The week between Christmas and New Years was packed with activities in the evenings. Every night the young and old met at the Hall to play games and square dance. They stayed up all night and slept most of the day. On New Year's Eve there was a church service and like Christmas eve, it was packed! After the service there were fireworks and a "parade" of all the trucks and snowmobiles (Hali counted 49 machines in a row!) driving around the community. THEN they all took a little break to go home to have a snack and recharge the batteries so that they could go to the Hall for some square dancing until 5 or 6am ( or later because I heard many snowmobiles going by later than 7am and we just KNOW that they were going home and not getting up for the day). So was I partying it up? Nope! Unfortunately for me, Brian was working and so I had to stay home with the kids. Most people brought their kids along to all the festivities but I simply couldn't - I still don't know anyone, I would have had to walk to all the places with all 3 boys (and it was quite cold), not to mention that my kids start yawning at 7pm! No, I spent New Year's Eve on the phone with my sister-in-law Sara and Sandra, a Selkirk RCMP wife friend (whose husband was also working ;o). Sandra and I did however go outside on my front porch for the fireworks and parts of the "parade".
On New Year's day we were hoping to go "in the middle" of Hudson Bay to go crab jigging. This is when bait is put inside (?) a sock which is tied to a rope and thrown in the hole in the ice. The crabs pinch the sock and you reel it in. Unfortunately, there was no way for us to go. We hadn't driven the snow machines, we didn't have a sled to pull the kids in and we are not "in the know" yet. It's really hard to get information about what's going on and, as mentioned before, we still don't really know anyone. Having 3 small kids also makes living the experiences more difficult. Hopefully, with time, we will find our way. I know that I need to give it time - we've only been here 2 weeks. I simply find it too bad to have missed so many interesting activities. I guess there is always next Christmas.
One thing I did get to experience a little bit is last night's game night. Hali and I went to the school gym and it was packed! There was a huge circle of women with a few in the centre intently searching for numbers written on tiny little pieces of masking tape stuck on the convex part of a huge bowl. Essentially 3 sets of dice circulate the women and if you or your partner roll doubles then you run to the centre, grad the bowl and keep searching for the number. Once you find it you peel it off and stick it on your hand and start looking for the next number and so on and so forth until the next set of doubles when the bowl gets snatched from you. The winner is the team with the most stickers. There was also a big draw with pretty good prizes (flights, generator, Nintendo DS, laptop). The kids just ran around like crazy and had fun. There were only a few casualties… We didn't stay late because we were both so tired from the night before, but when we left the men and women were playing a game together in a circle (similar to the first one but using cut up socks in rings. Each time you roll doubles you have to put as many rings on your partners wrists and at the end the team with the most rings wins). It was great to get out and meet a few people (I'll never remember their names but I have to start somewhere!)
Today we had the Butler family over for our New Year's dinner. I somehow felt great comfort making and serving dishes from back home in Selkirk. Colleen's rice/mushroom casserole and Miriam's Hawaiian meatballs (made with ground Caribou from one of Hali and Chad's hunting trips - not THAT'S organic!) were amazing. Probably one of the best meals we've ever made - thanks girls! We had a nice visit and the kids had a great time playing.
I hope this post is finding all of you doing really well. I hope this Christmas season brought for all of you wonderful memories for years to come. I know for sure that I will never forget this Christmas…
PS this was written on January 2nd 2011 but we had no internet access because of a winter storm so I had to post it at a later date.