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Sunday, February 19, 2017

    It's always fun to see what our friends are up to during the winter months away from Joe's Pond.  This picture and a short e-mail came from Butch and Susan Bouchard today.  They did their annual get together with Tom and Camilla Dente today at the Publick House Tavern in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  Butch said he and Susan and "JPA's President and First Lady" enjoyed not only mild weather but also warm friendship - a ritual that tides them over until the summer social season begins at Joe's Pond.  From left to right, Susan, Butch, Camilla and Tom. 
     Thanks to Butch and Susan for thinking to share the photo with us. 

Spring continues in the north country.  We have temperatures in the 40s and this morning bright sunshine, but now it's clouded over and looks like it might rain.  The forecast isn't predicting rain until Thursday now - earlier it was saying Wednesday.  In the meantime, tomorrow and Wednesday are predicted to be nice again.
   Although we have springlike conditions here, it's nothing like Philadelphia.  I had an e-mail and pictures from Andy Rudin this morning saying it was 63F and snowdrops bloomed this morning.  He was out on his bike.  
    All our flower beds are buried under about 5 feet of snow.  We have close to 3 feet still on the ground (in spite of some melting going on) and then there's the snow from shoveling the deck and snow-blowing the driveway - it all adds up and it will be a while before we see bare ground again around our house, let alone flowers.  It's nice to know spring is arriving as scheduled in other parts of the country - Andy is always weeks ahead of us, but it's a very nice preview of what's to come here.  I'll be looking for pussy willows soon, and then spring might seem to be a possibility.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

I just read on Front Porch Forum that Walt and Julie Ackermann, who live just up Cabot Plains Road from the intersection with Brickett's Crossing Road, had cash, jewelry and guns stolen from their house yesterday - Friday the 17th.  Apparently they were broken into around noon.  We should all be warned to keep our doors locked and be watchful for anything unusual in our neighborhood or strangers lurking around.  Surveillance cameras and/or a security system with a very loud alarm may help.  

For people who have homes here at the pond, it may be a good idea to have someone you trust check your home from time to time if you are away for the winter.  I haven't heard of any camps being targeted, but we have had problems here from time to time.    
It's been like spring today!  Beautiful sunshine all day, not a flake of new snow in the air, the temperature actually hit 40 degrees at about mid-day, and it was gorgeous.  The snow pack has probably compacted a bit, but I don't think much melting took place. 

Some of you may know one of our local newspapers, the Hardwick Gazette has been for sale for some time, and this week that happened.  Owner Ross Connelly's last day at the help was yesterday.  The new owners, Ray and Kim Small, from Connecticut, have not owned or operated a newspaper before, but they both have a good deal of business experience. so the Gazette will be in good hands - and the staff will stay on, so the change will probably go unnoticed by those of us who read the paper.  

I have known Ross Connelly for quite a number of years.  He was always receptive to publishing without charge the many notices about Ice-Out or other goings on I've submitted.  He was also generous about publishing my articles, and over the years became a friend as well as mentor.  Ross usually drops by the Cabot Historical Society building on the Fourth of July, and I always look forward to chatting with him.  He says he wants to travel and write;  I wish him safe travels and endless inspirations.  I know he'll find his niche away from the Gazette, but it won't be the same knowing he's not at the ancient building that balances on the narrow piece of land between the Lamoille River and Main Street in Hardwick.  

I just chatted with Shelly Walker who lives down the road from us, and she told me her dad, Don, turned 90 on Feb. 8th.  The family did a little birthday breakfast party for him at the Wayside Restaurant on the Barre-Montpelier Road.  Don is spry as they come and will be selling Ice-Out tickets again for us this year - how many years has it been?  Actually, Don Walker was one of the originals who came up with the idea for the Ice-Out Contest in 1988, so it's been almost three decades.  That's a lot of tickets sold, Don!!!  Congratulations on turning 90 - and we wish you many more great years.