Parrywinkle, November 5, 2015

Who would have ever thunk it? At time of writing, a November record-setting 17 degrees is being predicted by the ‘weather experts’ for today, Thursday November 5th. And to think, just this past weekend we had the winter tires installed on our trusty Cruze, there were still leaves on the trees, and the marker posts were put up in our driveway by the snow-clearing crew that is currently concluding contracts with new clients such as ourselves.

Ah you gotta love it!

Of course, there are some cynics amongst us - and yes dear readers, there are more than a few of them in our little hamlet by the lake - who are already grumbling that we are surely going to have to pay for our good fortune. And that we are probably in for our worst winter since the infamous Ice Storm of 1999 and certainly before Hell freezes over.

Me? I say let’s take one day at a time. And, ideally, enjoy it to the fullest. For who really knows what tomorrow will bring!


POPPIES ON PARADE - Speaking of which, and if you haven’t already, you have until Wednesday, November 11, to pick up your Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day poppy from any one of the many Hudson Legion Branch 115 volunteers seeking donations at IGA Poirier in Hudson and St. Lazare every day or, once again, at big-box stores in Vaudreuil-Dorion this coming Saturday.

My beautiful Sunshine and I did a two-hour spell at IGA in Hudson on Saturday where parents and their youngsters - several already decked out in scary costumes - were doing their last-minute shopping obviously all set for Halloween trick-or-treating just a couple of hours later. And I have to tell you folks, it was a most magical, rewarding, and emotional experience.

We shall never forget the elderly lady who quietly and unassumingly approached us to put two new $20 and one $10 bills in the collection box. Knowing how, fresh out of the ATM machine, they can stick together, I separated them and politely asked her if she was sure. “Absolutely,” she replied with a smile. “I would like to donate $50 for the veterans. They deserve all the support we can give them.” Sheesh, I was choked as Mireille pinned the poppy on her coat.

Others arrived offering twenties, tens and fives, sometimes declining the offer of a poppy as - they explained - they had already bought one but had left it at home on another coat. Needless to say, they received another. Others forked over all the coins in their purse or pocket. Every cent of which will be collected, tallied, and disbursed by Hudson’s Poppy Trust Fund Committee for distribution throughout the coming year to help organizations in our region that directly support and assist veterans as well as others that offer services to the public at large which includes many ex-service men and women.


FABULOUS FINNEGAN’S - Meanwhile, delighted to report that this past year has been one of the best ever in terms of the weather, number of visitors, and participating vendors at Hudson’s fabulous Finnegan’s Flea Market which closed this past Saturday, October 31, with its traditional party in the barn for family, friends, and long-time supporters and vendors.

While there, was fascinated to learn from owner and most gracious hostess, Barbara Aird, that the market - which is unquestionably one of the major draws at weekends to our community and which generates much-needed spill-over business for other merchants and restaurants in town - has been running for some 43 years now.

Also that, because of its promotion on the Internet, it is reaching a much wider audience than ever before. Both in terms of interested exhibitors and potential buyers and collectors looking to discover something new in a flea market setting that surely has to be the most beautiful here in Quebec and even just over the border in Ontario.

Only two days totally rained out this time around. And, believe it or not, two vendors showing up for the very first time ever to set up their tables on the very last day. Both promising to return next year when the market reopens in May. Can hardly wait. For until then, I’m sure going to miss chomping on what I really believe to be one of my favourite burgers with all the traditional trimmings in the whole wide world!

Meanwhile, a big bravo to Finnegan’s neighbour, Susie Wild, who hosted a great garage sale this past weekend with all the proceeds going to Hudson NOVA. What a most generous gesture on the part of this most remarkable lady!


ALMANAC ANSWERS - Still on the weather, country-style living, and related fascinating stuff, you may recall that a few weeks ago in this column, I wrote about the recently-released 2016 edition of Harrowsmith’s Almanac which is continuing a four-decade tradition of providing fun and useful information about country living and treading a little more lightly on the Earth.

Also that it featured a terrific in-depth interview with Hudson author, Trevor Ferguson, who to date has penned 10 novels and four plays. And who, when asked by the interviewer why he likes living in Hudson, replied, “The Lake of Two Mountains is, in part, a widening of the Ottawa River, and having the water at hand, the woods nearby, a small town at my doorstep, steeped in its traditions but also welcoming to newcomers - to have all that and a big city relatively nearby makes for the best of many worlds.”

So here’s an update. With the full approval of its publishers in Toronto, Your Local Journal is pleased to offer our readers the chance to win one of three copies of the Almanac which, among other things, explains what impact a strong El Niño is going to have on the weather over the winter in our neck of the woods through next year.

All you have to do to qualify is answer the three following questions correctly. If you don’t know them off the top of your head, there is always of course the Internet. So here goes.

- What is Trevor Ferguson’s nom de plume?

- What is the name of the sergeant-detective in his novels?

- In what year and in which small Ontario town was Harrowsmith first created?

Send your answers to me by email directly at or drop them off in writing at YLJ’s office at 3100 Route Harwood, Suite 201 addressed to my attention. The winners will be announced in an upcoming issue. And, as an added bonus, I do believe that Trevor will not only sign your winning copy but that he will also be there to have his photo taken with you. For further info, you can always give me a buzz here at (450) 458-7154. Just don’t ask for the answers!


IN CLOSING - In other news, congrats to Hudsonite, Lorne Elliott - currently on tour in Alberta and B.C. – whose latest play, Mom Runs Amok, that was recently staged at Grove Hall in Huntingdon, was named best comedy at the recent Playwrights Guild of Canada Comedy Awards in Toronto.

And the next luncheon of the Hudson Coronation Street Appreciation Society at the Auberge Willow Inn and with the colour theme black and white is this Sunday, November 8, at noon.

And that’s a wrap!


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