Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday odds and ends

Depending on how it goes, we may or may not get the first big snowdump of the season. Most likely we will. Supposed to go to a Boxing Day open house this evening, I think I'll go early rather than late. It's just out of town, I don't want to be driving home in a blizzard.

Yesterday, Christmas Day, there was a community dinner down at the Lions Club, I went. It was organized by someone I used to know here, but in the last week she came down with a life-threatening infection and has had to spend Christmas in the hospital. Her husband says she's in recovery but it will be a long haul. So a lot of people had to step in to make the dinner happen, and they did and it did.

This is a phenomenon across the province, in the past few years many communities have started these community Christmas dinners. Not just for folks who might be needy but for everybody. Great idea. I had a good time.

I went alone, but arrived at the same time as one of my neighbours and his mother-in-law. She quickly took me under her wing and introduced me to many people there. It was kind of cute, some of those people already knew me and were wondering why I was being introduced to them. But it was nice too.

We had a full table, the food was great and the conversation fun. There were leftovers, and for a toonie you could buy a special dinner made up from the leftovers. I've got too much food in my fridge that I have to eat before it goes bad so I declined, but lots took advantage.

Before I went to dinner I talked to two sons and DILs via Skype video. That was great too. Little Eva can see the computer screen and she was fascinated with watching me wave at her. She's a going concern now, smiling and laughing and raring to go. Almost 4 months.

I also had a more traditional phone call with my brother who is in northern Ontario with lots of snow. But he says there is more snow at his southern Ontario home than in northern Ontario, due to the same storm that knocked the power out here a couple of weeks ago.

After dinner I called the third son who insisted he was about to call me. I should have given him another few minutes. He was headed to Christmas dinner with his boss's family, a tradition in his isolated west coast valley.

The last few days my birdfeeder has been getting enormous traffic, I love it. On Christmas Eve, I had a nuthatch and a (yellow shafted) flicker, and on Christmas Day, a hairy woodpecker and a pair of cardinals. Cardinals! In the winter? The male of course is bright red and the female a lovely brown tinged with red and they both have bright orangy-red beaks. On that male you don't notice it so much because of how bright his plumage is, but on the female that bright orange beak is stunning.

Besides those birds there are the usual jays, starlings and chickadees. I am so happy with all the bird activity. I'd love to show photos here but the moment I approach the window they all fly away. Maybe they'll get used to me with time.

The last couple of days I have been lounging around in my PJs till well after noon. As I am now. Today I read on the internet some of those year summaries that will be out there all week. Not just the summary of the year but of the decade because of this being then end of the first decade of the century.

Interesting obituaries (to me): Anna McGarrigle and Lena Horne. A lot of musicians actually, but those two are significant to me.

Interesting weather story: how the lack of snow in Siberia is causing heavy-duty winters around the northern hemisphere, in apparent contradiction to global warming (but the lack of snow is of course caused by global warming). And how meteorologists are missing the major weather catastrophes by focussing on the warming of the oceans rather than the warming of Siberia.


Barbara Anne said...

What a wonderful event the Christmas day community dinner is! I wish the usual cook good health, too.

We've had snow (5 snows in December which is unusual) and our bird feeders have had lots of visitors, too. They're a wonder to behold. One nuthatch perched on the window sill to ask for a refill!

I was so sorry we lost Anna McGarrigle. I loved the music she and Kate made together, especially the witty song about NaCl, and have had her music for so long some are albums.


Wisewebwoman said...

Lovely idea for the dinner, Annie, must pass it along here, it would be great.
I prefer the term "climate change" as people seem to sneer at the phrase "global warming' not fully understanding what it means.
For instance, here we are still basking, no snow yet when by now the bay would be frozen and snow 2 feet high. My friends in Dublin have been housebound, there has never been snow like this.
yes those were 2 of my favourite singers

20th Century Woman said...

A lovely, rambling post, full of insights and good stuff about community and birds and weather and sons.

I have a lot of nuthatches at my feeder, and often have flickers ad woodpeckers (even piliated ones) at my suet feeder. But I am too far west for cardinals.

Happy New Year, Annie.

Annie said...

Happy new year to all of you, Barbara Anne, WWW and 20CW!

May your birdfeeders never be empty and provide endless joy and entertainment.

Spread the word of community Christmas dinners, a great way to celebrate with friends and family, neighbours and newcomers, and strangers in our midst.