What If I Had Turned Left?

Have you ever wondered what your life would have been like if on your journey through it you had turned left instead of right!   Glad you asked…yes I have many times.

My first ‘wonder’ would have to be of my working career.  After escaping high school I accepted a job working for my uncle Stew at his paint & wallpaper store in Cobourg.  After working there most of the summer stocking shelves, repairing screen windows and doors, delivering store orders and replacing many school windows broken by rowdy students over the summer, I felt it was time for a career move.   Well, it happened that as I had to work most Saturdays I was allowed Wednesday afternoons off.  One Wednesday afternoon I headed over to Port Hope and applied for a position at what was then known as the Davidson Rubber Company.  It seems they would hire almost anyone there.  I started on Thursday morning and by noon the line I worked on shut down for the day.  Well, the job was very hot and tended to remove your knuckle skin removing hot auto dashboard panels from their molds.

Saying goodbye to Mr. Davidson I headed back to Cobourg and applied for a job at the huge General Foods complex on Thursday.  Luckily, they were in the midst of a huge expansion with GF products from their closed plant in Windsor Ontario.  Okay, I’m a very honest sort and it was who I knew, not what I knew!  I started work there on Friday and was there for almost forty years!

What if I had stayed at Davidson Rubber instead of going to General Foods?  It turned out there were many benefits in going to General Foods.  Better wages/benefits, a more interesting job and finding many great friends (including the Bushwhacker and his wife) and retiring seven years earlier than I could have at Davidson Rubber!

Another ‘wonder’ would have to be of the person I would soon meet (and marry) for better or worse!  My friend Wayne (now an ex brother-in-law) and I hung around together and one cold December night we met three young ladies (Susan, Pat & Marylou) at the Port Hope town hall park and after a friendly snow ball fight with them, I asked Pat on a date that weekend.  The next week Susan (my ex-wife now) and I started dating and went together for about a year and then broke up.  About a year later we got back together, got engaged for a year and then married for almost forty years!  (I seem to have a problem getting past forty years in anything accept age)!

What if I had dated (and maybe married) Pat or Marylou instead of Susan?  This one is a little harder to ponder, but had I married anyone else but Susan, I would not have had the two boys I have now and would never have had my beautiful grand-daughter Chloe.

A couple of weeks ago I was working on a new blog (See: Ball’s Mill/Lime Kiln Trail Review) and needed some pictures of the old Baltimore Mill, the mill waterfalls and the Lime Kiln Trail.  It was on a Friday morning with a rain storm heading in and I was in a hurry to get the pics.  Get the camera focused, press the button…batteries dead!  No problem, just get the ‘always carried’ spares and try again…dead batteries!  OK, there is corner store a mile away, go buy two new AA’s and we are good to go.  Guess what…new batteries deader than a doornail!  So what’s a guy to do?  I unhappily headed home.

What if there was no (multiple) dead batteries?  This one is easy to appreciate.  As I had to return to Ball’s Mill a couple of days later (with plenty of batteries), I obtained some great pics but most of all while walking the Lime Kiln Trail I met some local residents living near the trail.  After chatting for a few minutes, I continued down the trail.  On the way back, I again had a chat with the locals and asked them if they happened to know where the circa 1800’s Lime Kiln (I should have asked this question on the first chat) was actually located.  It seems they did…”when you were standing on the quaint old wooden bridge… that was the Kiln site”.  I had been looking for this site for many years!

There have been many other events in my life that gave me cause to ponder, but I will spare you the details of them and end here.

I guess the point of this blog is:  In life, it seems that we are given free choice in almost everything we do.  But are we really?  I must admit that I believe that even though we think we control every aspect of our lives…every move we make is predetermined and is written in a log book somewhere by someone way more powerful than we!   So, go ahead and enjoy your life…we can’t change much of it anyway!




  1. bruno pecile · · Reply

    We do have a choice in how we look at/appreciate it


  2. bushwasher's Lil Sis · · Reply

    I often have the “what if” thoughts myself wonder where I’d be today if i had chosen a different path. I think the best plan is no matter which path you choose, experience all it has to offer and enjoy life to the fullest..you never know what adventure is waiting around the next curve.


  3. never live with regret, always keep moving forwards and never forget to smile…because any day on this side of the soil is a good day 🙂


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