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Here we are in July, half a year disappeared! The July 1st holiday was very strange with so much grief and anger going around, destruction of life, property, and nature by man’s hand, weather, and misfortune. Some places celebrated, others did but in a subdued way, and others took time to reflect on what was happening as each day brought new things from the discovery of the unmarked graves. Wildfires in BC and the destruction of a whole town, over 700 people died. Many due to the extreme heat shattered hundreds of temperature records. Then the house fire in Calgary with seven people in one family perishing and the other western providences now under the heat dome.

We, too, had some extreme heat but nothing like that, and then we got much-needed rain. Strange things happen even here. On Friday, we had a violent thunderstorm with pouring rain and a mass of hail falling with the rain, being blown violently sideways by gale-force winds. Or at least my immediate neighbours and I got that. Some in town got nothing but hot sun while others got rain and a little hail. Coppins corners got heavy rain, and so did the Elgin Park area but not the north and east parts of town!

Thankfully my garden was not too badly damaged except for a few new lilies had just begun to bloom, and some plants had their big leaves punctured. The rain was badly needed even after the amount we had earlier in the week. Here is a quote I read: “A garden returns 50 times the investment you put into it. Not just food, but joy, peace, and a real connection with the Creator, a spiritual retreat from a noisy world and hurried people. Grow a garden!”

After pulling off a great event for the hamlet of Zephyr, June Holmes-Archibald celebrated her birthday. Perhaps a bit bigger celebration than last year as we are all getting up there! Someone who is really up there is Corrine Croxall, who reached the grand age of 95 and is still going strong. She is one of the movers and shakers of the community of Bethesda, where she and Ted lived and farmed for many years. After which, they moved closer to town and continue to take an active part in many organizations. Ted is a year or two older, and I remember them as a young married couple, pre-children days!

Happy birthday also goes out to Gary Edwards, the crazy cat-man, as wife Jen calls him, because he loves looking after all their rescues as much as she does. Best wishes also go to Bonnie Blackstock, one of the three musical sisters.

On Saturday, a small family party was held at the Seagrave home of Jamie and Janet Rose in honour of Bob Meek’s 92nd birthday. I am sure he enjoyed the outing from Butternut as much as the company of his family. Happy birthday also to Rachel Smalley, all of 24!

Another kind of best wishes got out to Altona Lea Farm near Blackstock as the 2020 Master Breeders Achievement Award winner. This is a family-run farm whose matriarch is the former Donna Johnson, who married Frank Barkey and raised a family of farmers. One daughter, Carolyn, also married Fraser Puterbough, who grew up in Uxbridge, grandson of Dr. Carl and Sheila Puterbough. Congratulations are in order for Mary Anne Herrema, wife of Ron, who on July 1st became the new Executive Director for the Jennifer Ashley Foundation, a charitable group set up to help families with disabled children. Mary Anne is a long-time employee of the group.

Best wishes also to Johnathan Smalley, who has graduated from George Brown College with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing, with honours!

Last Sunday was Decoration Day for Sandford Cemetery, and this Sunday was Decoration day for Zephyr. Although the grounds were set up for visitors, there was no service at either location. I am sure a lot of people have missed that these last two years. Thanks to those who look after the grounds and prepare for the day. They are both well-kept and beautiful cemeteries!

This coming Saturday is the Lucy Maud Montgomery Garden Tour. It has been raising funds for the association for 25 years. There are eight gardens this year, four in town and four out. Tickets are $25 and must be purchased before travelling to the sites. With the hot and wet weather we have had lately, I am sure there will be some real beauties!

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