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Carol O’Neil always has very insightful and helpful messages to pass on to us and this Sunday service was no exception as the First Sunday of the Advent season, the day to celebrate HOPE! Even the thoughts she shares before her service are thought provoking. “In the midst of Covid gloom where do we find rays of hope? Perhaps you can put together a list of things that have helped you stay positive.” Here is a quote to help you: Viktor Frankl, a survivor of the Holocaust: “Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Rev. Diane also presented a Communion service for everyone to share, as did Rev. Stephanie Richmond of the Greenbank-Seagrave Charge. Rev. Diane revealed that she would leave her Lansing United Church at the end of February. I am sure this was a surprise to most of her congregation, and to us who follow her vocation. She did not indicate her future beyond that. We at Sandford Zephyr were blessed to be under her pastoral care for 6 years, and I think it is about that many since she left us, but she keeps an interest in us as we do in her. It was also interesting to note that for her Communion Service, Rev. Stephanie used an order prepared by Dr. Alydia Smith. Dr. Smith was Sandford’s anniversary speaker a couple of years ago and we were hoping she would be with us again this year but, due to covid, we had to forego the anniversary. Alydia has written a number of services as part of her work with the United Church office. I think I missed a very special birthday to one of our very special ladies. Dorothy Baker was 95 years old on November 22nd! Dorothy is now residing in Butternut Manor, and last I spoke with her was enjoying her new surrounds. It’s unfortunate they are under lockdown, but they prevented any out-breaks in the first wave of COVID and hopefully will be able to say the same when this is finally over. She is able to meet with some of the residents, like Bob Meek and Marg Barton and a few others to fill the time. Our thoughts are always with them. A couple of weeks ago I was sent word another special lady was in the hospital. This was Muriel Nesbitt; she had fallen and broken her hip, and is presently in Markham Stouffville hospital. In a couple of weeks she will be returning to Uxbridge and from there to Butternut Manor, if all goes as planned. Muriel is 99 and has been living alone until now. She and her husband Bob were among those stalwarts, such as Isobel St. John and Elsie and Bill Wood, and Allan McGillivray, who started the Uxbridge Historical Society and the Uxbridge-Scott Museum. The Nesbitt Shed on the Museum grounds came from their property. We wish her a speedy recovery! Congratulations to Dawson Ball who has successfully completed his first semester of online studies with Ridgetown University. I am sure it was a learning experience in more ways than one! As a treat he was sent a $5 gift card from Tim Hortons. Birthday wishes go out to Barb Pratt, a well-known and loved lady of First Ave. First Blue Heron and then volunteer hard work with the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society as well as many other activities keep her on her toes. Her niece Carolyn Scovino, daughter of Don and Shirley Hewlett, also celebrated a birthday distantly, as has been the way due to covid. Also celebrating was a young man, Brock Henderson, son of Leslie Green Moore-Henderson. He is 21 and in the military. Congratulations on both counts! Another young man just turned 60, Ron Herrema! It seems like only yesterday he was 16 or younger, as it does with so many people around here whom I knew as small children. Ron lives in Orillia now with his wife Maryanne, and keeps in touch with his many friends from the area. Keep in mind the Fantasy of Lights opens up December 5th; bigger and even better. It is drive-through only!

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