Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Preparations in Ottawa

Well - we're back in Ottawa for the Christmas season. The trip up was rather hairy to say the least. Originally, we planned to leave on Monday the 8th when the sun came up, drive until dark -which would be around Edmundston, NB, then complete the trip on Tuesday during the daylight hours as well.

Mother Nature decided that a storm was in order for Nova Scotia starting Sunday late and that another bigger one was on her plan for Ontario and Quebec for Tuesday and Wednesday. So we decided to try and sneak back to Ottawa between the storms, leaving Lockeport at 11:45 PM on Sunday (hey, hockey in Barrington HAD to happen first!). As we left Lockeport it was raining and by the time we reached Port Joli the precipitation was snow that was staying on the side of the road. By Bridgewater, we were following a plow which helped for a bit anyway, but he turned off at the end of Lunenburg County. The 102 was rather tricky, much of it not plowed, and then we reached the Trans-Canada - very dark of course but 1 lane cleared. There were a few cars and 1 double tractor-trailer off the road in the Cobequid Pass but traffic was very light. It took 6 1/2 hours to get out of Nova Scotia - Wayne usually does that in under 4 hours. NB was very windy but the driving wasn't too bad once the sun came up (between Moncton and Fredericton). We were glad of our snow tires though. Wayne was sufficiently tired by the time we reached Oromocto that he actually had me drive for an hour so he could nap.

Quebec and Ontario were fine - we reached Ottawa about 7:30PM EST, stopped at Swiss Chalet for dinner and then were home. As predicted, the Tuesday/Wednesday storm was quite significant so we made the right decision.

We've got the tree up, my 70 houses spread around the house, turkey bought, cookies made, most of the presents ready. We've seen many friends from Lady Evelyn, Queenswood, CMHC, Greenview and have plans with several others. We've spent 2 days with our adorable grandchildren, attended a shower for grandchild #3 (Ava Sydney Taylor Cooper making her appearance somewhere around February 23rd, 2009 - another trip to Ottawa), had 2 Cora's breakfasts, a Wild Wing dinner. Regrettably, we missed a shower for my niece and her husband and our grand-niece (February 6th, 2009) since it was the same afternoon as the one for Dan and Christine's baby.

We're living with Bob and Tim so seeing lots of both of them. We've had dinner with Kris and Chris twice and if the weather cooperates a bit today, we'll have Dan and Christine over for dinner. Wayne has played hockey with old friends 3 times so far - he'll miss Tuesday's game as we have dental appointments.

I went to the OPL and got 10 books I wanted to read - 5 done so far.

All in all, we're having a great time - if it wasn't so cold, snowy and windy, the visit would be even better. Watching the weather networks news of Lockeport is somewhat depressing - obviously no snow accumulating there, while we're shoveling continually here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas By the Sea

This weekend is Christmas By the Sea in Lockeport - a small, local celebration to kick off the season.

Last evening there was a town tree-lighting in SeaCaps Park. It began with a light exchange - if you brought in 2 strings of old incandescent Christmas lights, you were given a new 35 light LED string by Nova Scotia Power for free. We had several old strings that came with our house so we got 2 new strings - an excellent energy saving idea.

The actual programme consisted of carolling by the pre-school children (3 and 4 years old). They had 6 or 7 songs to sing - all verses, very well done. Then the elementary school students sang for us - very lustily. A few short words from the NSP representative, then the mayor had us all yell "Git er done" a few times until we were loud enough that the elf in charge of the tree lights turned them on.

The evening was capped with hot chocolate and Timbits for all. I was drafted to serve hot chocolate - a nice warm job. It was about 9 degrees when the programme started but the wind picked up and the temp dropped quite a bit. Still a lot warmer than Ottawa.

There are sales this weekend at the local stores and post-office, food offerings, prize draws and tomorrow a craft fair at the Beach Centre with a luncheon available. Lots of fun, and the weather is glorious.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ah! Small Town Life

We are getting ready to head to Ottawa for Christmas. As part of our preparations, Wayne arranged to have the driveway plowed if it snows while we are gone. Today he asked our neighbour, Shirley, if she would pick up our mail for us (for some reason the post office is very reluctant to actually hold mail - they are quite willing to put a little sign in your box saying "no flyers" while you are away, but they would just as soon stuff all your mail in there instead of charging you to hold it). He mentioned that we were intending to go into Shelburne and get a timer for our living room lights - Shirley said "Why bother? Everyone will know you are away anyway".

I guess she saved us some money at least.