Unseasonably warm weather raised eyebrows throughout the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
Rather than dampen the celebrations, though, it just whetted people’s appetites for group shenanigans.
Hawkins Lake busy
A fresh snowfall in the week before Christmas delighted the children, both young and old, who gathered to be with family for Christmas.
Judy Lauzon had three “greats” visiting – Tyril, Xavier and Sierra from Vancouver and Kamloops. Judy says they were hill-sliding every day, out of their pyjamas and off, coming in for breakfast only after they were soaked through, drying their clothes while they ate, then back out again.
She and Joe hosted 21 folks for dinner on Christmas.
On New Year’s Eve, everyone gathered to feast at the homes of Anssi and Donna Rantamaa, and Tim and Maureen Wasilieff.
After supper people moved outside, gathering closely around a fire to stave off the windy -12 C night to watch the fireworks launched by Anssi.
The display goes back at least 25 years, he says. It started small with just a few items he had left over from the previous summer.
They were “better than banging pots” he adds. Over the years, others have chipped in with more firepower, so the display now continues for about 15 minutes.
New Year’s Day brought the much-anticipated Fourth Annual Pine Beetle Bonspeedle with two teams of six vying for honours on the frozen surface of the lake. This is the event in which rounds of beetle-killed firewood serve as curling rocks for real and “would be” Scots bent on fun.
Ice conditions were described as “the ultimate.” Ross Bennett and helpers had cleared the snow, flooded the surface several times, and then installed pro-like rings in the “house” with food die.
Again the day was a cool one, -5 C with a serious wind, cooling the bodies but not the spirits. A halftime break was taken on the Bennett’s deck, where a wood stove burned hotly and the warm soup, sandwiches and other goodies had been laid out by Donna on planks over two sawhorses.
Few spectators braved the conditions, but Sophie Mildiner, daughter of Taryn Thomson and granddaughter of Peter and Heather Thomson, sure did.
“We had the best seats, granddad,” she said later referring to the snow bank, “but it was kind of cold!”
This is the first year Sophie has visited in the winter, and she set about building a snowman immediately on arrival, says Peter.
Unfortunately, in the heat of battle, one of the well seasoned “rocks” split, as firewood is want to do, and a handle broke on another. At the time of writing it is unknown whether the damaged “stones” will be repaired or added to the woodpile.
Mahood Lake cooking
Folks in the Mahood area gathered for their annual Snow Picnic cook out on the Thursday between the two big holidays.
Sixteen met at the Mahood Lake Park to cook up hotdogs and onions on a fire, which were shared along with beans and a heap of Christmas baking.
“There was lots of laughter,” says Mahood Falls Community Society leader Carol Mackenzie, despite it being a windy and cold -8 C day.
Carol adds there is not very much snow around the lake, but snowmobilers are finding plenty at higher elevations on Mahood Mountain and the plateau to the South.
That’s all for now. Until next time, here’s wishing you many blessings in the new year.