Day 74: Getting the boot

I had lunch today in beautiful downtown Gananoque, Ontario, home of the Thousand Islands. I didn’t see even one of them, unfortunately, but did get to see a friend I’ve known since university. She now lives in London, England, with her husband and son but was in “Gan,” as she calls it, visiting her family.


My friend and her son were supposed to fly home this morning and, if they had, I would have missed seeing her on this trip. Fortunately, for me, her flight was booked with Zoom airlines, which went out of business this week, leaving a lot of travelers scrambling to make alternate arrangements to get them home. She’s one of them and had to book last minute at great expense to get a flight back Tuesday.


In my self-centred universe I figure everything happens for a reason – so thanks for going under Zoom – it was great to see them! (Perhaps every bankruptcy cloud has a silver lining.)


As my husband and I drove through Gananoque, we saw signs advertising a “Boot Sale.” Maybe because  my friend lives in England, the British meaning of “boot sale” immediately came to mind —  a group of drivers selling stuff from the trunk (or “boot”) of their car. I started to look around for cars with their trunks open then felt a little silly when I realized what it really meant.


Four volunteer firefighters stood in the middle of the road, each holding one of their big rubber boots. Drivers were asked to toss a donation in the boot for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.


Unfortunately, I only spotted the sign that explained what the cause was after we’d already passed the boot holders. Luckily, the traffic light was red so we put the car in reverse and tried not to cause a traffic accident on Main Street as we backed up to the boot to make a donation.


This gave the firefighter holding it a good laugh.


Why did I bother backing up just to make a donation? I’ve always admired those brave, heroic individuals who fight fires – they are definitely a special breed of good-deed doers. And as if saving lives and homes wasn’t enough, these Gananoque fire-eaters were also volunteering their free time to take on more danger – namely, standing on the dividing line of a busy main street to raise money to fight “over 100 neuromuscular disorders” (as the car sticker they gave us explained). Definitely a good reason to back up.


Except that if I’d been thinking clearly, I’d have realized there’d be more than one donation location. Sure enough, as we drove through town, we spotted “boots” on every corner.


Ain’t that a kick in the pants….


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