by Pat Asling
Yipee, the groundhogs predicted an early spring! One would almost think we were already there with the weather we have been having. Groundhog Day is apparently an old tradition and falls halfway between the winter equinox and the spring equinox. It was celebrated on the Christian calendar as Candlemas, honouring the time when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple for the first time.
The only problem was not having sun and then we had a full day of sun on Saturday and a half day today. Better than nothing but not enough to get rid of those SAD feelings many have. As enjoyable as the temperature is, relative to what it usually is at this time, it may have its set-backs.
I notice some shrubs are already putting out green buds. If our fruit trees do this, and then we go back to freezing again, we may not have a crop this year. That did happen a few years ago. It might also kill off winter wheat and other crops as well.
A couple of natural events are happening soon. On February 9th we have a Super new Moon called Snow moon (what else?) and on the 24th Snow Micro Moon. These will be pretty quiet events but later in the summer two cycles of cicadas emerge at once, the 17 year and the 13 year cycles and apparently it will be a very noisy event. I'm looking forward to it rather than the sound of snowplows.
Strangely enough, I have more birds this year than I have ever had, none of those northern finches they predicted but the usual kind.
It was very sad news for many people in the whole township and beyond to learn of the passing of Ted Croxall. Ted was a man of many talents. His family settled in the area of Bethesda several generations ago and he never lived far away from those spots. Ted was a farmer, a historian, a contributor in many ways to his community and his church, first at Bethesda and later at Trinity. He loved to sing. I recall listening to the quartettes he sang with many times in my youth. When there was something at the museum which needed to be identified, Ted got the call because he knew old machinery and likely how to fix it. Our greatest condolences to Corinne and his children and grandchildren.
Last week I mentioned the Bradbury family in relation to Joyce being the Physical Education teacher at Uxbridge. We were also saddened this week to learn of the passing of their daughter Katie at a very young age. Our sympathies to all that family as well. I don’t know what memories the name Bradbury bring to you but Joyce’s husband Bill was one of three Bradbury children I knew. The other son was Bob who I worked with at St. Johns, and then there was a daughter, Kay, who married Ron Monkman. Back in the day Bradburys delivered. They had a large area which they covered and they came around every week with a truck full of goodies and you bought what you wanted from the truck. Our driver was Ron Monkman, who also used to play baseball against out Epsom Team. He married the boss’s daughter.
Then this past week was the horrific accident at the intersection of Sandford Road, and the 6th Concession. Just the week before I had seen an accident there as well, with a car deep in the ditch, but I guess there were no serious injuries. This one resulted in the death of one young woman, and five other in hospital, including a child. I don’t have any idea who the people involved were but since there has been no names given I assume they were not from here. Which may not be the case but it might also not be the last accident at that corner as drivers do not stop, coming from the south and it s a wide-open corner! Sandford Road is used as a speedway by far too many drivers, who try to see how fast they can go from a stop at the corner. Nary a sign of police until an accident happens.
Congratulations to Carolyn and Allan McGillivray on the addition of a new grandson, son of their son Matthew, and brother to Elijah and Devlin. He is called Nolan Allan and was born January 31st. Birthday greetings go out to Dale Ashton. Dale was born in Uxbridge and grew up here but lives just a little ways away now. Others celebrating birthdays were Linda Morgan, who grew up closer to Sandford with her sisters and brother. They still have a few relatives around. Kathy Holdsworth also celebrated. Kathy keeps busy with various activities including the Maud Squad. Robyn Ottolini also had a birthday. That girl is extremely busy with a string of engagements always coming up, often several months at a time. Seems like the young ladies of our community are certainly doing themselves proud in how they are moving ahead with their musical careers.
Anne Irvine and I attended the Jazz Concert at Leaskdale Friday night and what a great night it was. Tom Baker is amazing how he plays those complicated pieces and then there was Amy Peck who is fantastic on the trombone and a delight to watch. James Warburton was the third member on bass violin and together it was just wonderful. The next one is on March 1st. Donations go to help pay for the grand piano which Tom plays so wonderfully. Speaking of Leaskdale, the Township Council has declared 2024 the years of Lucy Maud Montgomery, who would have been 150 this coming November. Of course the Maud Squad has a number of more, special than usual, events line up in the next few months so keep a look out for what’s coming.
On Sunday the Sandford Zephyr United Church congregation met at Zephyr Church. Pastor Laura Kay was the worship leader. Unfortunately she had few followers. However, a letter was passed to all in attendance and will be mailed out to others in the congregation, outlining what the future will hold. First the two congregation will completely amalgamate and secondly the Zephyr Church building will be rented or sold when the furniture etc. has been disposed of. This is of course very sad new for the people who have spent their lives working for this church community but the trouble is there are so few left to do the work. How much longer the joint congregation can carry on is anybody’s guess. November 1st is set as the date for the amalgamation to be completed. We are not alone.