Monday Morning Musings

Posted on December 28, 2020 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet


Gustav and Len – Storm Chasers


You probably remember as a child, returning to school after summer holidays. One of the first things most teachers asked was to write a short essay on how you spent your vacation. Of course, summers were endless back then and time drifted along like a lazy river. These days, it seems like that same river is a torrent and seasons come and go with such rapidity that it feels like whiplash.

I am sure you are just dying to know how I spent my first Christmas in the north. That would be about as interesting as hearing someone tell you about their exotic vacation or worse, showing you their photos, filling you with a combination of envy and disdain.

“Whoa, Len. Easy big fella. Just tell us what you did. If we don’t care to read your post, we can watch the World Junior hockey championship or get the latest coronavirus statistics.”

You know I’m just toying with you. I have nothing to write about which is fairly normal so I will bore you with the events of recent days.

Overall, Christmas in the north has been fantastic. It started with the receipt of many Christmas cards and some gifts from family and friends. My students’ pen pals came through in a big way as well. Thank you so much. I had numerous Zoom calls and phone conversations with friends. It’s hard to feel lonely or homesick when you’re this connected.

I’m hoping that my school doesn’t have hidden cameras. I’m over there every day trying to get a good internet connection to check my e-mail, watch videos that people send me and do some online banking. On Christmas Day morning, I meandered over to the school at 8:00 a.m. to chat with my siblings who were sitting in the cottage at Bayfield basking in 13-degree temperatures. On Christmas Eve, seven colleagues plus your truly, got together for a potluck dinner. It was fantastic and I ended staying up way past my bedtime. I didn’t have the energy on Christmas morning to get dressed so I walked to the school in my pajamas. Now, the school is only 30 seconds from my apartment, so I wasn’t too worried about getting stopped by the fashion police.

Speaking of videos, I was thrilled to watch the virtual performance by the St. James United Church choir. It was fabulous and certainly one of the musical highlights of my Christmas. I was also proud of my children for their video recording (from coast to coast) of Silent Night.

Oh yes, at the staff potluck dinner, I played tunes for a solid two hours after the meal. There were reports of indigestion the next day! I trotted out all of the usual Christmas favourites, but we rapidly moved into Great Big Sea, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young. You get the picture.

We all know that Christmas, while being a wonderful family time, is also a bit of a rat race. From most accounts, Covid changed a lot of traditions which saddened people, but it also created new ones. Christmas can be exhausting with all of the commitments, travel, expectations etc. I think many people, including yours truly, found this Christmas quite relaxing. Mind you, if you have young children, there is no way to escape the pandemonium and exhaustion.

My Christmas holidays have been most enjoyable. I made a commitment to write 1000 words every day for my 7th book. I am happy to report that I have the first 20,000 words penned. My days have been filled with walks, meals and movies with fellow teachers. And a lot of chocolate! All of it is unplanned and unscripted.

You may be wondering about the Christmas Dinner. We had to reschedule it because of a wicked storm on Boxing Day. If the weather cooperates, we will cook the turkeys today and prepare and deliver the meals tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it went. Thanks to the many donors who contributed $3,200 to make this possible.

Yes, this was a Christmas to remember. It’s hard to pick out a highlight but I would have to say that the tiny, hand made Christmas card I received from one of my most challenging students, left me with a lump in my throat.

I was touched by all the messages I received from you, my faithful (and terribly misguided!) readers. Your support and encouragement is greatly appreciated.

One more post left before New Year’s.

Take care and stay well.

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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