My extended Hildebrand family is having a big gathering next year, and they've already distributed invitations. They're a pretty keen bunch, and I have many fond memories of New Year's parties in the Whiteshell, when it was so cold the snow crunched like styrofoam under your moon boots, playing broomball with the Reimer boys, building jumps at the bottom of the tobaggan slide and singing Auld Lang Syne at midnight with a hundred kin in perfect multi-part harmony. The Hildebrands tend to be warm, sensitive folk with a great sense of humour and zest for life.
Someone in the family sent around a link to this photo of the ship my Great Grandma and Grandpa Hildebrand arrived on in 1927 when they were about my age. I guess they already had five kids by then (and no money), arriving first in Saint John, and then heading halfway across the continent before finally landing on the muddy banks of the Red River south of Winnipeg. Tannis and I have visited the monument showing the landing spot, but for whatever reason, this photo of an anonymous-looking ship just fascinates me. I'll probably eventually be one of those too-serious geneologist types when I get older.