Tuesday, November 17, 2009

11/19/09 Thanksgiving Preparations, COTU Marathoners, Gandy Art Auction, Ashland Holiday Weekend

With Halloween behind us now, the pumpkins gone, and the decorations blown by the wind, we are warmed by the thought of Thanksgiving. I love that Thanksgiving is a holiday for everyone, regardless of religion. I love that Thanksgiving is about family, friends, good food, and a warm table. No gifts to buy, only food to cook. It's rather low-key and relaxed, if you think about it.

Happy Birthday to Kitty Banks on November 22! We hope that she has a delicious cake to eat and many wonderful presents to open!

Congratulations to all the Ashlanders who ran in the Richmond Marathon this past weekend, including Dave Klisz, Susan Spence, JoAnn Hunter, and Tammy Proffitt! If you want to be inspired, if you need to be reminded of the strength & the power of the human spirit- go watch a marathon. Go stand by the finish line and watch the runners come in after running for several hours, and after months of training. You will see that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary feats, and really, nothing is beyond your grasp if you work at it.

A special congratulations to those who ran the Half Marathon as well! Rodney Bardwell, Mary Clay Thomas, Corinne Luck, and Tracy & Bob Brown all showed grace and speed on the course through the Northside. We hear that the hills in Bryan Park were especially enjoyable!

Here, I'm going to teach you a new word: "brax." It is a noun, plural, meaning congratulations- but it is shorter and easier to spell. I learned it while living in Baltimore, and now I'll use it in a sentence...

Brax to all the spectators and coaches who cheered on the marathon runners! I saw your signs, heard your cheers, and know how you drove (or walked) all over Richmond to see your runners! You know that you helped make those 26.2 miles not seem so long. Your enthusiasm made a big difference.

The Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale will present four performances of its 2009 Holiday Concert, one on December 11, and again on December 12th, at 7:30 pm, at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church. The third performance will be Sunday, December 13, 4:00 pm, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 520 N. Boulevard, in Richmond. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students. They may be purchased in advance at Cross Brothers’ Grocery in Ashland or from any Chorale member, and may also be purchased at the door prior to each performance. To reserve tickets, call 804-798-3283. Visit http://www.cvamc.org/ for more information.

Mark your calendar for the Gandy Art Auction to be held on December 10th from 6-8pm at John M. Gandy Elementary. The students and teachers at Gandy have been busy creating beautiful and whimsical pieces of art for many weeks now, and you will be amazed at the things they are making! This will be an excellent opportunity to find one-of-a-kind Christmas presents, and support your local public schools at the same time. There will be a pizza dinner followed by a silent auction and a live auction. Dinner is $4 per person and reservations may be made by emailing me (ashlandnews@gmail.com) by December 7th. All proceeds from the auction will be used for the Gandy Garden Project, building gardens to cultivate learning, imaginations, and creativity.

Also, plan to be in town on December 5th and 6th. The Ashland Holiday Weekend is shaping up to be a wonderful time for all. There will be pictures with Santa at the Henry Clay Inn, a Ginger-Bread House Contest, a trolley taking riders all around town, a Santa's Secret Workshop for kids at the Arts and Activities Center (remember Miller & Rhodes Fawn Shop?), Magician Jonathan Austin, and a Tree-Lighting Ceremony on the Town Hall Lawn. This is just a little bit of all the activities. Visit http://www.hanoverarts.org/ for more information.

So, let's get ready for the holidays, Ashland. You don't need a ton of money, of piles of presents. The real gift is what we have here: good neighbors, good friends, and warm hearts. The COTU economic forecast predicts wonderful days ahead.

Call or email me with you Ashland news: 310-5320, or ashlandnews@gmail.com. Be happy.

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