PAT ASLING Special to The Standard
Once again we flip the calendars and face another 12 months ahead. We can only hope the world survives the many wars, rumours of wars, climate disasters and people who would be disasters if allowed into high places.
Despite there being some truly terrible things going on, there are also many smaller acts of kindness and generosity, helpfulness and love which go on each and every day. It is those we should focus on even as we try to do what we can to assist those in need. Did you know this year the number of Food Bank users has increased by 32 percent across Canada? This is only one of our national and even international problems which we can assist with, if even just a little.
The week before Christmas was quite busy. The Optimists Fantasy of Lights was truly fantastic with light displays seemingly covering every foot of available space but I am sure there will be room for more next year.
My sorority sisters met at the home of Carol MacNaughton, on Monday, for a Christmas lunch. Usually we go to a restaurant so this was a treat. It was good to be able to enjoy chatting about what our year had been.
On the 19th the Seniors met for their final lunch of the year, delicious as always, thanks to Mary (Bierema) Evans and her crew. Speaking of Mary, she, her sister Nancy (Bierema) also one of her helpers) and former sister-in law Sandi Bierema-Ott (nee Cunningham) were able to get away for a week to Holland, where they visited relatives. A group of young people from precious Minds came to sing some carols with us and seemed to enjoy entertaining.
Then on the 21st sister Faye, Keith and I and attended the Leah Daniels Christmas show. I had never attended one of her shows before and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was also fun to watch a little kid in front of me bouncing around, arms in the air, following her moves. Her guests and backup guys were also terrific.
That same evening I went over to Epsom and took part in the Soltice/Christmas Eve service which was very interesting. I also met several of Edith Ann’s friends and interesting conversations.
To close off the eating week I was at the Ashton house to share with Keith’s brother Alan and wife Joyce, and their sisters Beth and Lois. It was great to get together, it doesn’t happen enough as we grow older.
On the 24th the Sandford Zephyr congregation held their Christmas Eve service at Zephyr United Church ,at 6:30 p.m. Rick McKinley was the leader with Ruth Baker supplying her lovely music as usual. There was no service on the 31st but in January we are back to Sandford United Church with the service on the 7th taken by our own Adele Boy, followed by Carol O’Neil and the last two by Rev. Bill Fritz. All are welcome to join with us for the service at 10 p.m. and coffee afterward.
On Christmas Day my small family had our Christmas dinner with a large group of people gathered at the Seniors Centre. It was good to have Cathy Ellig join us as well as another couple at our table but there were so many volunteers, and got to converse with a couple of them in particular. One had four to five young adult children there also serving. What a happy helpful group they were. It is so nice to see young people volunteering like that.
Later I went again to my sister’s where my brother Jerry and sister-in-law Joan, along with their daughter Jann, son in-law and two daughters were visiting, before going on to the home of Don and Elaine Cordingley, where the Clarke family was gathering. This party consisted of the above, plus another daughter and son-in-law and two daughters, Elaine and Joan’s younger sister Faye and husband Perry Wildfong, and their son Brandon and fiancé, plus some of Elaine and Don’s children and grandchildren. Somewhere in there I think Elaine had a birthday too.
Best wishes to Sorority sister Carol Guinane who underwent surgery last week but is progressing well. Carol is very active in the Lucy Maud Squad and other community organizations. Also sympathy to the Bignell family.
There are a lot of birthdays to celebrate starting with Shelley Dick, wife of Bruce, who enjoys time with their grandchildren. Birthday greeting also to Isabel Clark the oldest daughter of Brad and Marcie. Izzy loves living on the farm and helping with the animals, mostly cattle. Greeting also to Michelle Viney. Michelle recently embarked on a new career. We wish her much success. Happy birthday also to Derek Kokkenin who already picked a very busy career while wife Sylvia is busy with hers and their talented daughters work on school and various sports. Birthday greetings also to Stephanie Hackner. Stephanie is one of the lovely daughters of Rev. Jim Hackner. Kelsey O’Connor is also celebrating a birthday while she works on her coming wedding in the fall of this year. Kelsey is the granddaughter of Brenda and Ken Moore, both greatly missed by all of us. Best wishes also to Gloria Ross. Gloria is retired from her longtime hospital work but is still involved in various charitable works as well as keeping Donnie in line. Jillian Howsam is well known to all those involved in the Community Care circle and she is also celebrating a birthday. Besides organizing things from the Port Perry office for Community Care lunches, she has many other irons in the fire. Just look at her resume.
If you are doing family research over the winter don’t forget to go to Uxbridge Library where we have an amazing genealogy collection with histories of many local families as well as access to several computer search engines and if you go on Tuesday and Wednesday, there will be someone to help you but please call the library first to make sure. There is no other library in the area with this amount of information. The Genealogy Group will meet January 18th, probably back to the library.
The North Durham Nature Club will meet on the 23rd at Scugog Public Library again.
The Uxbridge Horticultural Group will reconvene in April. Until then keep happily studying the garden catalogues.
Since I am writing this Sunday evening, that’s it until next year. Best wishes to everyone for a safe, happy and healthy 2024!