Thursday, April 23, 2009

4/23/09 Center of Meriwether's Universe


I have to confess- I have a problem. I am too dependent upon Ashland. I have begun to ignore and lose interest in anything and anyone who doesn’t live here. “I’m sorry, Mama, I can’t come to Thanksgiving- there’s a cook-out here in town.”

Has anyone else experienced this? Ask yourself these questions: When you leave Ashland, do you find yourself looking at your watch and wondering what your friends are doing without you? Have your visits to relatives out-of-town gotten farther and fewer between? Does Richmond seem like it’s really, really far away? Honestly, what is your definition of “family”?

Call me and we’ll form a support group. Wait, no- that would just be the same thing, wouldn’t it? This is so hopeless. This may be a life-long struggle, and people will think me rude and impatient. But it is a small price to pay, because it could all go away tomorrow. We would be remiss not to soak up every second of Ashland-love that we can. A lifetime in the COTU will never be enough.

Happy Birthday to Elsie “Pete” Nichols on April 25! I hope Mrs. Nichols has a big piece of cake and lots of presents.

Ashland Boy Scout Troop 700 is again hosting their annual chicken BBQ fundraiser on Saturday, May 9. For $7.00 you’ll receive one half BBQ chicken, baked beans, slaw, & a roll. Meals are available for pick up between 11:00 Am - 2:00 PM at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church, 201 Henry St. (next to RMC College). Proceeds will benefit BSA Troop 700, Ashland VA. Tickets are available from any BSA Troop 700 Scout. Please call Randy Keeney at 798-7911 for more information.

Wat Hughes and Nancy Kackley have adopted a new dog! His name is Tea, formerly Yosemite. He is a 3-year old shepherd mix from the B.A.R.K. shelter, and has been waiting over a year for a new home. Although nobody can ever replace their big black dog, Chip, who they lost to cancer last fall, Wat and Nancy are very happy to have a new member of the family to love.

The DADAs (Dads and Daughters of Ashland) had a successful campout at the Maphis Ranch this past weekend. Successful because the weather was perfect, there were no injuries, and apparently very few incidents of attitude. Many thanks to Jeff Reihl and Iain Melson for coordinating.

Fall Line Farm’s “Farm to Family Co-op” is coming to the Hanover Arts & Activities Center! Orders are placed online with a fresh, seasonal selection from a variety of local farmers and producers. Orders can be picked up every Thursday at the HAAC between 3pm and 6pm. Deliveries start the first week in May. For more information, visit the website: http://www.farm2udirect.com/, or call Christiane Riederer at 798-1557.

Mark your calendars now for all the fun things happening in May: Saturday, May 2nd is Opening Day for the Ashland Farmer’s Market behind Town Hall from 9-noon; Saturday, May 9th is the second Annual Clunker Cruise beginning at 5pm behind the library; and Saturday, May 16th is the first Street Party of the summer! A full calendar is so satisfying.

I’ve been hearing lots of ghost stories these days. I’ve never seen a ghost before, but get a thrill from hearing about them. There’s a part of me that believes that they must be all over the place in Ashland. I certainly would stay behind if given the chance. Send me you Ashland news, and any ghost stories you’d care to share. You can reach me at ashlandnews@gmail.com, or 310-5320. Have a wonderful week!

9/16/09 Happy Anniversary






Spring just keeps getting prettier around here. Everyday there seem to be more trees and flowers in bloom and more birds chirping on the fence posts. Easter was lovely with children all dressed up, visits from the Easter Bunny, churches overflowing, and the all-important Three F’s: food, family, and friends.

Brooke Olivia Bryant, first grandchild of Charles and Cathy Waldrop, and great-granddaughter of Mr. & Mrs. Tom Willis was born on April 8th. Mrs. Bryant’s Fourth grade class at Gandy has been anxiously awaiting this little girl’s arrival, even if it meant losing their favorite teacher. We are all so excited that Brooke inherited her mother’s red hair! Congratulations!

The Ashland Library will have its Poetry Celebration 2009 on Thursday April 23rd at 7:00 p.m. They'll honor the poetry contest winners and participants of all ages. Guests are invited to share their favorite poems. As always, refreshments will be served, and this evening is sponsored by the Friends of the Ashland Library.



Fall Line Farm’s “Farm to Family Co-op” is coming to the Hanover Arts & Activities Center! Orders are placed online with a fresh, seasonal selection from a variety of local farmers and producers. Orders can be picked up every Thursday at the HAAC between 3pm and 6pm. Deliveries start the first week in May. For more information, visit the website: http://www.farm2udirect.com/, or call Christiane Riederer at 798-1557.


Julie Erickson is busy getting ready for her 9th Annual Backyard Plant Sale to benefit The Nature Conservancy’s Chesapeake Rivers Program this May 1st and 2nd. If you donate native plants to the sale, you can participate in a preview sale and get discounts on your purchases. Visit Julie’s blog at www.townhound.com/blog/garden for more information.


Riley Doyle celebrated her 7th birthday at Disneyland while she and her family were visiting in Malibu, California over Spring break. How will any other birthday ever measure up? Happy Birthday!

Find time to watch some of the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 20, as our home-town boy, Tom Grant will be running in the world’s oldest annual marathon! Tom is an inspiration to all the runners in Ashland. He has helped countless people fall in love with the sport and work through those long miles when your legs just want to quit. I wish that we could all be there to cheer him on, and I hope he knows that we’re thinking about him. May it be your best run ever.

Hey Ashland, it’s been two years now that I’ve been writing this column- can you believe it? I’ve never lacked for news because all of you are so darn interesting! You make me laugh and cry, and you inspire me to be a better person. Thanks for letting me write about the things going on in your lives- it’s the best job I’ve ever had. We’ll have a big party when we reach ten years.

Keep on sending me your news: graduations, new babies, baptisms, and birthdays. You can reach me at ashlandnews@gmail.com, or 310-5320. You can read a record of every single column at http://www.ashlandnews.blogspot.com/.