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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Slipping into the new year

BY Sonny Orr Jan 10, 2024

Wow, talk about being relaxed during the holidays, even when I didn’t want to be. I felt that I was in relaxation mode in overtime at a bad, low-scoring hockey game that that cost me plenty of moolah. On a higher note, it was the holidays for remembering, reminiscing and renewing old acquaintance and making new friends. 

At times, bad weather was welcomed as it allowed for indoor activities. Yep, the days are getting longer and colder. Gone are those wet rainy days as winter settles back in again. Well, the new year made it cold enough for two pairs of long johns – which is the way I usually measure the temperature these days.

If I were a political person, I would just recycle all my hot air and melt the winter blues away. I would make calls to action to ban animal cruelty activities such as Groundhog Day, when the poor little critter has to produce or be tossed back into a hole in the ground. Perhaps a good sprinkling of old campaign promises that might lead to a fully equipped house and a few geese in the freezer, to melt everyone’s heart at the same time. Nah, that would truly tip global warming in favour of palm trees instead of pine trees in the next century’s backyard.

Okay, it seems that Santa made it home via the Siberian route, as there wasn’t enough snow in Canada. Our radar information is usually reliable, except when comes to shooting UFOs out of the sky and having to admit that we didn’t know what we brought down. But Santa made it without a scratch on his red-and-white uniform. 

I hear rumours that the gang at Marvel Studios are planning to produce a series of 300 shows detailing Santa’s daily life. Training new elves isn’t as fun as it looks, as they are part of a perpetual clause that states their very existence is based on the endless production of toys and gifts. No holidays for them.

For us lucky ones who live in the cold zone where snow is welcomed, and the winter wonderland is wide open for snowmobile travel. Yes, it’s brap time again, where the iron ski meets the Arctic tundra, not to mention ice and slush.

Another hazard is the willow-fattened ptarmigan that claims the front grille of many vehicles, including mine, much to this old geezer’s chagrin. I wonder if an extended net in the front of my valued, plastic-garbed SUV might help us understand that modern grilles are not tough enough for bird strikes. 

Speaking of bird strikes, the little Northern dove likes to frequent runways and airports. Some have met their demise banging into an airframe or two. As for me, my roadkill totalled two birds and one grille.

At the shooting range during the holiday outdoor game competition, I managed to miss all my shots at one event. I got outgunned in another target shoot. Yet somehow, I nearly aced a skeet shoot. 

I didn’t participate in the shoot-’em-up that welcomed the New Year, however. Nonetheless, I did witness a powerful light show of fireworks from a safe distance. Then an endless car parade meandered through town, ending up with some drivers getting lost – which is nearly impossible as practically anything with wheels, skis and enough gas was out there. 

As for me, I stayed indoors at the quiet community hall, where just a few toddlers and grannies were left to hug and kiss. I managed to get my midnight smack on the lips in the comfort of an indoor seat this year with my life partner. It was nice and welcomed.

Now bundle up and enjoy the longest year until 2028!

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Sonny Orr is Cree from Chisasibi, and has been a columnist for the Nation for over 20 years. He regularly pens Rez Notes from the cozy social club in Whapmagoostui where he resides.