THE HILLMAN ANNUAL XMAS NEWS
It’s that “most unusual time
of the year” -- more so than ever before in our lives.
In spite of Covid-19, and Manitoba presently being under
a Code Red lock-down, our thoughts are very much with our families and
With hope in our hearts, we wish you all a Merry Christmas,
and a Happy Healthy New Year, so that we can get together again soon.
Like many of you, we are isolated from families and friends.
Thank goodness for technology so that we can connect on face-time, zoom,
email, facebook, and other social media.
Our families are coping well in so many ways, and we
are fortunate that our kids are still employed, albeit in some risky jobs.
They are all essential workers, and we are proud that they are able to
help others where they can.
Ja-On and Angela continue to help
their clients at Reactive Massage Therapy. Body pains and discomfort don’t
stop with the pandemic. Isolation can create a lot of stress and anxiety,
and a massage is the best solution. Ja continues with his “Little Girls
Cooking” videos to entertain us. Angela has reached back into a forgotten
hobby – sketching, and the girls seem to be enjoying the activity as well.
Trips to their cabin at Clear Lake have been a treat as Manitoba is experiencing
As well as working their shifts at
the clinic, Ja-On and Angela have also taken on homeschooling with 8-year-old
Inara, and 6-year-old Tayla. Kudos to all four! Along
with school, Inara and Tayla are able to continue their favourite activities
virtually. Inara follows her dance and martial arts classes in their basement
studio, and Tayla has her gymnastics and Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts).
We do miss having the girls up at the big house, showing and amazing us
with what they have learned in their activities. Of course, we also miss
the jam sessions! Soulin is working with a security firm in
Winnipeg, and seems to have changed career paths. Hopefully, he will soon
find what he really loves!
Robin is working for Tactica Interactive
from home, and Covid-19 hasn’t slowed down the many new projects he is
involved in. Like many working from home in isolation, finding a
hobby is important to avoid going stir-crazy. It seems Robin has found
a new interest – growing orchids, and has been building his collection.
They keep him company while he’s working in his home office.
Jen continues to work with special needs students
at Bernie Wolfe School. She did have a few weeks off at the beginning of
the pandemic, but has been working steady since fall. Both Robin and Jen
are proud owners of vintage motorcycles, which they had re-built themselves.
They have both received their licences and were able to go on bike-dates
a few times.
Oriyen is in high school at
Miles McDonnell High School. Although her weekly air cadet sessions
are on line, it’s not the same as being there and the outings the cadets
offer. The family lost their beloved fur-buddy Keifer this fall, and with
her classes soon to become virtual, she was feeling rather down. However,
this last week, they found the perfect puppy through a local rescue. Jovi,
the 10 week old female Border Collie cross puppy will brighten life for
Oriyen and the whole family. Oriyen still enjoys sketching, so maybe we
will see some sketches of the new fur baby! River continues to excel
in her French Immersion school. Girl Guides (we miss the cookies!) is on-line,
and River is also showing her creative side, doing lots of creative activities,
such as learning to draw using videos on YouTube. We miss hearing her infectious
giggle and laughter!
China and Scott – are now Mr. And
Mrs! These two best friends tied the knot on Dec. 3 in spite of Covid.
With both being front line health care workers, and Manitoba under “Code
Red”, the guest list was limited to 5 – and that’s for outside gatherings.
What a change from the much anticipated destination wedding in Huatulco,
Mexico with families and friends on China’s Dad’s birthday, Jan 11, 2021,
to a wedding on her December birthday for 30 guests in Winnipeg, then to
10 guests on Code Orange, and eventually on Dec. 3, 2020, for the allowed
5 people. “We just want to be married” came into being, in front of their
house (under building and renovations!), with the marriage commissioner,
their building contractor, and one of their workers. They were the witnesses,
photographer, and videographer! Lily their Great Pyrenees was also in attendance.
We were all disappointed to miss the momentous event, but health and safety
of everyone was of utmost importance.
Scott and China have been very busy with work because
of the pandemic – Scott as Advanced Care Paramedic Practitioner, and China
in her field as Doctor of Thoracic and General Radiology both in Winnipeg.
Click for full size
A Wonderful Day ~ We're So Proud of You. Kids!
Bill and Sue-On have
been homebodies this year. Covid had stymied all travel plans, overseas
and within Canada and the USA. The only “trips” Bill has taken are to the
medical clinic, and the hospitals in Brandon and Winnipeg. He’s had kidney
stones issues and has had a couple attempts to clear a blocked tube from
the left kidney. He was finally referred to Winnipeg, to specialists who
are daughter China’s colleagues. The nephrostomy procedure seems to have
been successful, and we are hoping for good news when he goes back for
a follow-up in a few days.
Otherwise, Bill continues to
build on his mega 15,000-page website empire. Along with his weekly and
monthly Webzines, he is still expanding the Gig Notes, Media, Music
Roots and Travel Adventures sections in our music memoir: BILL &
SUE-ON HILLMAN: A +50-YEAR MUSICAL ODYSSEY www.hillmanweb.com/book
Much of his time this year has been spent working on two companion autobiographies
which will be released in 2021.
1. The illustrated history of our Maple Grove country
home 1920-Present ~
2. Bill's memories of the eight decades from the 1940s-2020s
complete with a zillion photos from our family albums and
3. SUE-ON: MY STORY: www.hillmanweb.com/mystory
Sue-On was able to enjoy the fruits (tho’ none
edible!) of her labour in the yard this summer. Usually, we are travelling
during the peak growing season. Bird feeding and watching, and laughing
at Earl the Squirrel’s antics keeps us entertained. I may have to go back
to work to provide food for the critters!
Grocery shopping with caution is the only outing these
days. I DO miss these in-store visits with former customers at our restaurant,
Soo’s. Our kids gave me a monthly cooking subscription to Cratejoy
– The Spice Madam! We’ve “travelled” to Morocco, Greece, Indonesia, Brazil,
Syria so far. A friend gave me a tagine – a Middle Eastern earthenware
cooking vessel, so lots of yummy experimenting in the kitchen.
Bill and Sue-On received an unexpected honour from the
Government of Manitoba Legislature which we’ve reprinted in the Media section
of our book: www.hillmanweb.com/book/media/22.html
2020 has been a trying year, with
our lives totally disrupted. We are more fortunate than many, having jobs,
a roof over our heads, and healthy. With a vaccine so close to reality,
we hope 2021 will be brighter, and we will gather together once again.
Merry Christmas and a Safe and Healthy New Year!
Our Annual Online Xmas Greeting is featured at www.hillmanweb.com/xmas
Bill and Sue-On