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Ashland Speaks: The front porch invites quiet contemplation

July 11, 2018 11:35 am Updated: July 11, 2018 11:54 am


I hope you all came through the extensive heat wave in good shape. I am wilted, and really enjoy the cooler weather. Sleeping is much better these past few days, downright chilly in the mornings.

I do have a retraction from last week’s column. I reported that the Jewett Nutrition Center was a cooling station. WRONG. According to Ken Brooks from the Greene County Dept of Aging, the information on the web site that you get when you google Greene Co Cooling stations is obsolete. Please keep that in mind during the next heat wave. And remember to keep in touch with the home bound during the heat.

East Jewett UMC will be holding their Christmas in July sale 3-7 p.m. July 27. They will be having an old fashioned Ice Cream Social with the ice cream made by a real gas powered churn. Ingredients will be on hand to make your own sundae. Spaghetti supper will begin at 5:30 p.m., free will donation. Bring home extra dessert from their bake sale. Hope to see you all there.

On July 20, Larry Tompkins will be presenting a slide show at the Windham Town Hall in Hensonville starting at 7 p.m. Larry’s shows are always good. Come check it out. It will be presented by the Historical Society of Windham and will feature East Windham and the local boarding houses. It will be held “upstairs” in the main part of the building, which is handicapped accessible (no stairs to climb,).

Leona Knox has had the company of her brother for a couple of weeks.

Check out the wall in Hannaford in Cairo, with the picture of their new evening operations manager. Congratulations to David LoPresti, son of Judy and John, and grandson of Rose Hudecek of Jewett. David has become a resident of Jewett and will be on hand to help out his family during his time off.

Thanks to the Greek Church of the Immaculate Conception in Windham for their donation of meals for the needy of the area. We packed up around 100 chicken cacciatore dinners to be distributed to the home bound. Patti Lawyer does a wonderful job of distributing them where needed. If you know of someone who could benefit from these meals, please call me at 518-734-5360. We often have precooked meals to give, and would gladly put you on the list.

The church in North Settlement will be holding two services this year. The first one will be July 15, and the next is in August.

The Fourth of July Parade was a spectacular event. Christman’s won best resort category, best commercial float - Windham Mountain. (The men liked the snow cat).

Best Organization was Windham Rotary; Best Creative Youth Group - WAJ Band; Most members in line - Ashland Fire Department; Best Operational Apparatus - Grand Gorge Fire Dept; Oldest Equipment - Hunter with a 1926 La France. It’s good to see the turnout of politicians, fire departments, military and Greene County EMS vehicles. They put themselves out there so we know that we can call them when we need them.

Be careful, there’s a new tick in town. If you get bitten by this one, get IMMEDIATE attention. It can cause seizures, trouble breathing, and heart problems. One young lad of 15 is in Intensive Care after having been bitten. Please inspect yourself carefully after being outdoors.

A wonderful Gospel Fest was held at Peaceful Valley Farm in Jefferson, at the home of Don and Sarah Palmer. It was the 15th year, and all were expecting it to be the last, but the 100 or so attending voted to try for another year. Good music, good friends, good to see John Osborn, if only for a short time.


Healing prayers for Tim Osborn, Janet’s husband, who was in the hospital.

Prayers for Debbie Maynard who had her pacemaker replaced last week.

Healing wishes for David Lane, 15, who is in intensive care.

Betty Young needs our care and concern, also Susan Lacomb.

Joan Holdridge is now residing with her daughter, Patty Williamson, in Grand Gorge. Please keep them both in your prayers.


Don’t forget to listen to WRIP radio for all of the current happenings on the Mountain Top. I try to write them for you, but don’t usually get the information until too late to publish.

July 10 Meet and Greet Princess Cinderella Windham Public Library 11 a.m.-noon.

July 20 Slide show at Windham Town Hall Hensonville 7 p.m.

July 27 Christmas in July and Ice Cream Social East Jewett UMC 3-7 p.m.

Aug. 4 Hunter Block Party 3-10 p.m.

Aug. 11 Jewett Fire Department Brooks BBQ. 4:30 p.m. takeouts 5 p.m. sit down at hall.

August Womens Day at St Theresa’s


The Front Porch

When I was young, everyone had a porch or veranda, on the front of their house. It was a cool place to sit on a hot day. There were always chairs: Rocking chairs, Adirondack chairs, metal chairs, chairs with or without cushions, and of course, a swing or a glider. We had very little more, but my father (as I have said many times) was resourceful, he took a single kid’s bedspring, attached it to chains with a hook on the end, and fastened them to the porch ceiling. My mother made cushions from pillow ticking, stuffed with whatever and made cushions for the swing. The cushions were always covered with brightly covered fabrics to look nice, and ‘Voila!’ a porch swing for the kids with no expense.

The porch was a place to get cool, entertain in the summer, just sit and muse, or gossip. Some of the best stories come from sitting on the porch. When you’re sitting, you’re not really worrying about what bills to pay, what you have to do, or what you can’t control. You look out over the lake, or mountains, or across the field and can reminisce or just chit chat. A bird flying by might inspire a story. Neighbors passing by will see you sitting on the porch and stop in. The same neighbor wouldn’t think about walking in your house during the winter, but being on the porch makes it very inviting.

The front porch soon gave way to the back deck. The back deck doesn’t have quite the same feeling as a front porch. It faces the back yard which isn’t an open invitation to just dropping by. Friends and families use the back deck as a private retreat, and the one I was on over the weekend had a lovely view of the Hudson River, but it was a place to hold a cookout, or sit on the swing or in the comfy chairs with your feet up and be solitary. Not inviting like the front porch.

Enjoy your porch — Lula

Please send me your events so I can let the public know.