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Happy New Year to everyone

By Darrin McGrath   |   Cabin Country   |   The Shoreline

Many years ago people welcomed in the New Year by firing off muzzle-loading seal guns at midnight. Today a great many families have backyard fireworks displays. Fireworks have become a great deal more common than they were years ago.

It seems that more and more people are spending New Year’s Eve at their cabin and at midnight there are fireworks to be seen in every direction.

Many dogs are terrified of fireworks. Christmas and New Year’s can be a dangerous time for cats and dogs because the noise from fireworks can startle them into running away if they are outside.

One thing about fireworks in the country is that they stand out better because the sky is darker than it is in an urban area. The effect of the multi-coloured lights in various patterns is intensified by the shadowy background.

I sometimes wonder what the moose and rabbits and songbirds think of the loud noises and bright lights?

Speaking of the lights and noise from fireworks, I recall one time many years ago when I was driving along the highway near Lewisporte and there was heavy rain and thunder and lightning. Suddenly, I saw two large moose running across a bog with their heads thrown back over their shoulders.

Their eyes looked as large as softballs and they were galloping for all they were worth. I think of those two moose whenever we have thunder and lightning. Were they near a tree that was hit by lightning? Did a loud thunder clap happen right over their heads?
My dogs are frightened of thunder and lightning. I can tell when thunder is headed my way because the dog starts to get very anxious and begins to roam around the cabin like she is looking for a place to hide. When the thunder rolls in she sometimes gets under the bed, or she gets up next to me on the couch.

While turkey and ham are the staples for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, some people also include game in their festive meals such as moose or caribou roast, rabbits or turres.

Wild game is a change from turkey and ham, and it is also a link to our past when game was more important in Newfoundlanders’ diets. Similarly, some people have their own vegetables boiled with the dinner and may serve desserts made from blueberries or bakeapples.

My favorite part of New Year’s Day dinner was the boiled pudding mom used to make and the carmel sauce she poured over it. I used to have two helpings.

I can remember my mother saying that the older she got, the faster time went. I can relate to that now that I’m “fifty-plus.” It seems remarkable how twelve months have passed since last New Year’s Eve. I sincerely hope all who read this column have a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.

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