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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 24
Persons: 1-2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 37657
Region: Ontario

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Last Updated: January 5, 2017

After a forty-year career as a radio broadcast journalist, I've retired to my farm ninety minutes north of Toronto. My wife of 39 years died on 2009. Our daughter, Jessie, lives with her family in New Mexico (that's her with me in one of the photos), leaving me pretty much on my own. A neighbor does the actual farming.

I have Parkinsons Disease and my daughter and friends worry about me living on my own in the country . This affects my mobility and often makes some day to day tasks difficult (although I can take care of all my basic care needs). I have had to give up driving and so the physical and social isolation of living in the country is challenging. That said, this farm is my home, and as you will see from the photos (many more if you follow the blog link provided above) is a very special place. I would like to stay here as long as I can and I recognize I need help to do that safely, which is where HelpX comes in.

I am looking for the following from a potential HelpX'er:

- Meal Preparation: I love to eat, but am a terrible cook. I don't need anything elaborate- simple meals are fine. If you enjoyed occasionally cooking for larger groups, that would be a bonus. I get invited out a lot, but I never know how to repay the favour. It would be great to have a few dinner parties to repay all these kindnesses.
- Housekeeping: Someone who can keep the house clean, organized, and in good shape, along with doing some laundry, changing sheets, taking the garbage/recycling/compost to the curb each week, and changing Cupcake's kitty litter.
- Property Maintenance: If you liked to garden or do simple chores, there are always things to be done. We have a handyman for bigger jobs.
- Companionship: I'm good company, whether in conversation, watching a film, or just hanging out. I am a very social person but the PD, living in the country, and not being able to drive has made it harder to stay connected day to day with friends, many of whom only come up to their local properties on the weekends. I would love someone who would like to sit on the porch and discuss what's happening in the world, or watch a movie, or tv show together. I don't expect, or need constant companionship, but after almost forty years of marriage, just sharing space with someone else is a comfort.
- As I no longer can drive ,it would be nice if you had a car and would be willing to do errands/pick up groceries/drop me at at friend's house/go on rides together now and then, etc. I am happy to pay for gas. I do have an old car that you could drive so not having a car isn't a deal breaker. The closest town is Creemore, one of Canada’s most charming small towns. It is a ten minute drive away and where we do most of our shopping.
- My daughter, being so far away, worries about me. Ideally you would be willing and able to communicate with her as she is very involved in my life.

I am looking for individuals interested in longer stays (3 months+). This is a charming area and community that has a lot to offer. I have friends in almost all walks of life and would be happy to introduce you around. I do not expect you to spend all day every day with me and there is lot to explore. The Bruce Trail is a few minutes away from our doorstep and we have paths cut on our property.

Please visit our blog (see link in profile above) to see many more photos of the farm and property. Your lodgings will either be in one of the two guest bedrooms or in the very comfortable restored caboose out back. I also should mention Cupcake is lovely and a very friendly cat.

Currently, I've been spending the winter with Jess in Albuquerque, with plans to return to the farm in April. It would be great if you could arrive at the same time. As you can see, previous Helpers have been dazzled vy the place. As far as I'm concerned, you could stay as long as we're both comfortable.

I hope that answers most questions. If you are interested in spending sometime on our hilltop, please be in touch.

Andy & Jessie Barrie

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