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What a week! We were so blessed out here not to receive too much damage other than loss of power, but even that was minor compared to many town and country residents. However, the hydro came on too late for me to make the paper, so there is plenty to relate. However, we must first mention and give thanks to all those people who are working night and day to clear up the mess, particularly in town but all around the area as well.

It’s unbelievable the devastation wreaked in such a very short time period. Century-old trees were reduced to kindling, and century-old buildings, like Trinity United Church and many homes in that part of town, were damaged to the point of wondering can they be restored? After you digest the major trauma to the landscape, the next thing is how so many people are helping their neighbours clean up, food and drink being distributed, helping those who have to move out of their homes etc. This, too, is a miracle considering all the horrid things going on in the world in about the same period of time.

Birthday wishes from last week go out to Ann Barrett. Ann is presently house-sitting, but she is best remembered as the animal control officer or “dogcatcher” as the phrase was then. She is also a great cartoonist! Happy belated birthday also to Frank Van Veghel, who started out building log houses and went from there to baking the most delicious gluten-free goodies in the neighbourhood!

Belated wishes also to Irwin Hinzel, who was taking it easy on his birthday but has since been sent to work clearing their yard after the storm. A very happy birthday belated wish to Heather Moore (Mike), who not only keeps busy on the farm but with their sons as well as helping at Scott Central! This week it was the time for her mother, Norma Smith Ferguson, to celebrate her birthday.

Anniversary wishes went out to Faye (Clarke) and Perry Wildfong as they celebrated their 34th year of wedded bliss! Faye grew up south of Sandford, and Perry spends much of his time (at least pre-pandemic) singing with an award-winning barbershop quartette.

Happy birthday wishes to Margaret Davison of Uxbridge, who, like many others, is mourning the devastation of Trinity United Church. Trinity was not only a place of worship but weddings, funerals, concerts and other community events. Susan Pegg Risebrough is one of our young farm wives who juggles farm chores along with her husband Mike with raising her three lovely daughters. This time of year is always a busy time with planting and cows giving birth etc. The Clark family also enjoys farm life, and one of their four talented and pretty daughters just turned 11 in time for the first hay cut of the season!

Alicia Neskar Moore celebrated her birthday as commented by her mother, Brenda Harwood Moore and her father, Brian. A lovely lady a bit older who celebrated her birthday was Sherri Seigrist. Sherri’s grandfather, Les and father, Tom, owned the five cent-$1.00 store on Brock for many years- now you can’t even find the symbol for a cent on the computer!

A young man who is a going concern is Chandler Ball, who turned 18 last week. So many teens are turning up around here! Happy birthday to two ladies who are not teens anymore but still have plenty of pep are Pam Beach, our township councillor, who managed to take in many events, still helps on the farm and bakes with her granddaughter. Sylvia Risebrough Kokkinen is another lady with lots of energy who has been busy working and making sure her parents are looked after.

Harold Hodgkins was a famous painter who lived and raised his family in Leaskdale. Daughter Carol Smith lives in Port Perry, but she had a photo on Facebook of her brother Gary, also an artist, who was enjoying his 82nd birthday.

This time of year, there are many birds around eating, building a nest and raising young. Melinda Delorme had a photo of her dad hand-feeding a red-breasted nuthatch, which is rather unusual. Chickadees are often trained to come to hand to feed but not nuthatches. I have also seen someone feeding a downy woodpecker. That takes patience!

The Leaskdale Loop has become a big draw for the area, with a large number of individuals opening up their homes and businesses in the countryside. The latest one was May 14th, and there will be another in June.

Some sad news coming about at the same time was that Stuart and Barbara Blower would be leaving their Foster Drive home and moving to Ingersol, where their daughter lives. This is a sad loss for Uxbridge as they have both been active in many community events, first owning the photographic shop in town, then Stuart and his carvings being part of the Arts week and Barbara with her Maamawe group, and both in the Leaskdale Loop organizing. We wish them well in this unforeseen venture!

The Lucy Maud Mongomery Society will be holding its annual Garden Tour on June 25th. Please check the website for times and locations and to purchase tickets. Hopefully, the storm did not damage any of the scheduled gardens too much.

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