First I must share the requisite weather report. It was very warm for December the last time I posted … things are more normal now. The wind, low temperatures, and numbing wind chills arrived yesterday.
At this moment it is -13C (9F) with a howling gale and a “real feel” of -22C (-8F). Fish is not impressed and, of course, blames me. Still the vapour/mist over the water is pretty. The snow is supposed to arrive tomorrow.
Our ferry was extended at least a couple of weeks, although this wind makes that fact moot. No sailings are anticipated in this weather. It’s just as well I had no intention of going anywhere.
My habit at this time of year, at least since I arrived on this Island, has been to travel to Saint John to buy some small gifts for various essential service personnel. Think paramedics, garbage collection, Food Bank volunteers, etc. I decided to abstain this year but it does disappoint me even if they won’t care. 🙂
One of the gifts I enjoy delivering is a Tuxedo Cake. Think of it as a cousin to the Opera Cake. Not as many layers, no liqueur, but full of chocolatey goodness. The only place I’ve found them out here is the Wal-Mart Supercentre in Saint John.
I have always given one to my Postie. She is unswerving in the face of enormous odds. True it’s a fairly small Island, and we have community mailboxes, but saying that really doesn’t reflect the size of job she has to do. Particularly at this time of year.
Being in the middle of nowhere we rely heavily on the internet for shopping. This results in parcels. Parcels which don’t fit in the mailbox. Parcels which need to be delivered to our doors.
As of now, more than 200 are arriving for delivery each morning. The Canada Post and union decision makers have decreed that she should be paid for 2.5 hours/day. Every day. There are weeks between Black Friday and January when she’s working 8 to 10. A cake isn’t much of a reward but short of storming union headquarters to remind them of their duty to rural areas there’s not much I can do.
One of the other cakes is for my friend Debbie. It is intended as both a late birthday present and a Christmas gift. This year she is in Saint John. So …
Debbie … go to the Supercentre. Look for a refrigerated endcap facing the back wall. It’s in the first main food area. If you don’t see a Tuxedo Cake ask them to check the freezer. 🙂 At least if you do you can pretend I kept that tradition.
Yesterday evening a car pulled into my driveway. Remember it was horribly windy and freezing cold. I went out to meet the woman who handed me a gift bag from “the school children”.
Inside was everything from a comb, to a puzzle book, to a homemade ornament, and chocolate. Far too many things to list.
There was also a letter from a Grade 7 student explaining they were worried about Community Members in the middle of the pandemic. They put together goodie bags but it was the letter which touched me the most.
It wasn’t a Tuxedo Cake, but it took a lot more effort and the thought behind it means everything.
Be safe and be kind to each other. It matters. 🙂