Thursday, 29 December 2016

Take a Hike

This fourth day of Christmas dawned fair and fine.  The temperatures in Newfoundland are practically balmy, a mere minus one! It was too nice not to be in the great outdoors so my friend LC and her boys AC and MC as well as her mom and Hershey, the chocolate lab all took me for a walk along Ned's Pond.  This is a local trail and simply glorious!

The trail was beautifully decorated by the local people with ornament, bows and wreaths.  It was a festive as well as a beautiful walk.  One could certainly appreciate the beauty of nature, the sights, the stillness, and the fresh air.  Around every turn there was something to admire either from the decorations or the sights. 

There were lots of people out walking enjoying the beauty of the day and the sights along the way. So here are few pictures to enjoy from the beauty of this fourth day of Christmas

The covered bridge that marked the beginning (or in this case the end) of the trail

Decorations in the snow

Mittens on the tree

A decorated tree

A fire pit for an out door cook up...forgot the kettle today!

The views are spectacular, the running water still flows freely

a foot bridge to cross the water

A snow covered beaver lodge, one of 2 lodges. 
The second had a for sale sign

The beaver lodge has a few decorations

a look across the pond and the beaver stripped trees

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

On the first day of Christmas...

On this first day of Christmas we are sitting tight in our home in Winnipeg.  Christmas Day dawned crisp and clear with the threat of bad weather to come.  Mother Nature did not disappoint and overnight there was more than 20 centimetres of snow dumped on "Winter"peg.  For the first time in the three years at our current address there was no way to open the back door and there was no way to get in the backyard to shovel said door since the back gate was also blocked with snow.  With a little creativity and foresight to keep the shovel within arms reach of the back door it was wiggled open enough to reach the shovel and to one handedly get enough snow out of the way to get the door open a bit then a bit more and eventually enough for two excited critters to leap out in the snow banks (suffice it to say they were the only happy ones about snow in this house).

We were initially scheduled to fly on this first day of Christmas as my true love gave to me tickets home.  Old man winter had a completely different idea!  So we patiently wait for the rescheduled flight thanks to the wonderful customer service agents at Westjet.  We will get there if a little late!
This first day of Christmas is not without additional issues and the power got knocked out and we await the hard working hydro personnel to restore it for us.

This all got me to thinking about the song the Twelve Days of Christmas and the lovely items that are sung about.  As we cleared snow, I thought what would I change those lyrics to....on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me help with the snow clearing.... it kind of has a neat ring to it!
I can't wait to see what the second day of Christmas will bring!

Here we are all finished clearing the driveway....only about 3 hours

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Sleigh Bells Ring ... are you listening

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight,
We're happy tonight,
Walking in a winter wonderland.
 Joe Nichols - Winter Wonderland Lyrics 

Sleigh Rides are a long time tradition of the congregation of St. Saviours where my DH serves as priest and with the juggling of my schedule I was able to participate in the fun and merry making.  In total there were four sleighs with approximately twenty people each.  It is a community building event that draws young and old.  The timing could not be better as we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Joy.

There is something lovely about the carol, winter wonderland!  And something even more spectacular when you can experience a sleigh ride this close to Christmas in the beautiful setting that we were in today at Birds Hill Park.  The day is a crisp one!  Approximately minus 20 and it is  necessary to be bundled up for sleigh rides but the cold is forgotten as the horse drawn sleighs, bells ringing, begin to pull up for everyone to pile on. In a very short time we are off and what a fantastic day it was, despite the cold.

We rode around the park for an hour, there was fabulous scenery and it often seemed magical as we went through the trails in the woods.  Snow sat like cotton balls on the branches and the evergreens were wearing beautiful dresses of white. This Sunday of joy was lived out in a very real way today as the people took time out of busy schedules to have spend with family and to celebrate the advent season sharing joy together.   We were reminded in the service today of the joy of Mary and Elizabeth as we draw closer to Christmas.  Joy is found in numerous ways and forms especially when a community comes together to make memories such as the ones that would have been made today by young and old alike.  

As we continue our journey through advent, preparing ourselves for the ultimate gift offered at Christmas we think of all that we have to hope for, the peace we continue to seek and then look around at how we have been blessed and there we will find not merely memories but true joy.

So when sleigh bells ring are you listening?  Can you picture the beautiful horses? And hear the laughter in the breeze as joy rings out all around?

Listen closely and in the memories you make you will see and hear the joy around you.