Wasn’t it wonderful to have three whole days of sunshine? I think it was a mirage, a figment of our imagination, because it was certainly something we haven’t seen for a few weeks. Anyway, quite enjoyable while it lasted!

Considering the terrible things that are happening, the chaos in the USA, the COVID pandemic that is thriving and multiplying at a horrifying rate all around us, it was nice to have a ray of sunlight. Especially as several of my family, friends and acquaintances have passed away, none from COVID either. It is good to have some good news.

Farmers get a bad rap often, blamed for the bad environment their animals supposedly create (not true), for animal cruelty, death of bees, other insects and other things for which they are not particularly to blame.

This week there was a note that Durham farmers have come together and purchased two large industrial fridges that were given to two area Food Banks, not ours, but at least two groups in serious need. And don’t forget the large amount of money that our local (Epsom-Utica) Food Grains Bank raised ($35,000), Durham West Jr. Farmers donated hay to Windreach farm, and some Ashton syrup went to a couple of shelters. I am sure this has been duplicated all over Ontario, certainly the Food Grain Projects are all over Canada.

More good news came from Butternut Manor. These folks are in line to get the COVID vaccine right away, so hopefully Douglas Crossing and Reachview will also get theirs shortly. That will certainly be a big worry off the shoulders of care-givers and families alike. Several of our Sandford friends live in both Douglas Crossing and Butternut Manor.

Also, if you didn’t get enough of the Christmas light show, I am told that the McKnight family still have their lights on display, so go see them one evening soon! So many were disappointed that our Fantasy of Llights had to be cancelled early, after all the work involved in setting it up.

There seemed to be a paucity of birthdays this week or at least of people from around here. However Erin (Hoskin) Smith celebrated her’s with husband Les and her three children, one still a baby but growing quickly.

Wilma Homan Bakalaar also celebrated in their new temporary winter home in Stratford. Wilma was born in Groningen, Holland and lived in this particular area of Ontario when the family came to Canada and before they moved to Uxbridge.

Tawn McDonald also had a birthday, getting ready to go back to teaching virtually. Tawn was a teacher at Epsom Public School before the unfortunate closure. She lives in Orangeville with her husband and family but lived in Uxbridge for many years, where her father was the veterinarian.

My computer whiz Jeff Stewart also had a birthday. His mother Doris was the receptionist at Dr. Carl Puterbough’s dental office, when I went there to work we spent many happy hours together before her marriage. Hard to believe her sons, the piper Jason, and Jeff are all grown up with their own families.

A note from Conrad Boyce said that he and Lisa will have to move again in May, the third time in 18 months! They are looking for somewhere close to where they are now. Uxbridge would be nice as many people would love to see them back in the community.

Today was Baptism Sunday, set aside for the remembrance of the baptism of Jesus, by John, in the River Jordan. Rev. Diane spoke of the trek she and Chris took along the Camino Santiago in Spain and the importance of that walk to them, and the connection to Christ’s baptism. In one village an older lady greeted them with “Bien Camino”, a blessing on their walk that Diane has never forgotten.

Carol O’Neil started her message by telling this story. “There’s a story from the early days of Henry Ford, the legendary car manufacturer. It tells of a machinist with Ford Motor Company who had ‘borrowed’, over a period of years, tools and an assortment of automotive parts. Though this was against company policy, it seems everyone did it, and management did nothing about it. However, one day this machinist began attending church, and eventually was baptized. The day after his baptism, he collected all the tools he had accumulated over the years, loaded them onto his pickup, took them to the plant and presented them to the foreman with his confession and appeal for forgiveness. The foreman was so overcome by his honesty that he cabled Henry Ford himself, who was in Europe at the time. Ford immediately cabled back this response: Dam up the Detroit River and baptize the entire plant.” Maybe we need that today!