January 1, 1917 New Year’s Day

January 1, 1917

Yesterday’s New Year’s Eve Celebration was a quiet affair. After Sunday dinner in Annan, I walked back into Owen Sound. I got to my parents’ around 6pm. Since it was a Sunday all of the establishments were closed, so New Year’s celebrations were a home affair this year. We stayed up until midnight, reading poetry, singing, and of course, singing Auld Lang Syne at the strike of midnight. We welcomed the New Year into the house by opening the front door and going out into the street to wish our neighbours well. The whole neigbhourhood was out on the streets wishing each other well. An intrepid soul had gotten out their bagpipes was marching up and down the street, belting out parade songs. That made everyone smile. Soon everyone retreated back to their houses and the New Year became as silent as any other winter night.

After two nights of celebration, today ¬†will be a quiet day of rest and reflection. My father has taken ill this morning and my mother isn’t looking the better of it either. Aunt Henrietta says that their health hasn’t been the best these past few months. She says it’s because of the cold damp air, but I believe it’s the weight the War. It’s wearing on everyone, now. No one knows when it will end. Little hope by spring, before the big offenses begin once again. Everyone feels it because, there are a thousand men from this town and countryside in England ready to be shipped to the battlefield. If nothing changes in the War, spring will be a time of sorrow here. An another thousand will be ready to go by the summer. It will be sorrow for all seasons.

Tomorrow I am leaving on the early train to Toronto. So this is my last full day in Owen Sound. I may come back up in the spring before I go to the Park. Depends on the weather.