Monday, April 15, 2024
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Uncategorized2024 Millstone Goose Lottery

2024 Millstone Goose Lottery

Reflections from the Swamp
Richard van Duyvendyk

Dear Reader

I hope you are enjoying the mild winter we are experiencing this year. I know many of my readers have gone south or to Portugal to take a break from winter. I recently saw a low-flying plane heading south with all the passengers pressed against the windows, thumbing their noses at me. They don’t know that my bride and I are going to Pembroke for an overnight!

Pembroke has so much more to offer than the Caribbean. White sands in the Caribbean, even whiter beaches in Pembroke this time of year. I’ll write a travelogue when we get back. The rest of us, like the tulips buried under the snow, are patiently awaiting the coming of Spring.

My tractor, Mahatma, has taken a sabbatical from plowing my driveway this year. Mahatma needs a bypass operation because he is losing too much fuel from the gas tank to the carburetor. I didn’t feel qualified to complete the complicated bypass surgery and didn’t want to spend seven years getting my MD. After watching several emergency shows on TV, I discovered none include bypass operations for 1948 Massy Ferguson tractors.

I called OHIP, and they said they don’t cover tractor bypass operations. Our medical system is clearly under strain and near the breaking point. My private insurance doesn’t cover tractors, even though Mahatma is a dependent. I’ll set up a clinic in the barn and do the operation myself. If any of my readers need a bypass operation, I’ll help you after I finish with Mahatma. I’ll figure out how to do the operation on YouTube. YouTube is the practical person’s guide for the do-it-yourselfer. Can you use ketchup as a substitute for blood in transfusions? I’ll email Heinz and NoName and find out.

People who live in warm lands without winter don’t understand the Canadian spirit. A deep longing for Spring in our souls starts about now. We share this longing with all of the natural world around us. Pussy willows are the first to respond. The maples begin to stir, the days get longer, and the geese in warmer places feel an inner calling to come home to Canada. We are part of Nature and move to her rhythms.

We connect to the spirits of the geese who bring Spring with them as they fly home to us. We rejoice when we see their long “Vs” fill the sky and hear their melodious honking. They symbolically connect us with hope, fragrant flowers, green meadows, lush forests, and naturally fertilized parks.

We invite all Millstone readers to join the Goose lottery. You don’t have to renounce your religious or political affiliations to become a Gooser. Among other doctrinal tenants, Goosers believe that the geese bring Spring when they come home to Canada. Although millions of geese come home to Canada, we believe that the most significant goose( The Chosen One) is the first goose to land on Corkery Pond( Lake Bernadette). The person who foretells the date of arrival becomes Mississippi Mill’s prophet for the year. Ours is a for prophets organization. We like to know what will happen in the future. We will ask our prophet to bless our 649 tickets, predict winners of hockey games, name our kids, and ask for marital advice, miracles, and a blessing on our crops. Who is going to win the election? Ask the prophet.

Tickets to enter the Lottery are free. Pick a date between February 24th and April 30th. Specify either morning or afternoon in your guess. Submit before February 24th. Enter soon. If the date you selected is already picked, I will assign your guess to the nearest available date. The prize is a 1967 silver dollar with a flying goose on the front face. You will also receive a certificate officially recognizing you as a prophet. Being a prophet will help you find a place on late-night religious shows, which could be pretty lucrative. More on that later.

The 2nd and 3rd prizes are a bag of goose dung scrapped off my lawn in June—excellent fertilizer for the garden and a distinctive perfume that will draw attention to your flower garden. For inexplicable reasons, people have declined to collect 2nd and 3rd prizes. Warning: people in your neighbourhood will know you are a Gooser.

I’ll be sitting out on the pond in my lawn chair with a thermos of coffee. I’m working and won’t be available to complete any tasks on my bride’s to-do list until the geese land in Corkery Pond. My to-do list will keep me busy until the first goose lands on the pond. I don’t mind if the geese take their time coming home this year. Here is my list.

To-Do List

___  Wake UP
___  Make Coffee
___  Drink Coffee
___  Make more Coffee
___  Look for Geese

The Goose Lotto is about predicting the date that the first goose lands on our pond (Lake Bernadette) in Corkery. Ponds stay frozen longer than rivers. You will see geese in Almonte before a goose lands on our pond. Previous dates range from early March until Late April. We have included the last week of February because of the mild winter. Swans have already landed in Mississippi Mills. The goose has to land on the pond; flying over the pond doesn’t count. The odds of winning are much higher than the 649 lottery or getting your kids to clean up their rooms or get off their phones.

My bride says I can’t enter the Lottery. She can be like that sometimes. So I told her that she couldn’t enter either. I won the Lottery five years in a row when it was only open to friends and family members. Why people got suspicious, I don’t know.

Please join the Goose Lottery and help us welcome Spring back to our community. Send your guess of when the geese will land on the pond to rvanduyvendyk@gmail.com. Put “Goose Lottery” in the title. Don’t forget to specify the morning or afternoon. If I don’t know you, tell me something about yourself.

We’re all in this together; keep your stick on the pond ice until they come. Spring will come with the geese, and may the geese land in your favour.

Yours til the geese come home

Richard and his bride

Corkery

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