The Elliot Lake area is truly beautiful in the springtime with blue sky, clean lakes and pine trees. It displays all the beauty of Northern Ontario. Elliot Lake was once a booming mining town. I was there once in the 80's when I worked for a mine safety association to tour the large underground facility. Sometime in the 90's the decreasing market value of uranium led to the closure of the area mines and very quickly the economic base of this town was gone. In the heyday of a boom mining town, the population was 25,000, now it is closer to 11,500. The infrastructure of a wealthy "company town" is still there set amid this beautiful Northern Ontario vista, so the city leaders have marketed Elliot Lake as a dream Northern Ontario retirement destination.
WASOON conference participants found 3 different town promotion packages in our conference package, complete with the Retirement Living pricing list for retirement rentals. The town mayor opened our WASOON banquet, welcoming us to his town, saying he was happy we were visiting, hoping that we would visit again....and "then come and stay for the rest of your lives".
My travelmate and I got a lot of giggles out of the 'stay for the rest of your lives' comment...it would've made a good movie. So many people moving in...nobody moves out...
And then it hit me.
Apparently as spinning and weaving conference participants, we totally fit the Retirement Living target demographic.
If you've ever witnessed a hotel invaded by weavers and spinners...you will notice the candidates are predominately 1) women 2) gray haired 3) wearing stunningly beautiful handspun, handwoven, beaded shawls you can't afford to buy...(often with..uhm...running shoes...and that's not because we don't have a fashion sense, but in our fibre arts world, beauty only applies to things handcrafted and not many of us can wear handcrafted shoes that you can carry or treadle a spinning wheel in. Also, by the time we've stuffed the car with bags of fibre, our seatbelted spinning wheels, looms and 2 years of accumulated show-n-tell items we've forgotten the dress shoes).
Anyway, I headed home inspired to finish all my UFOs (un-finished objects), including this handspun yarn that's been on my wheel since last month.
Getting back to the topic of the demographics of the spinners and weavers group. Yes, the predominate hair colour at the conference was gray. I've let my hair go 'au natural' for the last couple years. I have friends and family that applaud that and say that my natural aging hair was a lovely mixture of shades. I have other friends that frankly look at my unpampered, graying hair and say "Why?" or "What's wrong, hon?".
After last weekend, I decided I no longer wanted to appear as Elliot Lake's target market. This box got emptied on Wednesday night. My hubby put the colour in for me as I sat in the kitchen chair and I think he did a very nice job.
I have the same hair care expert as the livestock.
I need to get off the farm more.....