One family's tale of Christmas
Photo above, Patti Hurley was first introduced to plastic canvas by Carrie Beaufield now her walls are covered. Below, homemade ornaments are often better than store bought. Jim Hurley stands with an angel that began heralding the coming of Christmas to Ship Cove in November. Photos by Aaron Beswick/The Northern Pen
Ship Cove -
The Hurleys' walls are covered in Christmas colour - have been since November.
But it wasn't always that way.
When Patti and Jim Hurley moved to Ship Cove in 2007 with Patti's daughter, Kara James, the walls were bare.
"We only came for a visit to see Jim's family, but I wouldn't go back. It was just too beautiful," Patti remembered.
Jim Hurley had been working in Ontario since 1999 and he didn't mind moving home either. But the family didn't bring much with them - didn't have much to bring.
"We didn't have anything," Patti said.
But Ship Cove's virtue isn't just in its view. People look after each other there.
"Everything you see here people in the community gave us," Patti said. "The community has been so good to us."
Furniture, plates, everything started pouring into the small bungalow.
Then the cold winds blew, bringing that old anxiety to man and animal on the peninsula - time to get ready for the long chill. Men pack wood and creatures pad their nests or fly south. But the chill brings more to man, woman and child. For deep in December we celebrate all we hold dear - family and friends, full bellies and God.
Back in Ontario Patti, like her sisters, always prepared for Christmas early. The decorations always went up by late November. Having brought her daughter to a new home and a new community, 2007 couldn't be any different.
So the collecting began. Jim and Patti made what they could, bought what they had to and Ship Cove filled in the rest.
"Carrie Beaufield got me into plastic canvas last year," Patti said, looking at her walls covered in Santa's sleighs and stars and stockings.
"We do all right."
So it was that Christmas 2009 will dawn on the Hurley house, which has become a home.