It was 2000, the new millennia. 1999 eclipsed into the history books as easily as every other year and Y2K panic subsided around the globe.
At the end of the 90’s we left the city and moved to a rural farm community just outside Barrie Ontario. Clearview was nestled between Wasaga Beach & Angus.
I was driving a transit bus in Newmarket and did the 1-hour commute daily from the farm, while hubby worked at the Honda plant in Aliston. Two good jobs, both with good income.
We were growing our cannabis along a creek than ran through the back of the farm. Being in a rural area gave us the opportunity to increase the amount we grew. I was attending the GMM as well as the 420 Toronto rally’s annually.
In 2000 we started planning for our future even further. We purchased some farmland in Northern Ontario to retire on, 150 acres in Englehart Ontario. We were doing great; life was coming together nicely. Until it wasn’t.
In 2001, my hubby was injured on the job, he damaged his shoulder working the line. A misdiagnosis of the injury caused further damage and now he needed surgery. He would never be able to return to working the line again. In his mid 40’s he returned to school to train for a new career in purchasing and would spend the next three years in college.
In early 2002 my Doctor found a small lump during a breast exam. After doing some testing, the Doctor recommended removal because of my strong family history with Cancer. A small lump was removed, along with a section of my breast. At my post surgery appointment, they called it a “Pre-cancerous tumour” and told me I should not have any further issues.
By the Summer of 2002 we were fairly accomplished outdoor growers and had a great stable strain of cannabis that everyone loved. So, we ramped up, just a bit.
It was end of season; plants were about ready for harvest when we noticed a helicopter started spending what seemed like extended periods of time over the farm. We were close to Base Borden, so choppers were a common site, but this one seemed to be hanging around. We knew, they spotted the plants. We waited in the house for it to leave the area and as soon as it was gone we darted outside to the creek behind the house. Hatchets in hand, we started chopping! We got the entire crop of 50 plants pulled down in under an hour & stashed in the woods. A few hours had passed since the chopper was there the first time, when it returned. This time, we sat out back in lawn chairs and watched it with binoculars, while the kids played in the field.
The chopper hoovered overhead; in the vicinity it was when they spotted the plants. It hoovered there for an extended time, then began moving over from one side to the next, back, and forth. You could almost see them scratching their heads saying, “Well where did it go?” “I know it was right here, wasn’t it?!”
They floated around up there for about 40 mins, looking for the plants they had spotted when flying by earlier. We laughed while puffing a joint in the yard, mimicking what we pictured them doing, scratching their heads looking bewildered. This time we avoided the raid!
Then, in late October 2002 I had a major motor vehicle accident just outside Barrie, Ontario on the way home from work. The injuries I sustained that night, both physical as well as mentally would be devastating for me, and our family. Back, shoulder and arm damage would cause reoccurring pain for the foreseeable future, and of course, I could no longer work, especially driving a bus.
There we were, facing financial ruin less than 2 years from being on top of the world. Now with 2 mortgages, three kids, and no jobs, something had to give.
A few months later, we made the decision to keep the property that had the lowest payments. That was the Englehart farm.
It’s 2003 and we were moving to Northern Ontario sooner rather than later, 20 years earlier than planned.
The Doctors put me on one narcotic after another to control the pain in my back and legs. Dozens of antidepressants were prescribed over that time to combat the depression I had fallen into from the narcotics and constant pain I was experiencing. I was diagnosed as having PTSD, Depression, and Chronic Pain. Within 2 years of that accident I was eating 16 pills a day and wearing a narcotic patch. My life was now a blur, my children’s mother was gone, my husband became my caregiver & held the family together.
I only have vague memories of Birthdays, Christmases, and Anniversaries from those years today. I was going through the motions of life, almost on autopilot, without any real sense of time or presence. I participated in my kids lives only when I could muster the energy to get up off the couch, which wasn’t often anymore. I was becoming more and more irritable and lost my patients regularly. I became cynical, adversarial, and confrontational to almost everyone. I had become a functional addict with a sanctioned prescription from my Doctor for PTSD, Depression and Chronic Pain, so that made it Okay somehow, to everyone.
My life went downhill fast during that 7 years, until I woke up to my new reality that was then surrounding me. I had a moment of clarity one day that I believe saved my life. I literally just looked around, at my Livingroom for about 5 mins, wondering WTF was going on. I started to cry and just broke down when it hit me like a ton of bricks, 7 years had passed. My hubby rushed over too me, thinking I was in pain or having a bad PTSD episode. I just looked at him, and then I asked, “How did I get here?”
The Millenia emerged with a bang and I missed most of it, Y2K never materialized, reality TV is now a thing, and we made it through the Potter craze
To be continued…
Next up it’s 2010 with Awakenings, Social Media, and Back to Life
Kim "Northern Ontario" Cooper CEO NOCER Org./ Northern Ontario Cannabis Education & Resources Joint Host On The P.A.C.E. Radio Show & Reefer Reporters Associate Producer at PACE Radio Network