Dunnville, Ontario

Famous for the spectacular Elora Gorge and its 80 foot limestone cliffs descending into the Grand and Irvine Rivers. Adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers regularly flock to Elora, Ontario to enjoy some fun and take in the natural beauty.

Many original stone buildings from the 1800′s still make up the downtown village centre. Over the decades, Elora has maintained its old world charm and the century-old buildings have been transformed into unique galleries, gift shops, artists studios and charming restaurants creating the perfect four-season shopping and dining destination.

Elora is a cultural haven with so much to offer. Rich in live music, visual arts, crafts, up-scale boutiques, natural beauty, architecture, culinary flavours, and diverse in culture; Elora provides an alternative lifestyle not typically found in small, rural communities in this day and age. Discover for yourself what makes Elora so unique and you will fall in love too!

Down in the Dumps at Christmas
by Shelley Norman

shelley norman chainsaw“Want to go to the dump? The newspaper says they’re open until noon today,” I asked my husband. He looked up from his book quizzically, “you want to go to the dump on Christmas Eve?” I glared at him. It was either that or break into tears. “Sorry,” he said getting up from the table and coming to wrap me in a hug. “I forgot that we aren’t suppose to say the ‘C’ word.” Sighing I pressed my face into his shoulder. “It’s not that you can’t say it. Or celebrate it, if you want to. But I just can’t help it. Every year seems to get harder, I don’t know why. Isn’t time suppose to ease things up?”

Rubbing my back he cuddled me in close, “oh honey, the holidays are hard for some people, it’s just how it is. I know you aren’t doing it on purpose. I remember how much you used to love this time of year.” I remembered too. It used to be my favourite time of year. Ornaments, and lights and glitter and all the fun and magic this time of year is suppose to bring. Planning get-togethers, and making special gifts for all the special people on my list, holiday music blaring from the stereo and Christmas classics playing on TV. Dreams and hopes and endless possibilities. But when the biggest of all those dreams, a child of our own, crashed and burned my Christmas spirit did as well. And that is what has lead to my oddball request of going to the dump on Christmas Eve.

Taking a deep breath I pulled back, “I’ve already done the laundry, vacuumed and cleaned the bathroom. It’s either go to the dump or give the dog a bath. And I don’t think Holly is voting for a bath.”

We both looked at our faithful pooch who was currently hiding under the kitchen table at the mention of a bath. “Besides,” I continued, “we can get rid of those boxes by the backdoor that the gifts for my daycare class came in.” Giving my shoulder a small squeeze my husband smiled, “sure why not. It will do us both good to get out of the house for a bit.” Smiling back I turned for the door, “come on Holly. We’re going for a truck ride.”

The three of us piled into our pickup truck the flattened corrugated cardboard boxes in the back and headed for the local landfill. As we pulled up to the gate attendant I was surprised by how many vehicles were in line considering what day it was. “Mornin’ folks,” the attendant called to us out his window. “What you guys bringin’ in today.” “Just some cardboard boxes,” my husband replied. “Bet you’re seeing a lot of those today.” “Yep, but next week will be worse,” he tossed a dog biscuit to Holly who had her head sticking out the backseat window. “Go on through folks, have a good day.”

We waved and drove through. I was so relieved he didn’t say Merry Christmas, I actually felt lighter. “Drop me at the recycle shack,” I requested pointing at the shed to our right, where people were invited to drop off used items they didn’t want anymore, that others were free to take home and use. I loved checking out the recycle shack. You never knew what treasure you might find hiding among the shelves and boxes.

As I pulled open the heavy metal door I noticed several people inside browsing. Many looked up and nodded or said ‘Hi’ as I passed by them but no mention of Christmas. I browsed for several minutes finding some interesting items while my husband unloaded the cardboard. When he came in I waved him over to the corner where I was digging through a box of kids’ toys. “What do you think of this?” I said excitedly holding up a children’s toy chainsaw. “It even works,” I revved the toy’s engine for him.keep reading “I think the children will drive you crazy in one week if you take that thing to daycare,” he grinned ear to ear. Pointing the chainsaw with it’s little plastic moving blade at his stomach I asked, “what are you grinning at?” “You,” he said swatting the chain saw away. “It fills me with joy to see you excited and happy. Coming here was a good idea.” “Yeah, it was,” I nodded dropping the chainsaw into a little box with a few strings of party beads I’d found that I thought would be fun for the children’s Mardi Gras celebration in a few weeks. “You know,” my husband said taking the box from me. “As long as we are together, it doesn’t matter what show we are watching on TV, or music we are playing on the stereo. Whether there is a tree in our living room or just that huge ratty pillow Holly likes sleeping on. It will be a wonderful special long weekend, just the three of us.”

Giving him a wobbly smile I brushed a tear away that was threatening to spill over my lower lashes, “thanks.” “Hey, none of that! We’d just cheered you up.” He grabbed the chainsaw out of the box and pointed it at me, “don’t make me use this!” I swatted him, “come on Silly let’s go home and watch a scary movie!”