Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter Scene

This morning when we got up the thermometer registered minus 35C, (-31F), the moon and the stars were still shining, and the wind was very low. I heard a coyote howl once, and looked out toward the garden. There were three deer standing motionless in the moonlight. They stood still for so long I wondered if they had died and frozen in that position. Then one of them swivelled its ears, and I knew they were still living.

Our dog Honey was holed up in her box in the garage, a few sheets of rigid insulation under the box, and a sleeping bag over the box, forming a snug little cave for her where she nestled into an old crib blanket.

All of our activities went on this weekend, not quite as per normal, but with surprisingly good attendance. I missed the rehearsal on Saturday afternoon because our car was stuck in a snow drift in our driveway. Jim had it dug out by 4 p.m., so we did both make it to the performance of the Community Christmas Concert that evening, Jim to be in the audience, and I to be in the string group. That concert usually has standing room only, but Saturday evening the auditorium was only half full.

Sunday morning we picked up Jan and went to church, wondering if anyone would show up. Our pastor is gone for the week, and the pastor coming from a town one hour away was stuck in a drift along the country road. An angel on a tractor came by and pulled him out, and he was there on time to preach. The congregation gradually gathered until we had a respectable crowd. Jan and I played a violin/piano offertory on one of the versions of "Away in a Manger"

Then it was home for a bite of lunch and a chance to revel in some bright sunshine. That's when I took the above photo to show that even though Alberta has some awful storms, heavy winds, and low temperatures, winter can be beautiful.

The second performance of the Christmas Concert was very well attended. The parking lot at the large church in town was packed down to the last stall. I had to park a block away. This time a capacity crowd enjoyed the varied program: two choirs; two small bands of bass, guitar, drums, piano, clarinet and trumpet; trumpet duet; "radio" (circa 1945) skit; handbell choir; violin trio (3 young boys); string ensemble, and grand finale with both choirs, and all instruments. This particular concert has been held for many years here, a gift to the community from the Arts Academy. It has always seemed like the real beginning of the Advent Season to me, just as the performance of the "Messiah" by the Calvin College Choir and Orchestra in the Grand Rapids Civic Auditorium signalled the beginning of the Christmas festivities when I was growing up in Michigan.

Don't these traditions just do so much for our lives!


  1. Your morning winter scene sounds magical! Top it with a Christmas Concert as grand as yours and I'm in heaven. ; )

  2. There are SOME nice things about living in Canada!

  3. I'm a little late on this but this is the season to be busy! Your winter scene is lovely. We are in a snow storm right now, but thankfully we are in the teens here not below 0!
    I love our winter scenes also. The air is so crisp and clear, punctuates everything.
    Blessed thoughts to you all!