Monday, December 28, 2009

12/24/09 Merry Christmas


Wow. I used to think Ashland was pretty just on an ordinary day, but toss almost two feet of snow on our sweet town and you have a winter wonderland of epic proportions! Did you see those Christmas lights sparkle in the snow? Have you seen those bundled children bouncing through the drifts? I don't think I ever fully appreciated Christmas carols- they take on such a deeper meaning when you listen to them while watching the snow fall. It was perfect, this snow before Chrstmas. Thank you to whoever ordered this!

I am so sad that we've lost another important Ashlander. Nancy Witt left us this past week, and our creativity quotient immediately plummeted. I never met Nancy, but her painting fascinated me, and I could stare at them for hours. My condolences to her children and friends; I know you will all miss her dearly.

Having old movies at the new Firehouse Theater has added to our storybook atmosphere. If you lived in town, you could have walked to the movies this past Saturday night! Can you imagine that? Walking down a snowy street to see an old movie? Quick, someone pinch me. Call the Theater for details on their next show: 798-9721.

While you're baking cookies this holiday, make a few extra to drop by at the firehouse, the police station, or the rescue squad. The men and women have been working extra hard in all this snow, and it's wonderful to send them a thank-you.

One little example of how our police officer give back to the community is the "Shop with a Cop" program. On Thursday, December 10, 2009 the Ashland Police Department hosted a holiday party for local children at the Ashland Church of God. With many donations and support from local businesses and citizens, Santa Claus was able to distribute many gifts to the participants at this year’s party. Several local businesses donated pizzas and drinks as well for the event. Community volunteers wrapped these gifts and helped hand them out during this year’s party.The Ashland Police Department extends our sincere gratitude to the local donors and volunteers for their generous donations and hard work in making this year’s event so special for the children in our community.

As we wind down 2009, lets reflect a little bit. Was it a good year? A tough one? A little of both? We'll talk more about it next week, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on the passing year. You can email me at ashlandnews@gmail.com, or call me at 310-5320. Are you glad that you're here? You may get tired of me telling you, but you will find no sweeter spot on earth than this town. Go outside on a quiet winter night, find a star to wish on, and ask that you never have to leave. "...Through the years we all will be together if the fates allow, hang a shining star upon the highest bough, and have yourself a merry little Christmas now..."

12/17/09 Raindrops, Gandy Art Auction, Charlotte's Trip to Disney


"I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas, just like the ones I never knew. Where the tree branches drip and children slip on sidewalks wet with dew. I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas, with every umbrella that I see! May your days be merry and yet, may all your Christmases be wet!" My cousin, Emily Kelly, and I wrote that song during another soggy holiday- maybe 1982. Enough already. Let us dry out!

The Gandy Art Auction to benefit the Gandy Garden Project was a stunning success! You know I've told you that we're lucky to have people like Lorie Foley and Wendy Doyle living here- people that give hundereds of hours of their time to make this town a better place for our kids. It's really incredible. We're so excited about these Gandy Gardens, and this auction was the first step in making it happen. There are many, many people to thank, including Ashland Street Parties who made a significant contribution. I'll remind you about that when the summer rolls around!

A huge thank you to the teachers and staff at Gandy who stayed late and helped make the Auction an really fun evening for the kids and their families. Thank you to Marlynn Turner, formerly of Virginia Street, who traveled back from Atlanta to be our wonderful auctioneer. Thank you also to anyone who donated auction items- we had some incredible things at our silent auction, including a holiday flower arrangement by Nancy Hugo, original Raku pottery by Nancy Cozart, photography by John Cook, and some sweet kiddie chairs painted by Sunnygirl Elizabeth Melson. Bravo Gandy! Well done!

If you're struggling to find that special Ashland gift, remember that there are new pewter ornaments of the Arts and Activity Center available! These are incredibly detailed and the perfect addition to your tree for only $15. Call Faith at 798-2728 if you'd like one!

When you see Susan Spence on the 19th, please wish her a very happy birthday! These December babies have a hard time, so the deserve our special attention, that includes John Hodges who celebrated his birthday on December 10th."Merry Christmas" to the Ashland community from Ashland Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)! On Sunday, Dec. 20, you are invited to join us for a "Festival of Lessons and Carols” at 7 pm at 301 S. James Street (across from Henry Clay School). This service is adapted from a Christmas Eve service which has been held annually for 90 years at King’s College in Cambridge, England. Accompanying our Chancel and Bell Choirs will be guest musicians with trumpets, timpani, flute, and harp. A reception will follow. Admission is free.

Congratulations to Tana Garcia, Monica Klisz, and Laura Boone who ran in the cold, cold rain in the Blue and Grey Half Marathon in Fredericksburg this past weekend. This was Tana's first 13.1 miles, so it was a really special day for her!

Our little Charlotte Reynolds has returned home from her fabulous Disney Make-A-Wish vacation! We have loved seeing the pictures and the smiles on everyone's faces, and we are so thankful that they got the chance to have that happy time together. You can keep updated on how this princess is doing through their blog: http://www.cjstuf.blogspot.com/. Hers is not an easy story to read, but it is important and beautiful, and it will do you good.

It is so wonderful to have movies once again in our sweet town! Our new Firehouse Theater is showing classis movies on a regular basis now, and all reports have been glowing! This Friday, 12/19, they'll show "The Shop Around the Corner" starring Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan starting at 7pm. Then on Tuesday, 12/22, they're showing a Christmas Double Feature beginning at 6pm: "The Grinch", followed by "A Christmas Story." Visit their website: http://www.ashlandfirehousetheater.org/ for a listing of all the holiday movies coming up.

Here- I will give you the advice that I can't follow myself: Don't worry- it will all get done. My father tells me all the time, "You have enough time." When I was younger, I'd just roll my eyes and walk away. The last time he said this to me, I said, "Daddy, I've been thinking about this for a while, and I've come to realize that you're just plain wrong." There will never be enough days in the year to love Ashland like we should. Work on that this week, ok?

Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, or ashlandnews@gmail.com. Stay dry and keep sparkling COTU!