Elliot Lake Entertainment News | Local & Canadian Arts | Elliot Lake Standard
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Family ties still strong
Dedicated to my mother, Evelyn Christina 1928-2005 Each Christmas, we would gather for Holiday feasts with my mom — all of her “brats”. They were times of plenty — plenty of turkey, plenty of fun, plenty of warmth, plenty of homegrown music, and plenty of laughter. She would prepare for weeks ahead, hauling out oversized vegetables she had grown that summer, baking bread, doing all the things she had done when we were all at home. I have watched her hands, gnarled with age, but still so strong and capable, as she puttered about her domain. I have learned so much from those hands. I have seen my mother dress and wrap many a side of beef or pork with those hands; those same hands have soothed fussy newborns, cradled a downy baby head, or patted a tiny backside as she walked the floor. I have marveled at my mother’s endless store of energy as she tended to the daily push and pull of raising a large family on her own. I also recall her weeping in sorrow as she and my grandmother were told of my father’s death in a terrible winter accident. I was six at the time. I have heard my mother raise her voice as she reined in a rowdy bunch of youngsters; that same voice would be raised singing the old sweet songs of my childhood. I have watched my mother’s arms wrestle to quiet a skittish mare. Those same arms guided her own frail mother up a staircase or welcomed a long-lost friend to the supper table. I have watched my mother chop holes in the ice for a thirsty herd of cattle in the dead of winter, or haul in board-stiff clothes from outside, when she’d stay up all night banking fires and reading the Family Herald while they dried. I think about those frozen clothes when I throw a load of laundry in the dryer and dare to complain about hard work. I remember the absolute thrill of being allowed back downstairs when the little ones were asleep. I was the oldest, and rank did have its privileges. I have watched my mother agonize over income tax forms and grocery lists, rubbing out, scaling down, and making the numbers work. Later, when the grandchildren arrived, she hauled out her pencils and crayons, drawing and writing stories with them tirelessly. Times were tough for my mom, but her laugh lines ran deep and her eyes always sparkled with mischief. It is her very essence that we miss at Christmas. Her spirited sense of humour and a strong faith carried her over the rough spots in her life. What a winning combination, strong faith and a sense of humour — in fact, a great recipe for life, as I see it. Rest easy, Mom. We are trying to do it without you — difficult, but you left so many good memories to work with!
weather (Elliot Lake)
Lisa Hannigan, Damien Jurado and Valerie June scheduled for Calgary Folk Music Festival's online Block Heater
The Calgary Folk Music Festival’s annual Block Heater will become a virtual event for the first time, but still feature an eclectic lineup of indie artists from Calgary and other parts of Canada, America, Mexico and even a spotlight on Irish performers.