Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12/23/10 Christmas


I have a challenge for you this week. I know, it's not like you need one more thing on your list, but this is important. I know that Christmas is different for adults; we have a ton of things to get done: food to buy & cook, presents to wrap, a house to clean and decorate. And on top of all that, we're working jobs and doing all those ordinary things that have to get done. But here is what you must do, you must stop for a few minutes in the chaos, and just look at this life around you. If you have a Christmas tree, you should lie down on your back underneath the tree and look up. Not only will you decrease your blood pressure by lying down, but as you look up you will see nothing but evergreen, twinkle lights, and sparkling ornaments. It instantly relaxes you and will make you smile, I promise.


Did you hear that our Ashland was voted the "Best Place to Raise Your Kids in 2011" in Virginia by Business Week? Of course we already knew that, but the magazine cites our wonderful Randolph-Macon College, our beautiful homes, and the Strawberry Faire. I would add our excellent public schools as well. Mechanicsville was the runner-up- yay for Hanover!


Happy Birthday to some more December babies: Susan Spence, Kevin Damien, Debbie Wilkinson, and Lauren Thompson!

If you'd like a little exercise before that Christmas feast, put on your tackiest Christmas sweater and meet at the Station Café on Christmas Eve morning at 9am for a 5K "Freezing Toes and Nose Run." You can warm yourself with a cup of Bart's coffee afterwards, and pick up your Christmas roast at Cross Brother's next door!

You look good, Ashland. The lights are beautiful and the garlands are shimmery. Doesn't it feel good to dress up?

As the year winds down, I always get a little wistful. I remember the Christmas Eves when I was little, when it was a whirlwind of wrapping paper, toys, cousins, and adults laughing in the kitchen. I remember grandmothers in their aprons and the wonderful food that they created. It seemed to take forever for it to get on the table, though, so my father and uncles would pack all the restless kids in the car to go look at Christmas lights. We would go see Motram Sanford's huge lighted tree at Hague (Westmoreland County) and the Santa out on the raft in Gardy's mill pond. After dinner, we would all go in the living room, my grandmother, Pauline Delano would play carols on the piano, and we'd open presents. Aunt Gertrude always gave socks. I can still hear their voices, and I think of the glow from the windows across those cold Northern Neck fields. Let's make sure that we are making good memories for the children of Ashland.


There's only one more column left for 2010. Send me your thoughts on the old year- are you glad to see it go? It has not been an easy year for many. All the better to look forward to 2011! Call or email me: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Merry Christmas you old town! You are one of the best presents I've ever gotten.





12/16/2010 Santa at the Firehouse, December Babies, Ashland Theater Open?


You’ve done a good job of decorating Ashland, and I’m really proud, but it’s not quite enough. We need a little bit more, especially now with this snow on the ground. The whiteness reflects everything and I think if we just put up a few more stands of lights, maybe one or two more candles, that it would be close to perfect. Why don’t we have an Ashland snow globe? I’d really like one of those, but more on my Christmas list later.


If you didn’t make it over to the Ashland firehouse for breakfast with Santa this past weekend, put it on your calendar for next year. There is hardly a better way to spend a cold morning than in a warm firehouse, with good food, & those wonderful, soft Hanover accents being spoken all around you. The firefighters had been out all night fighting a 3-alarm fire at the Super 8 motel, and the trucks still smelled of smoke inside.


We have a lot of wonderful public servants in this town. Bake some extra cookies for them this Christmas and go say “Thank you.”


I am falling down in the birthday department! There were three very important celebrations last week: Rebecca Cline, John Hodges, and most importantly, George Stiles who stepped over that threshold and became a teenager. Where has the time gone? I hope they all had lovely parties and got many wonderful gifts.

We were excited to hear that the Ashland Theater was opening, but apparently the news was incorrect because their doors have been shut and the lights dark. What's the latest, Anne Woodward?

There are too many church services to mention here, but a favorite of ours is the live Nativity at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church on Coatesville Rd. They’ll have it this weekend on Saturday and Sunday at 6 and 7pm. Call ahead in case the weather is bad- 883-5950.


And lastly… Dear Santa, For Christmas this year I would like some staff. Two would be ideal, but I can work with one. If you can’t swing that, please bring peace and love to Ashland, to Hanover, and to the world- in that order.

Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com . Let your hearts be light, sweet town!