CHRISTMAS 1994


As we had planned last Christmas Ruth, Cathy and Cindy joined us for Christmas dinner. We were glad to have them with us (and I think they enjoyed themselves too).

Jeff and I and our friends from Toronto went with us to Samoset for New Years Eve. Typical me - I got a cold and was in bed for the first 24 hours - think I might have been overtired too.

January and February ran together and included flu, colds and then some fun stuff too. Probably the most exciting news for the family is that my sister Janet has bought a house! Many an evening was spent exchanging ideas, posing questions like... what if the bathroom was smaller, do you want a dining-room or a spare bedroom, what colour siding and on it went. Suffice to say it was a long haul but Dad, Janet and I (with the occasional comment from Jeff) enjoyed ourselves. It really is a darling house and she is snug as a bug in a rug. Part of her landscaping is done and in the spring we'll start planting.

Also new this year is the GROUP OF SEVEN CLUB. Our cousin Norma Hamilton Neate nagged, cajoled and convinced us that we should meet on a regular basis. We have been having a lot of fun as we travel from house to house to cottage.

February was Mady's 70th Birthday so we celebrated with an invited party of her family and friends. Now that we are living in the whole house we have room for these little whing-dings. We had 80 people come for sandwiches and birthday cake. It was a great party and we all had fun, especially "Mady"...well, except for the fact that it seems wee Jeffy mistakenly threw some birthday cards in the fire instead of the envelopes. Oops....

March was blah but then what else is new and April started to pick up a bit and we went off to Samoset Resort in Maine. This is our week for total R & R to prepare ourselves for the long summer months when it's work, work, work. We enjoyed Samoset and drove to Boston where I took a flight to Toronto on Friday to go to my Themadel meeting and Jeff met a pal of his and they went off to the Ball Park. After my meeting I had planned my time to include a visit with the folks. Aunty Aileen and Uncle Herb have bought their first home (after retirement) and it is lovely. I stayed most of the week with them - we didn't run around a whole lot - well, we went to London one day to see Sharon, Kang and Family and how they have grown, then one day we met Uncle Ken and he drove us to his country home in Creemore and then back to Oakville where Laura, Jo- Ann and Vicky joined us for dinner. The whole trip was one of those "chatty" times when you really talk and share, in part, because each of each had our own sorrows and rejoiced in family ties.

May through October is really just a blur. Jeffs business was extremely busy due to a dozen cruise ship visits. The Algonquin Hotel had an extremely busy year too. While we are not complaning and are most thankful it cut in dreadfully on our social life.

This summer we had our friend, Ferd Eiseman, from New York for a visit. He was thankful to get out of the heat of New York and thoroughly enjoyed himself... we told him before he came the room was there and he would have to fend for himself as we are never sure about our schedules. It worked out well.

Thanksgiving was fun this year. We had the whole family to our house. In the early afternoon Jeff hitched up the bus, loaded us in and off we headed for our Fall Foliage Tour of the back country. Our day finished back at the house for turkey with the trimmings and a sing-song.

Thanksgiving week was fun because Aunt Aileen, Uncle Herb and Uncle Ken stayed with us. We had a great time - visiting friends and relatives and telling tall tales.

Jeff and I then had some holidays. "Mady" went with us to Ellsworth, Maine for a few days. Late in October Themadel had a meeting in Sackville, N. B. at Mount Allison University, so Jeff came along. Our reason for meeting there was to officially open the Meighen Centre for Learning and Research. Themadel's $1,000,000 (yes, one million) contribution will enable students with learning disabilities to achieve success at University.

We weren't home too long when we had a weekend in New York City. We arrived around six Friday night. We went out to dinner to a steak house where the vegetable selections were asparagus and hash. The vegetables were not included with the meat so for $7.50US we split an order of Hash!! (Little did I know growing up on the farm that those left over spuds, sliced and fried in the cast iron frying pan would be such an expensive delicacy).

We decided, being in the Big Apple, to stow some cash and credit cards in the hotel safety deposit box. Before we left the front desk manager said "Don't Lose The Key". Well, by early morning no key. Grrr... off Jeff went to check our tickets for shows. Jeff had been standing in a LONG LINE to buy tickets at Radio City when this woman came along and said to him - Are you looking for tickets. Well, yes, he needed two. She said, I have two I will sell you. It really is a wonderful show and I did what I did last time. Cried. I find it very moving as the finale is the true story of Christmas complete with camels, sheep, etc.

After the show we went over to Rockefeller Centre for lunch overlooking the ice rink, then on to Macy's to shop (well, a little shopping and a lot of browsing) and then Jeff purchased two tickets for shows on Sunday. We hurried back to the hotel to change and go to Ferds for drinks. (Ferd was our house guest this summer). He's in his nineties, lives in a rent-controlled apartment on the second floor up a LONG flight of stairs. At seven we caught a cab and off we went to the Algonquin Hotel where he treated us to dinner. At almost ten he decided it was time to call it a night so we walked him to the nearest bus station (he took a bus home) and we walked back to the hotel. What a great evening. We keep hoping we'll be fun in our golden years... sure hope being around others who are rubs off on us.

On Sunday we saw two shows "Crazy For You" - all Gershwin tunes. A real toe-tapping afternoon. Came out from that show crossed the street, had a cold drink and then on to the rock opera "Tommy". Toe-tapping, not - loud, yes! After we went off to dinner with the After Theatre Crowd. I love people watching in New York. To bed and by 8AM we were on our way home. Whew... nothing like a holiday for a great rest!!

Home and reality...like picking sweet peas on the 7th of November as well as other flowers too. Really. We finished the summer chores and since then we've been working on Christmas.

Last weekend we got our house decorated. Now that we're living in the whole house and have access to a tree farm (aka Dad's back 40) we've put up three trees - living room, dining room and front hall and one articifical tree in the den. The mantles are trimmed along with a few nooks and crannies so we are now ready for our 14th annual sing song on Saturday night.

On Monday night we celebrated Dad's 78 birthday. There were ll gathered at our house for a pot luck supper so we had a great tucking out and a nice visit too with Dad's side of the family.

I'm late with our cards, most of the presents are bought, but not wrapped. I do have fruit cakes (white and dark) and the plum pudding made so I am well on the way. Except I realize it is only 10 DAYS TO CHRISTMAS. YIKES.

Mike and Brenda will be arriving the 23rd to stay with us over the holidays so we are thrilled. This year we are going to stay home to enjoy our home.

Jeff has finsihed his "tour of duty" with the Chamber of Commerce but continues to volunteer for Sunbury Shores, the Ambulance Operators Association, etc. I've been busy with others from Charlotte County organizing the Fundy Community Foundation. We have 15 on our Board and this past year has been spent educating ourselves on a community foundation (versus a family one like Themadel) and it has been a lot of dedicated work but fun too. We will be going public at our first annual meeting early in the new year.

Blaine worked at the Algonquin again this summer which he really enjoys. He works part-time at the Spa during the winter and will also be working New Year's Eve.

"Mady" continues to be busy with the Charlotte County Cancer Society and this year has been especially full with a county-wide fund raising campaign she organized, along with the regular day -to-day work. No mean feat. As usual, her oven has done double-duty producing goodies. Her giving is very tangible - whether to bake for food sales to help her friends, providing solace with her food for bereaving families or treating all of us. She enjoys doing it and we enjoy being on the receiving end.

Blaine had another hernia operation this spring (getting to be a habit), his cat ran away and just the other night he got whacked in the snout (ouch) with a squash racquet. He drove himself to the hospital and had two stiches and a tetanus shot.

Due to the fact that we've been lonely (Jeff) we (Jeff) filled the void by adopting a puppy. "Kimee" is part husky, part retrieve and all teenager. If you ever have a void in your life - take up napping. She's a pest but we love her. I think Jeff feels much the same about me!

So life's been much the same with its ups and downs. We survive, we go on and we take great pleasure in the company and support of our family and friends. Life would not be the same without you.

So to each of you - the Blessings of the Season and throughout 1995.