Where did the year go? This was a good year in a lot of ways … maybe the best part is that everyone in the family is okay. The other highlight this year was visiting Scotland and the village or Morar where my paternal ancestors came from back in the 1800s. And maybe I have some regrets that right now I am not in Edinburgh. It is said, that Edinburgh is the best city in the world for New Year's Eve celebrations. This past week was excellent because I got to spend a lot of good time with Jennifer, her family and my son Neil. Neil is headed back south to Toronto for a day or two with friends and then back home to Vancouver. I say home because he is quite certain that the west coast is where he wants to be. He was NOT impressed Thursday morning when the temperature was minus 35! He doesn’t even have a winter coat. He wore a heavy fall rain jacket (popular in Vancouver) and dressed in layers, and then added a scarf and toque. I offered him any coat in my closet but he said he was fine. It was a great visit. I mentioned to Jennifer this morning that I stocked up on groceries and vegetarian stuff that Neil likes, but we managed to find a lot of restaurants. It was more fun for Neil as he was able to see people he hasn’t seen in four or five years. Either way, I have a fridge full of fresh vegetables, which I suppose is a good thing.
Tomorrow, Timmins celebrates its official centennial as a municipality. I am amazed to think back to the people who built this community and how they managed to carry on and survive 100 years ago. The Northern Ontario wilderness is very unforgiving, but when people search out gold, they don’t hold back.
It was on this day in 1910 that Noah Timmins was trekking through the bush for his first ever visit to Timmins. He had grubstaked Benny Hollinger and Alex Gillies to work some claims, which eventually became the world famous Hollinger Mine, one of the world's richest gold mines. It was the next day, on January 1, 1911 that Mr. Timmins first arrived to see his new property. Obviously, his mine had an impact on the city that bears his name. Quite the history in this town.
In a couple of weeks from now, I will be marking my own anniversary of the day I arrived here back in the 1970s. I figured I would stay maybe six months. But the people here are nice. So I hung around.
So I will sign off for 2011 and wish everyone the very best in the coming year. Tonight I will think of all those I love, and I will toast you, as I enjoy the warmth of a great whisky.