The Ingram Christmas Letter 2003

It’s that time of year again! The Ingrams have been busy this year — in one of the highlights of the year, Caitlin, who is in Grade 8, took part in a student walkout in support of the teachers at her school, who were on a “work to rule” campaign to get a better contract. About 400 students walked out at Joseph Howe in Scarborough, and Caitlin actually got quoted in a story about it in the local paper! “I don’t think that, as kids, we should have to be doing this,” she said. A budding trade unionist in the family 🙂

In other news, there were balloon animals, and also lots of birthdays, of course. Zoe had fun in her Sparks group (they’re like starter Brownies, and Becky is a group leader) and fun swimming in the lake, and dressed up as a pirate for Halloween. She also got to sit on the throne during the Christmas party and looked quite regal — like she belonged there! Zoe and I also went for a walk in the woods at Thanksgiving, and it seems like we had a deep conversation, but for the life of me I can’t remember what we talked about. I assume I was sharing the made-up names of various plants just like my mother taught me 🙂

In the summer, there was jumping practice at the lake in Muskoka, and some swimming time at my family’s cottage in the Ottawa Valley, and a windy day on Rouge Beach near our house for Zoe and her friend Cynthia. There were also rainbows, and Becky and her brother Dave coordinated a reunion of what they called their “Tin Can Navy” — a group of friends who all had cottages near each other in Muskoka, and drove around in their aluminum boats delivering newspapers and generally getting up to no good 🙂

Caitlin graduated from high school and looked thoughtful about her future. She also took a trip to Nova Scotia with her cousin Christopher, and they did a tour of the province (or at least some parts of it) with their uncle Jack, who lives there. Meaghan dressed up for Halloween as a rocker and posed along with Zoe in her Dalmation outfit (she also likes to pretend she’s a dog sometimes, up to and including barking at strangers in the grocery store).

We got an impromptu flute concert from Caitlin and Meaghan in the kitchen, and Meaghan, who is in Grade 5, also wrote about the best Christmas gift she ever got, which was the time her grandmother surprised her by visiting us one Christmas when we lived in Calgary. This year, Meaghan got to explore her love of snakes at the annual Globe and Mail Christmas party, and we had an early pre-Christmas at our house in Toronto, where the three girls dressed up in their matching Christmas nightgowns.

For Christmas proper, we all got together at Becky’s family cottage in Muskoka, including all 10 grandkids (Note: I realize the photo linked to there doesn’t show all of them, but I assure you they were there). It was a bit of a tight fit, but somehow we managed it! Meaghan and Zoe even got to have a bath in the big tub together. And that’s about it for our year — hope you and yours had a great one as well. And just remember, while you are doing whatever you are doing, Zoe is planning to take over the world 🙂