Archives for December 6, 2019
Snow is way more than that fluffy white stuff drifting gently from the sky. It is, get this, frozen crystalline water, thin enough to be referred to as flakes. No two snowflakes are the same, have ever been the same and will never be the same, ever. So try to imagine how many unique designs that would include. Oh, and also not the same as any other year past or to come. Wheww, a bazillion, gazillion designs
To experience a snow job is not a task somehow doing something with snow. It is to have someone try to fool me, sell me a thing or idea, as if falling snow obscures all the facts. A snow blast is a fierce wind gust while it is snowing quite intensely. A snow fort is what we used to build as children (and still now with grandchildren) that is, as best as we can, a pretend house made out of snow.
Lots and lots of snow was a special treat because when I got to school, the few students there got to go to the gym and play. We also got to go out to the schoolyard and play in a maze that we would make in that deep white fluffy plain. It was the best. My adult relationship with big snow is similar though getting to and from work took a while. Still, shovelling a really tall pile was still play
Snowbirds come in many varieties. Birds you may well see in winter include Goshawk, Bunting and Crossbill, to name a very few of the many. These are birds that thrive in spite of the snow. Another kind of snowbird is the RCAF aerial acrobatic team flying aircraft bringing us entertainment awe. Then we, of course, have the people who migrate south for the winter, whom we also refer to as snowbirds
There are a number of different kinds of snow. Powder snow is to die for if you are a skier. Crystal snow is the kind that one finds in extreme cold where the flakes are almost like tiny grins of salt. It crunches when you walk on it. Where I live we have polite snow. That is the kind that falls all around but only stays on the mountains around our Valley. Down here, most of the time, it melts before noon.
The Okanagan Valley has no shortage of artistic and talented folks. The Oliver Handbell Ringers Association (OHR) is a coterie made up of 9 ringers, that wrangle 115 different bells and chimes, and a vocal choir of 15. For more than a decade they have made it their mission to entertain and lift the spirits of the communities up and down the Okanagan Valley.
The weeks leading up to St. Nicholas’ arrival is always a busy time for the handbell club, since nothing says “Christmas” like ringing bells.
The troupe has already jingled their way through the Yuletide market in the Penticton Lakeside Resort and delighted residents and guests of Penticton’s Sun Village Retirement Residence.
Performances are set for both care home facilities in Oliver – McKinney Place and Sunnybank Centre. Being welcomed into these homes is a privilege and honour that the club enjoys not only at Christmas, but in the spring each year as well.
The Kiwanis Club of Oliver has booked OHR as entertainment for their annual Christmas party once again. Director Helen Wollf chimed in, “We have been so kindly supported, since our group’s inception, by the Kiwanis club of Oliver. It is an honour to be asked to perform for them once again.”
Meeting on at least a weekly basis starting in September, the ringers don’t only get a physical workout. Research shows that there is no other activity that engages the brain so completely as learning a musical instrument. Perhaps the biggest benefit to being a member of OHR is the group “therapy” that members are treated to. Unlike learning other instruments, which are generally done in solitude and isolation, this instrument is like no other. It simply doesn’t work without all its parts. “I look forward to our Thursday nights together as a highlight of the week,” says Wollf.
The culmination of all the hard work is the two public performances coming up Thursday December 12 (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday December 15 (3:00 p.m.) at the Oliver Alliance Church. Audience members from one to 101 are sure to be filled with Christmas goodness when the ringers and singers combine their efforts, along with their friend and master of ceremonies Mal Bearman, in presenting “A Festive Celebration”, with no admission fee to the public.
Photo and article contributed