Friday, December 5, 2008

12/4/08 Winding Down the Year, Holiday Calendar, Deck the Halls, A Christmas Carol




I am writing this on December 1st and it’s hard to believe that this year is almost over with. There is less than one month left to 2008 and to our Sesquicentennial. It has been a good year to live in Ashland; one filled with bustling activities and celebrations. Will 2009 be quiet and ordinary in comparison? That would be alright, wouldn’t it? There’s nothing wrong with ordinary as long as it’s not accompanied by complacency, and I would struggle to find that in our sweet town.

Before we move forward into 2009, take a moment to remember what Ashland used to be like. On Thursday, December 4th, at 7 pm., come listen to longtime Ashland residents share their stories of the town’s past as part of the continuing 150 Celebration. You really need to attend this. Listening to these stories will make you feel like a real Ashlander, even if you’ve only lived here a few years.

On Saturday, December 6th, from 10 am until noon, bring your kids to the library to make holiday ornaments for your tree. Holiday refreshments will be served by those wonderful Friends of the Ashland Library.

Come have breakfast with Santa at the Ashland Masonic Lodge #168 Saturday, December 6th, from 8:30 to 11:00 am. $7 for adults and $4 for children under 12 will get you pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs and biscuits. Bring your cameras for pictures with Santa.

Sunday, Dec. 7th is the 4th Annual Deck the Halls fundraiser to benefit Hilliard House at Pine Grove Farm, home of Jerry and Carolyn Peart. From Noon- 4:30pm, come out to the farm and create your holiday decorations with fresh cut pine, cedar, and boxwood collected from historic homes in Hanover County. Parking and transportation will be available from St. Ann’s Catholic Church on Snead St. Everything is provided to help, including Master Gardeners who can offer artistic advice. There’s also a wonderful children’s area for kids to make their own decorations. Donations are $25 per person, and $35 per family. Call 798-9131 for reservations.

There may still be some seats left for Randolph-Macon’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens at the Cobb Theater. Reservations are made by calling 752-7316. The shows are December 5 through 11th, and you can hear the show times when you call the reservation number.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We traveled to the Northern Neck for the day and got home late Thursday evening. It was wonderful to see family and to be in the country, but it is always a pleasure to arrive home. Dave Gilmore routinely says, “This looks like a nice town- let’s move here.” We all agree. Call or email me with your holiday events, Christmas pageants, or tacky light sightings: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. You can find an archive of these columns at http://www.ashlandnews.blogspot.com/. My fingers are crossed for snow.




Sunday, November 30, 2008

11/26/08 Holiday Parade, Deck the Halls Fundraiser, Santa on the Firetruck, A Christmas Carol at RMC




I’ll tell you, I fell in love with this town all over again this past Sunday. I don’t care what anyone else says. They can say our town is snobby and full of rednecks. They can laugh at our nickname and snicker at our calendar. I don’t care. At the Holiday Parade, we sat on the curb and clapped. We waved to the clowns and the beauty queens. We shouted out to our friends riding on the floats, and warmed our hands around cups of hot chocolate. I struggle to think of how it could have been any better. It is a satisfying life here. We are content and happy. This is our Ashland- not only the center, but the best place in the universe as well.

Come have breakfast with Santa at the Ashland Masonic Lodge #168 Saturday, December 6th, from 8:30 to 11:00 am. $7 for adults and $4 for children under 12 will get you pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs and biscuits. Bring your cameras for pictures with Santa.


Sunday, Dec. 7th is the 4th Annual Deck the Halls fundraiser to benefit Hilliard House at Pine Grove Farm, home of Jerry and Carolyn Peart. From Noon- 4:30pm, come out to the farm and create your holiday decorations with fresh cut pine, cedar, and boxwood collected from historic homes in Hanover County. Parking and transportation will be available from St. Ann’s Catholic Church on Snead St. Everything is provided to help, including Master Gardeners who can offer artistic advice. There’s also a wonderful children’s area for kids to make their own decorations. Donations are $25 per person, and $35 per family. Call 798-9131 for reservations.


There are some great holiday events coming up at your friendly, neighborhood library. On Thursday, December 4th, at 7 pm., come listen to longtime Ashland residents share their stories of the town’s past as part of the continuing Birthday Celebration. This is a really important evening. This is like your grandmother saying, “Sit down, I have a story for you.” If you miss it, you’ll regret it. Time will move on and these old stories will be forgotten.


On Saturday, December 6th, from 10 am until noon, bring your kids to the library to make holiday ornaments for your tree. Holiday refreshments will be served by those wonderful Friends of the Ashland Library.



Be on the lookout for Santa riding on the Ashland Volunteer Fire truck beginning Sunday, December 14th through Friday the 18th. You can look for the schedule in the Herald-Progress, or on-line at http://www.townhound.com/.


The Randolph-Macon box office is now taking reservations for their annual holiday favorite, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens at the Cobb Theater. Get your seats today by calling 752-7316. The shows are December 5 through 11th.



The Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale will present a holiday concert Sunday, December 7, at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church, 201 Henry Street, Ashland. Performances will be at 2:30 pm and 7:00 pm and will feature Bach’s Magnificat in D and other seasonal selections, including “Coventry Carol” and Holst’s “Christmas Day.” Tickets are $15 and $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. They may be purchased in advance at Cross Brothers’ Grocery in Ashland or at the door prior to each performance. To reserve tickets, please call 804-798-3283.

I hope your Thanksgiving plans have included a few extra items in your grocery cart for ACES. We have so much to be thankful for, and we need to teach our children that life is not easy for many people. Let’s make sure that people know that we take care of our own in Ashland. No one should be hungry or cold. There is too much love to go around. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Have a delicious Thanksgiving!