Monday, March 10, 2008

Who's genes are you wearing?

This past week brought lots of beautiful new snow to the rolling drumlins of Northumberland County, making for a little frustration, but once the storm clouds cleared we were treated to some crisp sunny days highlighted with huge drifts making for incredible scenery and lots shovelling (exercise). The only real negative were the high number of cancellations we received from people who were spooked by the exaggerated news coverage of the storm. Needless to say, this was discouraging for all of us who worked to clear snow, and made sure we were ready, willing and able to deliver the services that we had been expecting to deliver. I'm sure to get a few lovely calls from those who didn't make it here to tell me how unfair our cancellation policies are, how heartless and reckless I am, etc., etc. For my part, I truly believe that winter weather is part of the Canadian experience that should be celebrated. As long as we dress for it and make provisions for it in our plans, we ought not let it paralyze us with fear, but I'm sure this isn't an argument I'm going to win with those who think I should take the full brunt of losses on account of "the weather".
To keep us smiling through it all we had a weekend visit from two of my mom's sisters, Libby and Diane. Both are quite a lot of fun, albeit a little eccentric. One of the things I love about spending time with family is how it helps to explain why we are the way we are, our quirks, our humour, our character. When my dad comes home to join us in the celebration of my mom's 80th birthday on St. Patrick's day I'm looking forward to hearing more about his family findings in Ireland. We also had a reunion with a favourite former employee, superb massage therapist, and life long friend - Pat from Peterborough, (pictured above with David at Swiss Chalet) in Port Hope on Friday night (yes we made the treacherous journey to Port Hope right in the middle of the horrific storm and lived to tell about it). However, we didn't hold Swiss Chalet responsible for the storm that could have derailed our plans. We had lots of laughs as we reminisced and gossiped about days gone by at the spa. Pat is a wonderful soul with a huge heart who has just recently discovered the Latino zest for life.
This past week I spent a good deal of time on line tracing long deceased family members through the 1901 and 1911 census records. There are some amazing tools available for researching genealogy these days. I love going back to the original records and imagining the people of that era sitting down as the information was being recorded. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, many of these records have been digitized, making them much easier to search. These activities brought me back to the first time I visited the Toronto Library to look up microfiche articles published about the sinking of the Titanic for a school project - I think I was about 9 years old. I've had a fascination with the Titanic ever since; somehow I feel as though I was there, and perhaps I was in another life - who knows.

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