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Is it winter, is it spring? You never know from hour to hour, it seems. The forecaster predicts this is the way winter 2021-2022 will be, just to make things a little more interesting as if we needed anything more just now!

With some anger and frustration, I was told Saturday that someone, over Friday night, had vandalized many of the beautiful displays of the Fantasy of Lights. What a despicable thing to do! So many people put in so many hours of work and planning, spending a great deal of money in some cases, to make these displays beautiful and bring enjoyment to all those who might see them. I know there were many more this year than ever before and many even more elaborate.

On Facebook, one comment was that in one particular display, the deer had its head pulled off and the rest strewn all over. I know those lovely deer are expensive, but people buy them because they are so very pretty. One group close to ours had at least three of those deer and other designs of the same kind in their display.

There is something seriously wrong when groups or individuals do this to something they know is going to bring a great deal of pleasure to a whole community. Especially after all the months everyone has put in coping with COVID and all the months we may still have to endure!

When I drove by Sandford United Church on my way to service at Zephyr United Church, Sunday morning, I was shocked to see that our church sign was flat on the ground. My first thought was that it, too, had been vandalized. Coming back, however, several of us stopped to investigate. We found there was some rotting of the wood at ground level, so we are speculating the strong winds of the last few days brought down our sign. Better that than think someone had spitefully pushed it over. To repair it will be a major operation that will need to be carefully considered and a good deal of money.

Many of you will remember Jo-Ann Smith Lyons. Jo-Ann was born and raised in Bethesda, went to Uxbridge High School and worked as a hairdresser in Uxbridge for a number of years before marrying Joe. They now live near Vancouver, and she has been undergoing treatment for serious cancer for several weeks now. Our best wishes and prayers go out to her for better health and a continued good life.

Happy birthday to a young man who is well known in the area, as is his whole family. I say he is a young man because I remember him as a teen, but they say he is 60 now. We are talking about Ron Herrema, who has made a great name for himself even if he leaves all the farming to his younger brother Howie. His dad Gary, a former well-loved mayor, and mother Helen have led the way by contributing a great deal to the township and the Region.

Happy birthday also goes out to Caroline McGillivray! She is a lady deeply into genealogy along with husband Allan and enjoys having her grandchildren visit. That was curtailed for COVID, but she and Allan also have another hobby: Geocaching. A couple of months ago, she and Allan walked eight miles and found 21 Geocaches before tracking down their 1000th. Wow, a lot of walking and a lot of excitement, I gather!

Congratulations once again to Robyn Ottolini. Last week I listed some of the places she had been playing and some of the upcoming big events, like headlining for Shania Twain, but on Monday, she performed at the Canadian Country Music Awards in London, Ontario. She had previously been nominated there, and she won the Best Up and Coming Country Singer award! Moving on up!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that the Lockie–Rush family had been awarded the 2021 Farm Family Award. Darryl and Kim Lockie live on the third of Uxbridge near Zephyr, a farm owned by her parents Allan and Betty. The presentation was made at the farm, and Betty was able to attend that special event. The grain elevators are the main attraction, but they also farm 1300 acres of their own.

They organize a grain safety Day, sponsor various local endeavours such as on-farm child care, the Uxbridge Fall Fair and Uxbridge Advisory Board and support the Zephyr United Church. Their daughter and son-in-law are also now involved. Congratulations to the whole family! Church this past Sunday was at Zephyr United Church again. The outside and the sanctuary were beautifully decorated for Christmas. Our leader this week was Pastor Laura Kay, a young lady who grew up and has lived all her life in Zephyr, but as a minister, this was her first time preaching in Zephyr, which she claimed as a great honour for her.

It was a lively service with the music of Ruth Baker and granddaughter Alayna keeping everyone moving as well as singing (masking of course). This is the first Sunday when everyone had to show their Vaccine passport, and hopefully the last, at least for church.

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