Certainly within the current pandemic – and admittedly so even when otherwise – we don’t often get invited for tea. Today’s singular invitation was from new friends who moved here from nearby Village of Clayton. The Village of Clayton – again, not unlike many other adjacent small rural communities such as Pakenham, White Lake, Playfairville and McDonald’s Corners – is a source of enormously diverting intelligence. Though the Town of Almonte amalgamated in 1999 with surrounding Townships to form the Town of Mississippi Mills, originally Almonte had a population of no more than 4,500. Not to be outdone by our hosts at the tea party today, I related several anecdotes about the erstwhile Village of Almonte. Indeed one story involved Arnold Craig whose wife was from Clayton. Arnold regularly publicized that when inviting her to a dance at the Agricultural Hall in Almonte on Water Street he took care to put gravel in her shoes “so she’d feel at home“.