HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of my readers. Looking back to last year’s New Year’s column, I stated that I was going to make determines, not resolutions, I was determined to get my porch in order. I was determined to empty boxes that were packed during the cleanup from Irene. I was determined to sort and throw out. Well, I started the year adhering to my goals. I got box after box off my porch. The memories found were poignant. Things were thrown in in no order. I found pictures in with kitchen utensils. The box that I thought was books turned out to be items from my kitchen junk drawer, items that I have since replaced. I was really proud of myself. I could actually get into all four corners of my porch...UNTIL...

I got notice that Wally was going into assisted living, and had to empty his trailer. Of course, I was elected to clean it. I thought it was wonderful news, as I wanted to open a Thrift Shop. and there were many items that I could use. Racks to display items, clothes, kitchen utensils, etc. I had hopes to rent a building in Ashland, so moved everything on to my porch. It’s a good thing it was clean, because everything fit. Unfortunately, I could no longer walk around. Good news, I did get rid of HIS stuff, but everyday it seems people think my porch is an excellent drop off point, and I keep finding more treasures on it. In the fall, I got to clean out my nephew’s storage unit, So Here We Go Again.

Rose Hudecek has had a very busy December. On the 14th, she was taken up to Marty’s house for an early Christmas. All 5 of her grandchildren were there as well as 4 great-granddaughters. It was a nice time for all cousins to get together and, in the case of the adults, really talk for a change. The week before Christmas, grandson, Jay, came for a week to make cookies and prepare the shrimp for Christmas Eve. Carolers from East Jewett UMC and Jewett Presbyterian Church were welcomed, and thanks to all who stopped. On Christmas Eve, the LoPresti family presented their annual Feast of the Seven Fishes. Christmas day was spent prepping for dinner which included Bill, Barb and Sandy Mead as guests. On the 30th, Rose celebrated her 99th birthday with many phone calls and FaceBook wishes from a variety of friends plus cards from many dear friends. She was so tired out, she forgot to stay up to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve ...the first time ever.

Pastor D H Choi and family spent a few days at the Lawrence Farm house. They wish everyone a Happy New Year. It goes to show that once you live on the Mountain Top, you have to keep coming back.

Wally Thompson calls every day to keep in touch with what’s happening in the area. He wants to share his news: on Christmas Eve at the Greene Meadows, while in the dining room having dinner, he looked out of the window to see a large bright cross in the evening sky. It only lasted a few minutes and he wondered if anyone else saw the sign.

Holiday greetings from all the snow birds.

Dot Giordano called this morning to catch me up on her family news. On Saturday, Patrick, Liz and Quinn, Lewis, and John, along with Clarence and Jeannie Soule came over to spend the afternoon with her. A nice family get together!

The winter schedule for WAJPL Golden Age club starts today. Meetings in January, February and March will be on the first Monday of the month, unless WAJ is closed, then will be the following Monday. Only one meeting per month until April.

The WAJPL Golden Age Club is hosting a 5 day-4 nights May 11-15 trip to Williamsburg & Charlottesville with Berkeley Plantation & Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. The package includes 4 breakfasts, buffet lunch at a historic tavern & 3 dinners. Plus guided tours. Price is only $689 pp double occupancy. For information, please call MaryLouise at 518 622-3397 or Vicky at 518-734-4164.


The winter woes have hit hard this year, please keep Sara Drum, Richard Biegle, Ted Heissenger, Anita Drum’s mother and Janice Maben in your prayers. Diane Maben Osborn has been with Janice making sure she doesn’t overdo. Prayers for Diane that SHE doesn’t overdo and get sick. Tricia LoPresti, wife of Rose Hudecek’s grandson, Anthony, has been in the hospital suffering from cellulitis. Prayers for her. Tricia just got good news that she has been cancer free for 2 years. Prayers and condolences to the families of Steve Vanuche, Shirley Hanes Paladian, Karen White , and the sister of Irene Draganeties. Also to the family of John Slevens who passed away on Saturday.

With the New Year, I have no coming events to pass along. Please send me notice of your activities at least 2 weeks in advance so I can share them — lmgeand@yahoo.com. or 518-734-5360.


While enjoying lunch last week, I spoke to a local Ashland resident. We talked about his father in Florida, and about his mother who passed many years ago. As we chatted, we drifted to the topic of Fellowship. Many young people remember when a family member passed, all would gather at the home. Neighbors would start bringing food the moment they heard about the passing. Food would continue to arrive: casseroles, sliced ham and turkey, scalloped potatoes, cakes, pies, breads. Food enough to live on through the long days of preparation and mourning. After the funeral, everyone would come back to the house where even more food was shared, along with stories about the deceased, and family memories. If not at the home, it would be held in the local church hall with the Church Ladies preparing, and serving the food, then wrapping it up to send home with the family. The idea was to have enough food for the gathering family, so the family members could sit and talk about the past.

The trend now has turned to going to a restaurant. No more worries as to cooking and cleanup, but as I see it, not the family. Togetherness is what is needed now, not a gathering for a meal. The family acts as host to the mourners, which precludes them eating, and when the 2 hours are up, off you go. No leftovers packed, no cakes to take home for a sit down when it’s calm. Just a sterile atmosphere where you sit alone with your thoughts.

As the holidays pass, and the New Year is upon us, I think of my family and friends. Did your family get together and renew the bond of family? Did you have at least one day to sit and laugh with family about days past? Send me some of your memories to share.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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