The Christmas Letter (2021)


Well, here it is, another year-end and another late letter. No good excuses although I could blame a Grey Cup trip but that was too good a trip to besmirch, and the game was so exciting, so I won’t!!

This year has been well chronicled within this Editorialog so I will leave it to you to refer to whatever catching up you want to do. For the moment I will just try to capture some of the highlights in as random a fashion as I can try to avoid…

Last winter was mainly a Covid-19 experience – terrible political leadership and in the end even the professionals fell victim to a policy of scare’em and lock’em… And after a couple of years, it is somewhat sad to see they still don’t have a plan for getting people healed quickly – just more Stage One ethical reasoning… But, as for us, at least we got in some good skiing…

The spring was spring-like with blossoms and other signs of rejuvenation which was somewhat restorative. By summer most people were getting outdoors and there was a distinct sound of laughter and joviality. Our house was aided in this by our Alberta grandkids coming for visits which, of course, forced more winery tours. But what are grandparents for if not to help succeeding generations to better understand the value of the grape?

Floating the channel during happy hour was often used as a way to be thankful for the life we live here, even when we were watching the water bombers flying low overhead heading onto the lake to re-load their tanks before then dumping said water on nearby raging forest fires. A couple of boating days also made for good times on the water. There were enough warm and sunny days to permit extensive use of the numerous beaches that are in the vicinity.

It was the first summer in almost a decade that there was no convertible [Bête Bleue] in the garage, but that didn’t seem to be a problem. In fact drives into Vancouver to watch the BC Lions were more comfortable in the 530e [Shadow] and it was fun learning about the intriguing bells & whistles of a PHEV [plug-in hybrid electric]. There was some dragon-boating for ST, and gw did a fair amount of biking, usually into the mountains. And golf was a regular feature of ST’s week, and occasionally gw would take up his clubs and demonstrate how little he has learned after seven decades of trying.

The wine crops were substantive. So autumn was most enjoyable as the various wine clubs hosted numerous gatherings to celebrate the harvest home. And one small winery, due to the lack of available workers (young people were finding it better to accept the free two grand a month the feds gave them to sit at home, rather than the three grand they could earn picking), invited fifty or so volunteers to help them get their Kerner grapes harvested. We decided to try it – lots of fun, some good food & wine for lunch and a promise of four [4] bottles next season… The day after was not so much fun as our aging bodies let us know this was a different exercise…but we survived…

As mentioned earlier, the CFL returned albeit a bit late and with a reduced schedule, but it was a good feeling to be back in the stands even though neither the BC Lions nor Edmonton Esks (oh pardon me, I really should call them by their proper name: Elks) made the playoffs. Again we went to the Grey Cup with Jeannine & Craig (our 15th journey together) and we all cheered (successfully) for the Blue Bombers. We stayed with our musician friend Allison Lupton at her wonderful home along the Grand River outside Cambridge – only sad moment, due to the sudden death of one of her musician friends, we had to cancel the kitchen party we had planned for the Saturday night.

And that pretty well sums up the year. We did have a delightful Québecois Noel Diner with ST’s sisters (& spouses) just before we flew back from the east. Prior to that she had some great times with a couple of girl friends while I had long overdo dinner meetings with cousins I seldom see.

And now the ski hill awaits…

Again, Joyeux Noel, Happy Hanukkah & All the best in the New Year!!