Monthly Archives: December 2010

Wednesday December 1, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

Watching junior hockey was fun. These little players went as fast as they could with as much determination and energy as an NHL champ, undeterred by their wobbly legs and restricting gear. Close to the ice, they fell and landed in furious heaps, unscathed and ready to go for a goal. All around us, parents who were bent on winning shouted advice and admonishments in a roar that would wake the dead. The rink was a frigid metal building. The small row of heating elements above the bleachers did little more than keep us from freezing to our seats, but the energy kept us cheering for all the kids. Being a team would have to wait until they could manage to get from one end of the rink to the other without falling or forgetting what position they were meant to play. This is when hockey was fun and the kids came home exhausted and filled with pride for having done their very best.

Thursday December 2, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

The Hudson’s Bay store in Lynn Lake carried everything. In order to get to the grocery section, you had to go past the clothing and the toys – which were a magnet. Standing at the same height as the display shelves, Aaron would be nose to nose with a car or an action figure and his pleadings encouraged Kate to whine for a present as well. It was therefore a planned purchase dependent on the behavior of the supplicants and, much as I hate to admit it – a genuine bribe. “If you’re not good, then, no toy!” Fortunately, at this age the value of the reward was not as important as the acquisition of something new and I could get away with something small, cheap and disposable. I often wonder what bribes cost today!

Friday December 3, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

My parents-in-law lived an easy 10 minute walk away and were the reason I was willing to move to a remote mining town in Northern Manitoba. We shared Christmas, Ruth and I, by dividing up the chores and helping each other clean up afterwards. (Christmas is always fun for the family – as long as “SOMEONE” does all the work!) This vignette was a “Patterson” situation. In the strip, the two sets of grandparents lived far from the family so their visits meant juggling bed space and were a welcome adjustment. Having them come to stay meant I could focus on them and show the readers who they were and what their personalities were like. I was lucky. I dearly loved my in-laws and I miss them both very much.

Saturday December 4, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

For children, the coming of Christmas is an endless wait. The ads, the lights and the music make them plead for the time to go faster. For mothers, there are never enough hours in the day.

Living in a small, isolated community meant that we all knew and relied on each other for everything from babysitting to compassion to the proverbial cup of sugar. Without speaking, moms of toddlers knew from the angle of a smile or the nod of a head, how another mom’s day was going. We shared, laughed with and supported each other as pageants, bake sales and community center events kept us thoroughly immersed in the holiday spirit. Christmas in Lynn Lake was as rich as any I have known – mostly because we were all so close. There was little class distinction here. Nobody was better than anybody else and if they thought they were, they became lonely pretty fast! Many of the down-to-earth punch lines in the strip came directly from the down-to-earth friends I had in Lynn Lake.

Sunday December 5, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

My dad, reading the paper while relaxing on the couch, is a classic image. Mom always read at the table where she could spread the sheets out evenly; Dad preferred to hold them up to the light. The snap and crackle of him flipping to the next page is a sound I can still hear clearly, recorded in some archive buried deep within my private mental files. It was nice to sit, warm against his side, and read the news with him. My knees on the cushions, my shoulder against his, we’d read together in silence. I learned to read at his fast pace and when it came to the “funny pages” we studied together the panels, the pranks, the precision that made us smile.

Mom on the other hand did not like us to read over her shoulder. It bothered her to share what must have been a rare private time and, this, of course, offered me the opportunity to ruffle her feathers. I would climb the rung on her chair and read, with my chin on her arm until I could sense a sort of vibration…an electric exchange that happens between mom and kid that says “that’s all I can take!” I knew I was pushing her buttons – the trick was to escape before she blew. Funny isn’t it how little things drive folks crazy. My dad loved the company, my mom wanted to be left alone. Both of them loved to read, however – which impressed me greatly. I love to read now, because it meant so much to them.

Monday December 6, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

I don’t remember my own Christmas pageants, but my kids remember theirs. Anything that required a script and stage was taken seriously in Lynn Lake, where entertainment was all home made. Costume sessions and rehearsals took place in private homes and the community centre would be packed as friends and family vied for the best seats in the house. Aaron played the part of a shepherd one year, dressed in his bathrobe and striped pajamas, and a reindeer the next. Being in front of an audience never fazed him and even without lines, he played his roles to the hilt. The elementary school teachers were full of ideas and had the courage to pull them off. Music was provided by Mr. Bergan’s music group and the community choir. It’s amazing to me now, to think about how the town would come together as one for these things, and the talent within our own crowd was amazing.

Tuesday December 7, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

Again, the material that appeared in the strip was mostly made up. It was fun to imagine what it would be like to have a large, busy class of kids, all involved in putting on a play and one harried teacher in charge of everything. I could play the role of the teacher and also the kids and I tried to put myself into every possible scenario.

Aaron’s teachers were, again, part of our circle of friends. If I needed the inside scoop on anything, all I had to do was ask! If I wanted to know anything about pharmacy, I’d ask Bob at the drugstore. If I wanted to know anything about the workings of the corner store, “Fergy” Ferguson would be glad to oblige. I talked to the RCMP and to the pilots and to anyone whose career might possibly appear in the strip. Living in a small town meant ready access to wonderful resources, long before the internet made research so easy.

Wednesday December 8, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

Aaron’s remark that his teacher had “no sense of human” became the punch line for this strip. In reality, his teachers were the best, but like his mother, I’m afraid, he managed to push them to their limit. The thing about Aaron was that he was funny. Even if he was completely in the wrong he retained a certain aura of acceptance, and tales of what he had done lately were part of the staff room chatter. He enjoyed school and did well in the things he was interested in, but otherwise he daydreamed, fooled around and got into trouble. I could understand. This was the way I drifted through elementary school, too. The class clown who was constantly told how well I could do if I could only settle down and learn!

Thursday December 9, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

Knowing the teachers personally made parent-teacher interviews less stressful. Still, I always prepared myself for the same admonishments: Aaron was too easily distracted, he was too much of an entertainer, and in order to learn he had to be part of the audience. Math was never his favorite subject and I could sympathize there. His grandfather tried to give him remedial lessons, as did his grandma, who had been an elementary school teacher. Still, he found it hard to concentrate and would rebel. This had been my problem, too. At parent-teacher interviews, I knew that every time his teachers explained their concerns, it could easily have been my own teachers talking to my parents about me!

Friday December 10, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

I had some wonderful, insightful and compassionate teachers. The dialogue you see here is almost word for word from a conversation I had with Mr. Stibbs in grade four. He told me that yes, he did pick on me and yes, he did single me out in the class – and that he did so because he knew I could do better. He explained that it took a lot of his time and energy to put me in my place and he did so because I was worth it. I think he was the first to put a harness on the unruly kid that I was and he did so by letting me know – in a strict but very fair way, that he had respect for my intelligence and therefore so should I.

Saturday December 11, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

It was a long time before I realized I could actually enjoy learning, if only I could just let my teachers do their job. First I had to test them and see what their limits were. I had to make them angry and see how they handled their anger before I let them in. If they were fair and honest and strong, I learned. If they fell into the trap; if they screamed or threw stuff, or had favorites or didn’t come through with a promise, I became their worst nightmare and twice I was removed to other classes. Teachers see more of their charges than the parents do and I think I was looking for as much discipline as they could give me. Looking back, I have some apologies to make… and so very much to thank them for.

Sunday December 12, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

My mother did not like surprises…or so she said. Gift giving was always a challenge for me because she was effusive, no matter what the gift was, so it was hard to tell whether I’d made the right choice or not.

Mom was an excellent seamstress. She could make anything – even patterns from scratch. I was working at Woodwards in Vancouver, making a salary for the first time, so Dad and I decided to pool our resources and get her a Bernina sewing machine for her birthday. It was the latest thing. It could make designs and buttonholes without a template and you could use several colours of thread at once. It was expensive, however, and Dad worried that she’d be angry with us for spending so much when we could hardly afford it. He had to tell her our plan. Naturally, she said “Absolutely not!” She wouldn’t have us spending wantonly on something she could well do without. So…we got her a jewelry box instead. When she opened her gift, we could tell that Mom was bitterly disappointed. “What’s the matter?” Dad asked- genuinely surprised by her reaction. Pressing a hanky to her eyes, she cried, “I thought I was getting a new sewing machine!!” Go figure. Gift giving was always an awkward time in our family. Any time we did it right – it was a surprise!

Monday December 13, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

Driving to a destination which requires a map means that yours truly is more than likely to miss an important turn off or happily follow the wrong signs. To avoid this misery, I have always given myself time to “get lost”. This allows frustration to melt into a sort of “adventurous” state of mind, wherein I explore my surroundings, take note of where I went wrong and promise myself I’ll remember the next time. With two small kids in the back seat, wondering if we’re “there yet” and teasing each other to make time go faster, I could hardly afford to get angry.

I think now about all the technical devices available to keep one on track and I marvel. What would I have accomplished if I’d had a GPS? What would life on the road have been like if an ingeniously mounted, vehicle-friendly television screen had quietly entertained my offspring with programs of their choice? One thing I do know is that I would never have enjoyed the thrill of the chase and the excitement of seeing the correct corridor disappear beneath an overpass, taking me in the opposite direction! I would never have figured out for myself how to get from A to B – and isn’t this all part of success? Why take the easy way when the wrong way can lead to something new? I ask myself. And I’m still waiting for the answer!

Tuesday December 14, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

The airport in Lynn Lake was walking distance from the town. Every flight went over the houses and after awhile you could tell if it was a Twin Otter, the scheduled flight, or someone coming in for a fishing trip. Our Cessna 185 had a particular hum and this changed when the floats were removed and the skis added. I always knew when Rod was home from the villages up north. I would bundle up the kids and be at the airport to pick him up before he landed.

As I recall, my parents only made the long journey once to see us. Aaron knew them both well, having spent time alone with them at their cottage in Hope, BC, but to Katie they were strangers. The joy of our reunion at the small outpost airport was lost on Kate, who hid behind my legs and maintained a wary reserve until they had settled into the house. It was Christmas and the fun of the season soon took over. I can still see her on my dad’s knee singing and playing, now aware that she was with family.

Wednesday December 15, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

We wait so long to hear our children speak in clear, concise sentences. We correct their grammar, teach them the meanings of new words and how to incorporate them into their vocabulary. We rejoice in their learning – and then… we want them to shut up!!!

By the time he was five, Aaron was reading well and speaking like an adult. I loved the baby talk, but my goal was to see him go as far as he could with the language and to enjoy its use. Katie too loved to learn and the hope was that with good communication, we would all be able to understand each other better. With the advent of language came the flood.

Every movie was dissected and rehashed, every accomplishment, every thought, dream or accusation was gone over again and again. In short, there was non-stop talking. The trick was to pick up enough of the garble to prove you’d been listening and also to filter through the flow for the important stuff like: “the upstairs toilet is overflowing ’cause there’s a sock in it.” Interesting, isn’t it, that when kids become teenagers and the need for real communication arises …they don’t want to say a thing!

Thursday December 16, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

In this scenario it’s Elly’s father-in-law who unplugs the toilet, but this story really belongs to my dad. My grandparents lived in West Vancouver. Before we had a car, the trip was made by bus and it took the better part of a morning to get there. My grandfather (Mom’s dad) was a severe man, used to giving orders and making demands. Because my dad’s family was not as high in the British caste system as he was, Gramps treated my father with disdain, often calling him by his last name. “Ridgway! Do this! Ridgway! Do that!”

My dad was hurt and offended. He was gentle soul, however and always tried to avoid conflict. He kept his feelings to himself until the day we arrived to a distraught Gramps and an impossibly plugged privy. Dad was pretty good at fixing things and was soon pressed into finding out what had caused the system to back up. Dad stood before the offending bowl, scratching his head. Gramps, desperate to resolve the problem, offered to pay Dad to fix it. Dad looked at my grandfather and said “I will unplug your toilet if you will call me by my first name.” With some effort, Gramps agreed to do so and the waters flowed once more. Amazing, isn’t it, that the price gramps had to pay was simple courtesy.

Friday December 17, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

“Kafloompa- gush, kafloompa-gush” is my all time favorite sound effect. Coming up with words that suggest things like the screaming of brakes or the rumbling of thunder has been a sort of “art form” with cartoonists often claiming ownership. I was once accused of swiping Don Martin’s (Mad Magazine) sound effects. I think the noises I came up with were “ka-thwanggg” or “ga-fwappp” or something like that. Perhaps these words were similar to Don’s – but I hadn’t stolen them! In the English language, there are only so many ways to spell the sound of a cream pie hitting the side of a head or a mouthful of cold peas being spat onto a plate.

Years ago, I saw an article about Rice Crispies and how “snap, crackle and pop” was written in other languages. Some of the examples were: “knisper, knasper, knusper”, “rix, rax, rox,” and “piff, paff, poff” none of which I thought were as descriptive as the English. So, cartoonists will continue to come up with written sound effects as long as there are images that require them and if anyone should choose to incorporate “kafloompa-gush” into their art, I will consider it, with humility and gratitude, to be a genuine compliment.

Saturday December 18, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

Katie, more than Aaron, was fascinated by the toilet. The fact that things simply disappeared was magic. After overcoming her need to keep everything that was HERS, and agreeing to let creations of a personal nature travel on to the pipes below, she wanted to flush anything that would fit into the porcelain receptacle. Socks, toys, and toothbrushes found themselves trapped in the bowels of our bathroom, awaiting a rescue and a wash.

I was partly to blame. When a small boat couldn’t be retrieved and tears ensued, I told her that it had gone out to sea and was happily floating off to explore the world beyond. With this in mind, it occurred to her that other things might want to escape the confines of home as well. The sound of flushing was suddenly a reason to drop whatever was at hand and run to the nearest bathroom. The day we bought our own “worm” was the day we gave up, braced ourselves for more flushings (despite warnings, admonishments and time outs) and looked forward to the day when other things would capture her interest. Unfortunately, neither of our kids was ever fascinated by laundry.

Sunday December 19, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

My dad made up words to stories and songs all the time: “When shepherds washed their socks by night”, “We three Kings of orient are trying to smoke a rubber cigar” and “round John virgin” were all part of our holiday hymns. Naturally, when I read to my brother, it behooved me (a good word at reindeer time) to change the words.

Part of the game was in our having memorized the book or song sheet, so a funny alteration was a challenge and something of an expectation.
Every so often I will see a youngster reading from memory, hardly looking at the words and these scenes come back to me. Thank goodness for memories…. and Christmas memories are some of the best!

Monday December 20, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

Yes, grandparents are a wonderful invention. I was lucky to have had the best parents-in-law one could ask for. Ruth and Tom Johnston were the models for the grandparents you see here. I used their photographs to get a likeness and their personalities were incorporated as well. I was so glad my kids had a rich and healthy connection to at least one set of grandparents. My folks lived on the other side of the country and were not able to see the children too often.

My own grandparents were either distant in miles or distant in sentiment. The only recollection I have of my paternal grandfather was “putting him out” when he fell asleep sitting up on the couch in our living room. He would smoke home rolled cigs, and the paper would be stuck to his bottom lip while the lit end smoldered and dropped hot ashes on his shirt. I remember slight plumes of smoke rising from his chest and Grandma whacking him with a dishcloth to put out the fire! My dad’s mom was a round lady with a strong domestic streak who was at home in the kitchen – but I do remember seeing photos of her in buckskins, in the snow, holding a rifle! That’s another story.

My mom’s folks were British and rather “upper crust”. Although they appreciated us, my brother and my cousins and I all had to be seen and not heard. In the strip, I had both sets of grandparents play a meaningful role – even though they lived in Winnipeg and Vancouver. In my imagination, it could all be just the way I wanted it to be!

Tuesday December 21, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

Taking a gift to a favorite teacher was, for me, a significant gesture. I wasn’t one to give a gift in order to be liked as much as it was a token of respect and affection. I’ve said before that I was not an easy kid to control and my teachers had to work hard to keep me in line. I think I remember every one of my elementary school teachers, as they played such a big role in my life. My second grade teacher Miss Campbell and I started out on the wrong foot. Envious of my brother’s ability to “write his name in the snow”, I convinced one of the boys in my class to pee in the rubber boots in the cloakroom, which he did. It’s amazing what kids will do when told to – even by another kid! Anyway, I was held responsible along with the culprit and until the last day of the school year, Miss Campbell and I were at serious odds. Interesting, then, that I would be sad to the point of tears when we all had to say goodbye. I took her a card and a rose tea cup and saucer. It was an extra one of my Mom’s and a pattern I particularly liked. I wondered if she’d sip her tea from it and think of me…and forgive me for having been such a thorn in her side!

Wednesday December 22, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

Shopping with my kids at Christmas always reminded me of Christmases at home with my parents. Dad made $47.00 a week and if we had something left over by the end of the month, we could go into Vancouver from the north shore for dinner and a movie. For the four of us, this was a $12.00 expense and difficult to afford. Christmas therefore was sparse, and yet my parents made it as festive as any, with homemade gifts, hand sewn clothing and a turkey dinner to rival any feast in a grand hotel.

It’s good to have lived in a home where every dollar was hard earned and accounted for. As I walked about the shops with Aaron and Katie, I was as overwhelmed by the toys and the abundance as they were. It was hard to believe that I could afford these luxuries and difficult to keep from buying more than was necessary. Santa was indeed generous to my children…but the gifts I was given when I was their age probably meant more. They came from the heart more often than they came from the store!

Thursday December 23, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

Kevin, who does my colouring (and other graphic necessities), asked me to put an extra strip into this week of dailies in order to make the dates coordinate with the 2010 calendar. This was fun to add, and brought back memories of cleaning out the fireplace for Santa’s nocturnal arrival. We had a large fireplace in the Lynn Lake house and sweeping it out was as much of a ritual as cutting the tree. First the charred wood was disposed of, then the grate was cleaned and the alcove swept and vacuumed out so Santa wouldn’t get any soot on the rug. In front of the fireplace we would then set out Katie’s little blue table and chairs on which was ceremoniously placed a plate of cookies and a glass of milk. The stockings were hung from nails under the mantelpiece and were always big, woolly ones made for northern winters. Aaron, being older, already knew about Santa but it was a long time before the mystery was explained to Katie. I think the best Christmases are the ones we share near a fireplace with people who believe in magic!

Friday December 24, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

It was all I could do to stay in bed on Christmas morning. By 5 am, I’d be up and peeking around the hall corner at the gifts under tree. If my brother was awake, we’d stand there hand in hand in the living room, shivering more from excitement than the cold. We were allowed to open our stockings and nothing else. The waiting was awful and wonderful at the same time. I wondered how my folks could stay in bed on such an important morning. Christmas had taken such a long time to come, and now we were made to wait even longer.

I made the same arrangement with Kate and Aaron. Stockings only until we were up and the coffee was made. I remember them pushing our bedroom door open to see if we were stirring. It was all they could do to let us sleep until 7. We didn’t appreciate it at the time, but I now miss those busy, crazy sleep deprived Christmas mornings!

Saturday December 25, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

In Lynn Lake, we had Christmas morning to ourselves and after lunch we’d walk over to Ruth and Tom’s house for more openings and Christmas dinner. My in-laws always gave us practical gifts, so this strip was just for fun. Nobody gave the kids horns and drums – they were noisy enough as it was. Sitting in their living room surrounded by family and food, paper and presents is an image I’ll keep with me forever. What you see in this strip is all of us the way we were at a time when life was perhaps more complicated, but far less stressful. Memories and magic is what Christmas is all about.

Sunday December 26, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

The Lynn Lake theatre was an easy walk from the house. If one of us took the kids to a movie, the other could have a few hours to catch up. One of my favorite things to do is to “organize”! I love to throw things out and often regret having done so. The alternative, though, is to have too much stuff! What a luxurious problem to have.

One day while the kids were out, I did go through their things. I gave much of what I thought was forgotten and ready to recycle to the church for the annual bake and rummage sale. This event was always well attended. I took Katie and Aaron with me to enjoy the tea and the treasure hunt, forgetting there would be a number of their things in the sale. They immediately identified their own toys and I dutifully bought back the things they weren’t ready to part with! I learned to ask first, and to let them choose what to give away and what to save!

Monday December 27, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

The alcove in my mother-in-law’s house was too small to allow for an organized dropping of outerwear. Likewise the closet in our front hall was a “bin” you dove into head first hoping to find something that, if not matching, at least fit! Along with the jumble of boots, mitts and whatnot came the sand, the pine needles and an omnipresent puddle of gritty, melted snow. If this cache of crud bothered you, it would be a thorn in your side for 8 months! This is how long winter lasted in northern Manitoba. You just had to get used to it.

Spring would warm the roof for a few days before summer came and this is when the hall heap of winter wear would be dissected, paired up and thrown into the laundry. More often than not, we discovered things left by friends and friends of friends, which lead to the neighborly tradition of returning stuff and picking stuff up that you had left behind. Last week, I noticed that my daughter Katie,( now 33) had on a pair of mittens she’s had since she was little. I wondered how they had lasted for so long – still in a pair, still wearable. Somehow, they’d survived the family “filing system”. It goes to show you that favorite things find their way to the surface, no matter how deep the pile!

Tuesday December 28, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

The year Katie turned two, we made arrangements to go to Barbados after Christmas. My parents-in-law had set up their spare room for the children, and knowing we were leaving them in good hands made the decision easier. Ruth and Tom were strict disciplinarians but good natured and fair. Tom still worked at the mine mill, but Ruth was retired and very much enjoyed being grandma. Aaron understood the situation. He wasn’t going to get away with much while his folks were gone. Had MY parents been taking the reins, however, it would have been a different story. My kids would have figured out fast that my mom was tough, but dad was a pushover. They’d have figured out fast how to pit one against another, to play on dad’s sympathy and to run them both ragged. That was our game. My brother Alan and I knew how to play it – no holds barred!

It was years before my parents volunteered to “babysit” my children…and even then, they did so one at a time!

Wednesday December 29, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

Telling Aaron we were going on a trip without him wasn’t easy. He wanted to go everywhere, see everything – he didn’t want to be left out. Staying at home with strict but fair grandparents didn’t sound like a swell time and objections wouldn’t get him anywhere. We wanted take him, but we needed time out, time off- we needed to be kid free!
When the temperature slipped below -30, I had gone down to the local travel agent and had asked him to recommend a warm refuge. We checked out the brochures on Barbados. I chose a hotel because the name sounded nice and on the spot I had booked everything.

Before we went anywhere, however, I had to work ahead so that the strip would run smoothly and I’d have enough lead time to get back into it again when I got home. To do this, I’d check out the return date then work weekends and evenings until I had 6 extra weeks of FBorFW done past that date. Travelling, therefore, meant long hours of writing and drawing beforehand, and barking at kids in an airport wasn’t going to be part of the scene. We looked forward to the adventure and to the reward of sitting on a warm beach with a cold drink and nothing to do but enjoy. We looked forward to it, we deserved it, but we felt guilty all the same. Aaron made us feel guilty for going… which meant, of course, that things were normal.

Sorry folks! We had a bit of a technical glitch this week and some of the strips were delivered to us out of order. We’ve corrected this and the order of this week’s strips has changed somewhat so you may want to go back via our archives and read this week again!

Thursday December 30, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

Again, there was no “Ted” in our community. This character was entirely fiction. Here, John has beer with his colleague in an upscale shop on the street below their clinics. In the strip, the world is fictional. John and Ted are working in a cosmopolitan environment with 4-6 storey buildings around them and a large parking lot on the corner. In reality, our clinic was above Perepeluk’s Grocery and the only coffee shop you might go to schmooze in was “Wong’s Cafe” across the street. The old wooden booths and the coffee counter with the worn round stools welcomed you like a 50s movie set. The smell of egg rolls, wonton and fried rice filled the down in your parka and would linger there for hours, “poofing” out whiffs of Wong’s.

As for New years’ resolutions, I don’t remember making too many – either for myself or anyone else. I learned long before my kids were born that resolutions, though well intended, rarely come about. Our philosophy then was to do what you could, hope for the best and to laugh at the things we couldn’t change. This we did. We shared laughter with good friends – as often as possible.

Sorry folks! We had a bit of a technical glitch this week and some of the strips were delivered to us out of order. We’ve corrected this and the order of this week’s strips has changed somewhat so you may want to go back via our archives and read this week again!

Friday December 31, 2010

Lynn’s Notes:

When they were young like this, the kids never really got into the swing of New Year’s Eve. Other than being able to dig into the dregs and leftovers from the night before, it was just another day. They would look about, wondering what was new? What was different about the first of January?

For the adults, on the other hand – in a town where ANY reason to party meant a full house on a moment’s notice – New Year’s Eve was the night of nights. You needed no preparation, really. If you had heat, a working loo and some furniture you were golden. Food happened and beer was just a short walk away from the pharmacy. We raided each other’s fridges and cooked on each other’s stoves. We borrowed each other’s music and made our own. We all knew each other so well, there wasn’t the slow process of “getting things under way”. We simply carried on from one get together to the next, bringing the gossip, gaffes and groceries with us. In the small mining town of Lynn Lake, New Year’s Eve meant a great time would be had by all, and the change in the date meant we had all made it through another year – together. In a small town, family means “everyone”.

Sorry folks! We had a bit of a technical glitch this week and some of the strips were delivered to us out of order. We’ve corrected this and the order of this week’s strips has changed somewhat so you may want to go back via our archives and read this week again!