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After a week of warmer than usual spring weather, followed by abundant but gentle spring rains, we will not be surprised to see a wonderful greening around us. The daffodils, and all the other spring flowers are bursting into bloom and the leaves of the trees are springing open in a variety of colours to rival them.

Many of the birds have also returned a week or so earlier than usual and nesting has started. North Durham Nature is running a contest to see who can spot the most species of birds in their own back yard for April and May. Contact James Kamstra if you would like to enter.

The wonderful weather has been good for our family and friends who are farmers. They have been able to get an early jump on their spring tilling and seeding and some fields of winter wheat are a vibrant green. However, the warmth has also signaled the end to the maple syrup production as, once the leaves come out, the taste of the sap is no longer pleasant. Production is estimated at about half what is normal. Win some, lose some!

The 30th of March marked the end of a long career in nursing as Elaine (Walker) Cox retired after 45 years, most of them at South Lake in Newmarket. A year or so ago she was on the sidelines with a knee infection but after a long period was back on the job again. Her sister Ellen Smalley, also a nurse, retired last year after a very long career in nursing as well.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to all the nurses and doctors, all medical professionals and staff who have worked so tirelessly this past year. They must be exhausted and as we know, things are not getting better within the hospitals. Our deep thanks to all nurses, especially LeeAnn Ball, Jen Edwards and other unknown personally to me. I know there are many.

Happy birthday wishes to Mack Moore who is now 15. Mack is busy riding her horses in training for when the barrel races start up again. Pipe Major Jay Steward has not stopped piping and I am sure will be ready for the big parade sure to happen in a few months when this is over.

A double celebration takes place each year in the Smalley family as twins Johnathan and Jacqueline observe their birthday. All grown up now they are both in great careers. Well on his way to the same is Liam James Edwards at 17, son of Gary and Jen Edwards. Best wishes to these folk and all the rest who had birthdays or any other celebration this past week.

The town and township lost a well-known and familiar person this week with the passing of Joan Doodchenko. This came just a year after that of her husband Leo. Joan battled for 2 years against brain cancer but never gave up. She had worked for 40 years at various doctor’s offices in town and so was a familiar face to hundreds, someone to talk to, to get them to the person who could help them with whatever illness they suffered. Our deepest sympathy to her children and grandchildren.

Carol O’Neil’s quote of the week came from Anne Lamott: “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.” This is usually advice given when you have computer problems. With all that is happening these days, the many changes, daily upgrades, constant remakes, some people are overwhelmed and just need to step away from it all for awhile.

Sunday was the 2nd Sunday in the 6 week Easter schedule following Lent. The most referenced scripture was about who is usually referred to as “Doubting Thomas”. Carol had a slightly different take on why Thomas insisted on seeing Jesus in person before believing; maybe he just needed to feel the wounds to make sure it was really Jesus and not an imposter! You can read her service on the Sandford Zephyr Facebook page.

Sunday was also known as Holy Humour Sunday. This actually started back in the 1600s but was later stopped, only to be renewed a few years ago. Its purpose was to bring joy and laughter back to our lives after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Rev. Diane introduced our congregations to this day and it was interesting to see who would come up with the best jokes for the day!

The Zephyr Community is planning to hold their Community garage sale on June 19th. If you would like to be a part of this contact June Archibald at

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