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ZEPHYR & SANDFORD by Pat Asling

Well, that’s over with, that, referring to the first big snowfall which fell all day Sunday. Sure is pretty and fortunately there was not much wind to blow it around. Next will be snowplows and shovels coming out, if they hadn’t already. The only thing I really like about it, is it brings out the birds who have been content to eat from the grass and weed seeds, or flower heads left for that purpose. Sunday they flocked to the feeders.

Never before have I seen a flicker eating at my feeder but that happened late Sunday morning. Then a red bellied woodpecker chased him off! A few minutes later a female cardinal came in and then a second and then a third. It was an amazing sight when two males flew by as well. Bluejays, downy and hairy woodpeckers, doves, chickadees, goldfinch and juncos rounded out the count. A couple of days ago a big Cooper’s hawk sat for the longest time in the tall ash tree but fortunately he wasn’t seen then or the other birds would all have scattered. There are few birthdays to report, although I know there are just as many as usual, just not mentioned, so to whoever was celebrating, hope it was a great time. One I know about was Barb Pratt, a very well-known lady who started out at Blue Heron books. She has since been involved in some of the biggest community organizations, such as the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society, the Garden Tours and other events important to the community. Our thanks and best wishes Barb!

Happiest birthday wishes to Audrey Kester on December 3rd. Audrey, who retired in Newmarket, is one of our so faithful Zephyr ladies who never forgets. Have a wonderful day Audrey and many more.

Another birthday girl is Gail Williamson. Gail was raised just down the road, the daughter of Ray and Evelyn Shier, with sisters Carol and Linda and brother Ron. She is married to Alex Williamson of Port Perry. She is first cousin to my sister-in-law Joan Clarke. Happy birthday to Gail and anyone else having special days! We need them now, more than ever!

Some big congratulations go out to other people for different reasons. The national Holstein Show was held in St. Hyacinth, Quebec last week and some from our communities came away as winners. Awards were given for both 2019 and 2020 as no program was held last year. Winners of the Master Breeders Shield for 2019 was our own Risebrough family, Maplebrough Farms!

On hand to accept the award were Mike and Susan with daughter Grace, Mike’s nephew Jamie, (Mike’s business partner), and Jamie’s wife Dr. Rachel and their children. What a wonderful accomplishment for the family. I know that Mike’s parents, Gord and Dorothy, the original owners of the farm, would be exceedingly proud of their children and grandchildren. Mike’s brothers Dave and Paul no doubt help out a lot too.

Another winning family, although not actually from Uxbridge, but with Uxbridge roots is the Barkey family. They started out as Frank Barkey and Donna Johnson. Donna was raised on a farm south of town and was quite involved in Junior Farmers and other activities during her early years. As the years went by they raised 6 children, most of whom are still involved with Altona Lea Farm.

For the fourth time, in 2020, they won the Master Breeders Shield! It would be interesting to know if other farm families have ever achieved that. One of their daughters, Carolyn, in particular, is well known around Uxbridge. Carolyn met and married Fraser Puterbough, the grandson of Dr. Carl and Sheila Puterbough. Fraser came from a non-farming family. But loved it as a teen and spent all the time he could on the Ashton farm, with Rob and Keith, learning the ropes.

A big congratulations go out to these two families who are doing so well. Farmers are constantly being raked over the coals for one thing or another. However without them we would not have most of the food, clothing and other things which make life comfortable.

Another big congratulations goes out to our own Robyn Ottolini! Robyn is surely making waves in the music world. She has a new single recording out. She also has her photo on a huge billboard at Yonge and Dundas Square. Recently she has been performing in Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and London. In August she will be performing in concert with Shania Twain. Wow, how big is that! Keep it up Robyn!

Don’t forget the Festival of Lights that starts on December 4th and runs until January 2nd. It’s going to be fantastic! No walk through or wagon rides but just soooo many exhibits to marvel at!

First advent was at Sandford United Church this past Sunday and for the first time we sang, with masks. It felt great to be able to do that. Next week we will be worshiping at Zephyr United Church for the Christmas season. Please join with us!

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