Anticipation of a good cross-country ski snowfall must have addled my brain last Monday, because I completely forgot to write my column, due in that day. I remembered on Wednesday morning when Jake and I were having our morning exercise -- too late by more than 24 hours. Talk about a senior moment! We did, indeed, have a good snowfall, and conditions were excellent at the Bethel Inn for skiing. Good skiing continues, and we Nordic nuts are quite happy.
Speaking of Nordic skiing, last Saturday was the occasion of a huge 5k skate race at Maranacook High School, in which teams from 23 schools participated. Bethel and surrounding areas were well represented in the race, and all of them did a fine job. Gould skiers Andrew Nesbitt and Shelby Aseltine finished first among their respective genders. Following is a complete list of skiers (in alphabetical order) from Telstar and Gould who represented their communities very well: Shelby Aseltine, Elyse Barnard, Aiden Clarke, Jeb Clarke, Izzy Cohen, Kyle Curry, Marcello DeLuca, Nolan Dumont, Alice Hotopp, Matthew Keane, Casey Keiner, Ben Lewis, Adam Mahar, Ben Martin, Andrew Nesbitt, James Piccirillo, Meg Runyon, Molly Siegel, Samantha Southam, and Marguerite Wiser -- 20 intrepid racers from Telstar and Gould. Kudos to all for a job well done!
It was a beautiful day and a great course, with excellent snow conditions. Near the finish line was the final "suicide hill," followed by yet another uphill climb to the end. It was easy to see why a number of contestants wiped out on the hill, but as far as I know, none of the wipees was one of ours.
Linda Westleigh tells me that her granddaughter, Annie Costello; husband, Brandon; and children, Maddie and Caden, are all doing well at Fort Drumm, N.Y., where Brandon is stationed. The big news is that Maddie turned three on Jan. 15, and is now a healthy, happy, normal 3-year-old after a very premature birth. Younger brother Caden will celebrate his first birthday on Feb. 23. Happy Birthday to both!
The latest issue of "Vanity Fair" magazine has a two-page spread about southern female writers. Included in the beautiful picture and article is Amanda Gable, the daughter of Joan Gable and the late Joe Gable. Amanda is the author of "The Confederate General Rides North," a historical novel which ties together battlefield history with the relationship between a mother and daughter. If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend it to you. The Bethel library has at least one copy.
Pleasant Valley Grange is still meeting the 4th Thursday of the month. But, during these cold months, they're meeting at the Grover Farm. During the frigid season, farmers hunker down, clean and sharpen their tools, and read seed catalogs.
On the bird front, we have had four cardinals showing up for several days. Now and then we are visited by a flock of goldfinches, and there are always a few chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, and woodpeckers. All the above visit erratically, and we think it’s because there are many feeders in the neighborhood, so the birds do the rounds.
Jerry Vincent reports that after seeing no redpolls last winter on Chestnut Knoll, he has been visited by several since December. He notes that at first there were only females, but recently the males have joined them. We have yet to see a redpoll here at the Garden of Eden. Has anyone else out there seen them anywhere?
With minus 13 degrees Sunday night, we have been shivering a bit. The temperature rose to all of three degrees by mid-afternoon on Monday. By the time you read this, I think it will be a bit warmer, but still winter. Maybe we’ll have a couple more dustings of snow this week as well. Tell me how you’re coping with the deep freeze: email@example.com; 824-2917.