in all of us kids at that moment that most of the hard work on the barn was done. Grandad was an expert shake roofer. At night we could lay in the hay and gaze at the stars right though the large gaps between the shakes and knot holes in the wood, but the roof never leaked. The barn became one of my favourite hang-outs. I loved Betsy the cow, feeding the chickens and the baby pigs were fun. The hay loft provided a refuge for me when I needed time off. It was almost out of ear range of the house and I usually couldn't hear my name being yelled if I was in the middle of good book.

I learned at a very young age that to survive everyone had to put in long hours doing the things that need doing. As a child I had no TV, a few library books, and once in a while I got time off to play. For the most part, I enjoyed caring for my younger brothers and helping my Mom do the housework and especially enjoyed going to school.

Life as an adult isn't much different: I still don't watch TV, prefer reading a good book to doing housework, and Iseem to have this inner drive to teach people about self responsibility. I like helping people who are trying to help themselves make the journey towards wellness. I feel awkward as I write this column, because today I am going to ask for help.

My vision is to start a Holistic 'Health Care' Centre in Penticton for alternative practitioners. I believe that every town needs a central place where people who are interested in taking responsibility for their health can go to get information, attend lectures and workshops, and get hands-on-help for their problems. Many professionals share office space and a secretary and it is about time the alternative health practitioners had this option available to them. The stresses of our society do not promote healthy living, but the times are a changing, and more schools of natural healing are being accredited for student loans. As more practitioners become certified in their field of study, access to natural healing methods should become more available. If we lobby loud enough, perhaps medicare will pick up some of the tab.

To me the word 'Health Care' has lost its meaning in the labyrinth of huge hospitals, instant drugs and cut-em-up surgery: modern medicine is not working, and people are wanting real help, not just band-aid solutions. Science and technology needs to take its rightful place, as a support for natural medicine. We need to combine wisdom with technology and create centers like they have in England, where space is shared equally. Centres where doctors work with spiritual healers, where herbalists work in Drug stores and where Touch for Health is available in Hospitals.

To refresh the memories of my long-time readers I shall share my beginnings, for I am told there are very few magazines or business that make it through the first five years. I operate on intuition, instinct and innocence. I figure people will teach me what it is they want and I need. I am a good listener, a fast learner and have the determination to make things work. In 1986, I felt the voice of change inside of me, circumstances beyond my control set the wheels in motion and I quit my job as a lifeguard. I knew I needed to be working in the alternative health field, but what was I to do? I started studying Graphologhy, for I knew I didn't have the time or patience to study the more complicated sciences. When I flunked the final exam and had to wait six months to rewrite, I wondered what was going on.

Soon after, a friend informed me that the Spring Festival of Awareness in Vernon had died because no one had the time or energy to get involved, and asked me to check it out. I didn't think I knew enough people to be of much help, but I said I would check out the facts and see if I could find someone capable of organizing such an event. I drove to Vernon and talked with the former crew, who warned me of the hard work, long hours and the dangers of working with so many people. Did I really want to try and revive it? I nodded my head, thinking to myself that I would do it once and then get on with my life. I figured the experience would be good for me. Besides, I would be able to attend all the workshops free and meet 'my kind' of people! Not surprisingly, that one decision changed my life forever. After the Spring Festival was over, my crew was very excited, thinking of all the improvements they wanted to try to make the event even better than it was.

I bought a computer so that I wouldn't have to spend my days at the printer's telling them what I wanted for a program as the cost of preparing the festival brochure was expensive. Having a computer helped to make my newsletters for the Metaphysical Club in Penticton look very professional. Still postage was expensive, so I was trying to figure out a way of informing people of local events without a lot of phone calls or stamps and asked the manager of the Penticton Herald to give me space for a weekly column. He said "no!" And the rest is history: I decided I would start my own paper ... one that I would want to read!

I spoke with the people at the umemployment office who told me of a program that exchanges UIC benefits for help to get new business's off the ground. I applied and was accepted immediately, so I needed to figure out the best way of getting in some training and experience. I phoned Common Ground in Vancouver, which didn't think there would be much demand for a magazine in the interior. I phoned Shared Vision and spoke with Samaya Ryane, who said "If I can do it, anybody can. Come to Vancouver and I'll help you the best I can."

We struck a business deal where by I bought two pages of advertising in Shared Vision, at cost. I went on the road and sold the space, came home, did the layout and sent my two pages, titled 'INSIDE BC' to Vancouver. Later that month I drove to Vancouver, picked up my agreed 5000 copies, and distributed them around the valley. That was the summer of 1989. People supported me, and the next time I bought eight pages. I even wrote an editorial for the October edition of Shared Vision, about stress affecting the body. The question was: should a person slow down or keep busy doing what makes them happy? When I know, I shall share the results with you. As I put together the eight pages for December, I knew that the valley was ready to support its own magazine. For the price I was paying Shared Vision I could double the size to 16 pages and I would have people help me write stories. It sure is interesting to look back at the old magazines and see how ISSUES and Shared Vision have progressed. Many thanks to Books & Beyond, Inner Directions and Dr. Wagstaff of Kelowna, Hank Pelser in Penticton, Moreen Reed in Kamloops, Andy Schneider in Salmon Arm, Carole Ann Glockling in Oliver and the Kootenay School of Rebalancing in Nelson for believing in me five years ago and still supporting me. ISSUES has been allowed to grow because of the increasing interest in Holistic Health. I appreciate all of my advertisers for without them the ISSUES magazine would not be possible.

I have been visioning a local Holisitic 'Health Care' Centre for years, keeping alert for the right time and people to help, and saving my money. I now have enough funds for a down payment on a small home for ISSUES, and the possibility of a working business partner who also has some money and would like to share my vision and help make a centre happen. The more funds I can collect, the easier the start-up process will be. Your sending money will allow me to purchase a larger building with a good location. So I am asking all my readers, friends and advertisers to send a donation that can used to start a Holistic 'Health Care' Centre.

ISSUES is and always will be available FREE at all Health Food Stores and Metaphysical Book Shops. Still, if you have been inspired and informed, or if you have found help in ISSUES then perhaps you will be inspired to send some money to help keep the energy flowing. Whatever funds I receive will be used as a bank loan from my friends. When the center is functioning on its own, those funds will be used to help start cooperatively-run Holistic 'Health Care' Centers in other towns. I have the vision, the energy and a proven track record of doing things on time, so I hope I can expect financial assistance from many of my readers.

Your support will make a difference. In the summer ISSUES, I will print the names of all donors who send me $10 or more, and I will put your names into a free draw in Sept. or Oct., '94 to celebrate your support of my fifth year of being a full-time Networker. I have many ideas for prizes so I hope you will support me and take a chance.

If you would like to see our 'Health Care' choices improve, and can afford to send money, make it payable to Visions ... Unlimited, Apt. #304 - 973 Forestbrook Drive, Penticton, BC, V2A 2E9. That is my company name. If you have land and/or a large house for sale in Penticton that could be zoned for office use and are thinking of selling it, give me a call at 492-0987.