Saturday, March 27, 2010

Murder on the Avon

Wandering down to the river for one of our first strolls of the season, we were surprised when three mallards flew overhead so closely that their beating wings nearly touched our heads. We soon realized it was not a joyful journey but a pursuit. Eventually they landed upstream near the shore with a considerable flapping of wings.

Other ducks began swimming to the scene. It reminded me of a school yard, when a crowd quickly gathers to surround children who are fighting. Gradually the onlookers swam away leaving the original three. As we drew near we saw the viciousness of the attack. Two males were in the process of killing the female, biting her repeatedly on the head.

Following our human instinct we tried to intervene, to save the beleaguered young lady. Alas, it was to no avail. Moving on we realized that although we may not understand or approve, the natural world has her own ways. "Murder" is probably too strong a word. Maybe we just witnessed the way of the wild, and should rejoice in the fact that we here in Stratford live close to nature in its purest form...the survival of the fittest.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Jack Returns

It was a beautiful sunny morning, warm enough to wear my spring jacket. The chatter of the squirrels and the new tone in the song of the birds were definite indications that Spring was on its way.

On heading out, I discovered that Jack Frost had once again been back at work etching his beautiful designs on the windows of the car. It almost felt wrong to destroy his handiwork, but the market called, so his artistry had to go.

As I drove across the city, the scene changed. From the bright sun and clear blue skies on Cobourg Street, as I headed onto Mornington a gentle fog hovered above the land. By the time I reached McArthy, a thick fog was blanketing the earth. One could not not see across the field, and the new construction of the adult residence suddenly loomed into view out of the mist as I approached.

By the time I left the market some 30 minutes later, the fog had lifted. The sun brightened the scene with a thousand diamonds that Jack had left behind. He had once again been showering us with the beauty of a Stratford March.

I am anxious for Spring, as no doubt we all are, but oh, I do love the beauty of the winter landscape. Thank you, Jack, for reminding us how blessed we are to live in Canada!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Stratford's Singing Stars

For the past two Friday evenings, I have had the privilege of attending the "Stratford Singing Star" competition. What a delight to see and to hear these talented young people who set aside their nerves and took to the stage at the Kiwanis Community Centre. Twelve contestants were able to showcase their musical skills for the two performances. What a treat for those who came to listen!

This week was an elimination week and the competition has been narrowed to six. Next week the doors open at 6:30 pm. Each contestant will perform two songs and the judges will make their decision for the great prizes that are being offered. I strongly encourage any of you living in the Stratford area who love music to come out and cheer them on. It truly is a great way to spend a Friday evening.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Laughter on the Menu?

Most Wednesdays at supper time, you will find a group of us heading to Angie's Black Angus for some down home comfort food. We have just been running Kid's Company, a children's after school club run out of Memorial Baptist Church. The 80 to 90 kids that come to the church for a snack and life skills training, have us quite exhausted by the time we arrive at the restaurant. Early on in the Kid's Company program we decided that we would much rather have someone else cook for us as we visit and unwind after the busy afternoon.

Fortunately for us, the waitresses at the Black Angus have a great sense of humour. For me that has become part of the ambiance this diner has to offer. We know when we arrive that we'll be greeted with a friendly welcome. They are appropriately sympathetic if we have had a rough day. And if we are tired to the state of giddiness...well, they can ride with the punches pretty well.

They've learned that our corner of the restaurant is liable to be noisy and filled with laughter. They've accepted that we like our decaf brewed fresh. They have learned to put up with our antics, and respond to our teasing by replying in kind. They know that we love their bread pudding, and they're always sure to ask if we want dessert.

For me, Wednesday just wouldn't feel complete without a visit with our waitresses! Thanks, gals, for helping to enrich our lives. You're the best!