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March decided to come in like a lion! Not only was a great deal of snow dumped on a huge swath of southern Ontario, but he apparently roared and breathed fire during something called thundersnow. The fireworks were widely reported, as well as the amount of snow. Will this be it for this odd winter? I wouldn't bet on it, as we often have some of our worst storms at the end of March and the beginning of April.

Another phenomenon which has people excited is the conjunction of the planets Venus and Jupiter. At first, they were very close to the silver moon, which made for an exciting view. However, the moon has changed to ¾ now, and the planets have moved further apart. Of course, Venus is usually quite prominent in the winter night sky, but to see Jupiter is quite unusual, so count yourself fortunate.

Happy birthday to Jack Bernier. Jack is the husband of Lynn Roach-Bernier, who runs tours, mostly for ladies, out of Uxbridge, and a number of my friends have gone with her. Presently she is leading a group of families on a very extended cruise, and Jack is one of the fortunate passengers.

Birthday greetings also to Gwen Layton. Gwen is involved in many community activities, including The Maud Squad, Hospital Auxillary and Chance Are, and the Legion, as well as in the Real estate business in town. She definitely keeps busy and enjoys herself while doing it.

Birthday wishes also to Wilma Smith. Wilma is the wife of Ted Smith, and they live in Sunderland on a farm. As well as being involved in politics, Ted and Wilma have been involved in 4H and other farming organizations. Wilma is also a super quilt maker who has turned out some beautiful craft pieces!

John Cavers is well known around town, particularly for his photography, which has won him a few awards and had some photos printed in a national magazine. And did you know he was also a teacher? When Epsom School was in the process of closing, I was over there one day and was surprised to see John coming from a classroom. I am sure he had some interesting things to keep his students' attention.

Happy birthday also to Sarah Moore. Sarah and her daughter Mackenzie are great horsewomen. Mac has become an accomplished barrel rider and other tricks in that line while her mom continues training horses. They are both wonderful helpmates to husband and father Dan Moore, who, despite his handicap, runs the farm very efficiently. Dan also celebrated a birthday a couple of days later. A 'For Sale' sign has gone up, but Sarah assures me they aren't leaving the community.

Big birthday greetings to neighbour Steve Wilson. Steve is the youngest son of Clarence and Helen Wilson and has not moved far from home. Brothers Wayne and Phillip and a slew of cousins live close by. Greetings also to Ken Maynard, a major force in the fire department and who has not really left home either, having been born in Uxbridge. Diane Payne (formerly Pugh) has also not gone far. She was born in Uxbridge but now lives in Seagrave close to the river, where she can watch the swans. Diane and her husband Randy spent their time creating amazing crafts using found objects and spent much of the summer going to various craft and art shows.

Reading the above rather makes me feel old because I have known four of the five young people since they were wee kids, and it just doesn't seem possible they are as old as it says they are.

Last week I mentioned Doris Armstrong of Epsom. Doris passed away on Tuesday, at the age of 98. The Gourlies came from the Uxbridge area, but Doris had been part of Epsom for 76 years. The same day another Epsom lifer died, Alan Bailey. Alan's mom, Hilda (Ashenhurst, also born in Uxbridge), was my grade school teacher for five of my seven years. Alan inherited the farm but sold it 20 some years ago and moved to Butternut Manor, where he spent 20 years as the school crossing guard at the intersection close by.

Late last year, Uxbridge area, and Leaskdale residents in particular, were stunned to hear of the death of Carl Elliot in a motorcycle accident in Florida. It has been announced that a Celebration of Life will be held at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in Leaskdale on Sunday, April 30th, from 1–3 p.m. Drop in for Love, Laugh and Lunch. Mark the date.

Despite the impending storm, many folks attended a Jazz concert on Friday evening, March 3rd, at the Leaskdale Heritage church. This series of three concerts was organized by Tom Baker, a well-known musician and conductor. It was a fabulous concert with musicians Tom on the newly acquired grand piano, Ernie Mee on Bass and the wonderful Amy Peck on saxophone. Wow, can she make that instrument wail. It was worth the dangerous drive home.

Remember that starting in May, there will be another concert series at the Foster. Django Djunkies and Brian O'Sullivan sponsor that month. The first group performing on May 6th will be the Ferrport Jazz group, so come on out, enjoy and help maintain the Foster Memorial. It's such a unique Building.

Best wishes for continued success to Erin Blackstock of Zephyr, who is a very busy young lady playing and singing with her own band. She has at least eight gigs in far-reaching communities this month! We have so many talented young people in our area, and they have so many opportunities nowadays.

In March, church for Sandford/Zephyr will be held at Zephyr United Church. This past Sunday, Rev. Wayne Reed conducted the service. Next Sunday, Pastor Laura Kay will be the worship leader. You are invited to join with us at 10 a.m.


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