January 4th, 2009: Happy New Year, Friends! And to those of you of the Ukrainian persuasion, Merry Christmas! After a two-week rest, I figure it’s time to try to put some thoughts down on paper again.
It was -36°C at our place this morning, and the air was full of ice fog. Great conditions for photos, but I did my shooting through the living room window. I’m not as dedicated to my photography as I used to be.
I haven’t been keeping track of temperatures, but it seems to me we haven’t had many days warmer than -20° since the first week in December. Now, that’s a cold snap, and kind of out of season.
The holidays were pretty quiet around our place. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Lloyd and Louise and family, getting in some quality visiting and eating like pigs. Jenny managed to spend a couple of days with us; also Lucille. On the 27th, we had a visit from our grandson, Dave Grimson, who is in his last year at university in Connecticut, and his girlfriend, Brenna. We hadn’t seen Dave in ages, and had never met Brenna before.
Of course, we had the same cold weather you all enjoyed, though the temperature got pretty civilized on the 28th. Then it dropped again. Our house is warm and cozy, though. Our various coffee klatches continued through the holidays, as did our Saturday morning breakfasts with the Sunseekers. The Field House shut down for about a week and a half so we got no exercise to offset the goodies we consumed. I think we both put on a pound or two, or maybe three. Time to get serious.
New Year’s Eve started out windy, then got worse. Later in the afternoon it started to snow and by morning there was half a foot of snow on the driveways. I don’t know how much of that was fresh snowfall and how much was old snow blown off the rooves but since there is still a lot of snow on the roof I think we can call it fresh. Jenny had planned to come up and spend New Year’s with us, but changed her mind when she heard the weather reports. Sandy and Blaine came on Tuesday; by Thursday morning we could hardly see Sandy’s jeep for snow. We dug it out, but by Saturday morning, when they left for home, it was covered again.
I gather the stores went crazy on Boxing Day but by New Year’s Eve the streets and malls were almost deserted.
We got an e-mail from Shirley Miller to say that Victor Ceslak had died. He was ill for many years. We visited often with Victor and Irene at coffee row, and at Perigord events. They lived just south of Perigord until a few years ago when Victor’s health got bad, then they moved to Kelvington. Our condolences to Irene and family.
Another death we read about in the paper was John Wolkowski, who lived just north of the Park. Our kids chummed a bit with John’s kids back before we moved to Greenwater, and I think we knew John just about as long as we knew anyone in the area. They visited us at our house on the hill, and I remember John telling me about his experiences as a dispatch rider during the Second World War. Our condolences to the family.
Saskatoon’s bus service is pretty much a mystery to us. We live right on a busy bus route, and there are bus stops just outside our door and also across the street. Lucille is pretty familiar with the system; she can catch a bus outside her home on 25th Street and be dropped off across the street from our place without any transfers. It takes about half an hour.
Before we moved to Saskatoon, and when we were away, she used the bus for all her transportation needs; she buys a monthly pass and can travel anyplace the bus goes, as often as she likes. So far, we’d rather drive, but it’s nice to know the system is there whenever we need it. I guess we’d be smart to learn a little more about it.
Congratulations to our old friends, Vern and Helen Randall, on their retirement from Randall Automotive in Tisdale. Art Ashdown has taken over the garage and we understand it will be called Ashdown Automotive. I don’t know what Vern’s plans are, aside from driving Helen crazy, but I suspect they involve computers. We look forward to having them visit when on their trips to Saskatoon.