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From Mike Lushington

        Here's To 2007!

        Once again, Christmas has come and gone, almost before we really had time to sit down and enjoy it. I guess, though, that the impression of its having gone by so quickly is an indication that it has been a time of happiness and joy. At least it has been for me - and I sincerely hope that the same holds true for all of you.

        This week between Christmas and the New Year has been a busy one for me in the past few years and this year it promises to beparticularly so. Carla and I try to get together with Maia, Denis, and the girls, at least for a day or so. Then I am occupied with Christmas camps for my athletes. This year, the camp coincides with the final selection competitions for the latest edition of the Canada Winter Games. (Has it already been four years since we hosted them here?) We finish the selection process and immediately leave for Base Gagetown and a huge rally for all of the Winter Games teams that will be competing in White Horse in late February and early March. We will get back in time to usher in the New year at the end of the week - and before we all know it, we will into 2007 and back into the routines that govern our lives.

        And what does 2007 promise for you? Whatever it may be, I hope that you are looking forward to it with the same sense of anticipation that I am. For me, that anticipation is flavoured with a most enjoyable mixture of the familiar and the unknown. It is Year two of the latest Maritime Breeding Bird Atlas field work and Jim Clifford and I intend to explore a large chunk of the county as we probe into the intimate lives of the birds around. Carla and I have promised ourselves a good trip to Kansas and parts of the American Southwest, mainly to visit with Gerry and his family, but partly to explore country that is new to both of us.

        There will be the garden, of course (hopefully one without the slugs that made things rather challenging last summer), long rambles in the woods and, I hope, more kayaking than I was able to do last year. There will be the long summer evenings of sitting out and watching the sunset and the coming of the fireflies, and taking note of the small changes that mark the progression of yet another year.

        There will be these things and so much more - all the things that don't sound particularly exciting, perhaps, to someone else, but that promise hours and days of that contentment of the heart and soul that provide a rich texture to lives that we try to live simply and well. There will be visits: some of those (with our granddaughters, andour annual family get together in late July) will be planned and much anticipated; others will be spontaneous - a car drives into the yard and people whom we have not seen in months or years pop out to renew friendships. And there will be the quiet times, those days when everything flows in a seamless fabric from an early morning stroll for Mico (our new canine friend) to check out the foxes, to hours working in the garden, an afternoon in the hammock with a good book(a pretext for a snooze), perhaps a late afternoon dip in the river, and an evening of simple peace and quiet.

        At least, so I hope. These are my visions of joy and happiness for the new year. I hope that you have yours - and that you have the health, the love, and the peace of mind to bring them to life. We define our dreams at the start of another year. Let them come to reality.

       Happy New Year!



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