A week or two before Christmas I saw an article in the Summerland Review about NeighbourLink’s host/guest matching program.
Local residents who would like to either host a stranger for Christmas or be that guest were invited to submit their names and be matched. Since my relatives live at far corners of the continent, making Christmas visits difficult, I decided to submit my name.
A couple of days before Christmas I got a call from Tina who, along with her husband, Trevor, and son, Travis invited me to be their guest for Christmas dinner.
Their surname was the same as that of a woman who had lived in the same seniors’ residence that is now my home. Tina told me that the woman was related to her husband.
Knowing that connection made me feel no longer a stranger when I knocked on their door.
There were more connections.
It turned out that Trevor’s mother was the first person I met when I came to Summerland nine years ago.
She and her husband had had me to dinner several times as I was getting settled in a town new and strange to me. I could see that hospitality was a family tradition.
Over turkey and all the fixings we discovered other links.
We all loved to travel. Should I mention a place I had travelled one of them had been there also.
Photography, Tina’s passion, is a life-long interest of mine.
Listening to Trevor talk about hunting big game, and Travis talk about ice fishing felt like hearing my own father many years ago tell me about similar adventures.
Conversation and wine flowed. There were no awkward gaps as we chatted because we discovered so many common experiences to share.
NeighbourLink is to be commended for running this service for Summerlanders. It works perfectly to make friends out of strangers.