Ahead of our AGM on May 27, 2021, McKim’s House Leader, Vic Woods, reflects on the year 2020.
What a year we have lived at McKim House!
I sat around the supper table with core members and assistants, trying to come up with what the highlights of our year were. Community vacation, assistants coming and going, exciting shopping purchases, celebrations… Inevitably, talking about COVID-19 and what it has meant for our home came up.
The core members of McKim House have made me incredibly proud with how resilient they have been over the last year and a bit of this pandemic. I won’t say that it has been easy; it really hasn’t been easy to not be able to see our family and friends, to not go to restaurants, malls or movie theatres or places where lots of people gather, and having our world shrink overnight if a phase change happens. With that, it makes us really appreciate when we can see the people that we love, and it has also pushed us to be creative. An example is our back deck concerts in the summer that were set up by our friend Luke; we were able to gather, sing, and have a great time (the true McKim House experience), while our beloved friends and family that made up our audience were safely in their cars.
In October of 2020, we welcomed Sarah Keyes into our home. Over the last six months, Sarah has become an important part of our life at McKim House. She loves a good mug of hot chocolate (but not too hot!), helping assistants with tidying up the kitchen and living room, going for walks with her friends, working on puzzles and colouring, and most importantly, being silly. Sarah’s infectious laugh, love of pranks and shenanigans, especially if they involve our beloved Baby Yoda, and gentle, steady presence brings so much goodness to our home. We are so lucky to have her here.
Some other important welcomes that we had over this last year include Sebastian here in the house, Mansa as last year’s summer student, Rachel down in the office, and most recently Paige, who will be here with us at McKim House this summer.
We also experienced a difficult loss this year; our beloved friend Kristina passed away in January. We miss her so much, and her name frequently comes up in lots of stories of whale watching, delicious desserts, and so many adventures.
Community Vacation was a little different than usual this last year; we had to juggle masks, social distancing, and avoiding going into places with lots of people. From the generosity of friends in the community, we were able to have vacations in Moncton and on the Kingston Peninsula. We also had staycation weeks that were filled with many fun activities; Mansa was a staycation planner extraordinaire and completed the nearly impossible task of tracking down tie dye supplies!
McKim House simply wouldn’t be McKim House without celebrations; we always love a good reason to have a party! There are a few celebrations from the last year that I’d like to highlight. Debbie had a couple of landmark celebrations this past year; in August she turned 60, and in October she celebrated her 15th anniversary! There were many roses, and delicious nachos and chocolate cake at both celebrations; we are so grateful for our friend Deb, who is the Queen of Welcoming, always up for a coffee and a drive, loyal and loving. Also, Patrick turned the big 4-0 in January! We celebrated with a Harry Potter themed supper; and most importantly… Patrick finally got his Hogwarts letter!
What a year it has been; one filled with ups and downs, celebrating and adventure, arrivals and departures, movies and drives, singing and praying; another year in L’Arche.
In closing, I would like to recognize McKim House’s assistant team, and all the effort and love that they each put into our home. They are a group of dedicated, imaginative, caring, fun-loving people that keep our home running and help make it the joyful, vibrant place that it is. I am so incredibly grateful for each of them.