December brought guests, gifts, and awards

By Eleanor Cooper

Honours and Awards of worthy high school students have recently been published. Here are some closely or loosely connected to Guilford or to me. Many more also have earned the congratulations here extended. 

Macy Thompson won the Philip Payne Memorial award donated by the Payne and Fawcett families. Nicole Lee received the Mrs. Doris Cooper award. The Rosseter award was won by Courtney Semach, and the Wendy Schell Memorial Scholarship for mathematics was also donated by Mrs. Louise Cooper to Riley Allore, as was the Sid Cooper Memorial Scholarship to Zita Surany. 

Joycelyn  Chumbley won the Highlands Wind Symphony award, Those Other Movies Film Group and the Barkhouse Bursasry donated by Mary Anne Barkhouse, and also the Sarah Nash Memorial Bursary. Kara Chumbley won the HHSS Hospitality and Tourism Program award. 

Due to social connection, I mention the Taly Williams and Tashlin award won by Ava Smith for Tashlin/Williams award for Perserverence and Dedication to athletics. 

The Keith Burns Music Bursary was awarded to Fiona Higgins by the Highlands Concert Band. The Robert Sisson Memorial Bursary was awarded to Aiden Hill. 

Mrs. Chris Duchene’s Year 4 English Award went to Emma Pearson, and Chris Duchene Year 1 Extended French Award was won by two: Annabelle Borgdorff and Cheyenne Degeer. Our heartiest congratulations to all who earned these honours and awards. 

Guests and gifts keep coming in. I treasure these when one or two people come at a time. Usually they arrive together. How good that some bearing their music, at piano or just in good voice. What pleasure to sit at the kitchen table over a cup of tea and enjoy some of the homemade goodies which said guests have brought. Then there are the phone calls assuring that yes, they’ve remembered or that they plan to come soon. Contrary to some people’s experience who find that time flies. I find the waiting hard to bear. Children’s promises of certain visits are so longed for, so welcomed to anticipate. What do I do during this waiting time. Always a book to read. What would I do without Kathy’s book store or the comprehensive library? Another constant is the review of the old albums and the scrapbook albums. Memory lane grows larger every year and when cards include photos and last year’s notes of who did what and where they went the memories begin to build once again. 

Advent candles are all lit by now, all but the central Christ candle. Just as treasured is the larger based white one bought and brought just for my solace and pleasure after all the day’s work is done and I have time to enjoy the glow in the quiet time. 

Christmas season began for me with cards being addressed. Thought I’d never finish, but the return of those who sent like greetings more than made up for the effort. An early Christmas dinner set with candles as well as the bountiful delicious food set the mood for enjoyment. Since I no longer drive, the events anticipated couldn’t happen for me. I was determined however that two could not be missed the beloved Nutcracker performance and the Highlands Concert Band to which I used to belong and which now continues under Glen Carter’s splendid direction of some thirty instrumentalists. Both events met with great satisfaction of enthusiastic audiences. 

Throughout all of this, Advent at St. George’s Anglican presented its annual carols and lessons with wreath of candles lit Sunday by Sunday till the Christ candle in the midst of the four was lit on Christmas day. We gladly heard Christopher Chumbley’s singing of O Holy Night to crown the joy of the services. My own eager joy of anticipation of Beth’s coming and our visit to Alan in Orillia couldn’t happen due to the storm, the snow and the highway disasters. Constant phone calls assured me of loving care and wishes. New Year’s Eve brought George and Shireen’s lunch prepared for the three of us before they had to return to North Bay. My dear neighbours Beth and Norris entertained me on Christmas Day as I was blessed by their welcome abundantly. 

It’s all over now: decorations, cards, baking, the coloured light, the visiting, and Wayne Cooper’s card really said it all, “When it comes right down to it, He’s the only thing that matters.” Rather puts it all into proportion doesn’t it? 

Now to settle down to knitting on the seemingly endless prayer shawl and the reading of a couple of books obtained for me by Kathy at Master’s Bookstore. More calls keep coming, and I  have the promise of light from a candle from out west. All in all an unforgettable Christmas which will leave its mark in many ways. I wish you many blessings and dreams come true in 2023.