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Ashland Speaks

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 2/8/24 | 2/8/24

By Lula Anderson

Cold, frosty nights, beautiful, sunny days In the upper 30’s and low 40’s  -- today that means great skiing conditions as the slopes can make snow all night long --but to those who grew up here in outlying areas (Jewett, Ashland, the Settlements) it means Sap Time.  As old as we ar-e, some of us still have the urge to go out in the bush and start tapping.  The snow under our feet protecting the roots of the trees, the bright blue skies with the warm sun forcing the nutrients up the trunks only to go back down at night. Drilling into the heart of the maple and watching the precious sap come out mixed with the shavings.  Before putting in the spiel you feel impelled to like that first drop of diluted sweetness.  Walking in the shadows you see a broken branch with a “sapcicle”  hanging which you break off and pop in your mouth.  Yes, I can feel the coming of Spring.   The groundhog takes a backseat to those who follow the sap cycle. 

Ash Wednesday is February 14th.  Service with Imposition of Ashes will be at Lexington UMC at 6PM and at 4:30 at Windham UMC.

Dinner Church for this month will be held at the Lexington UMC starting at 6PM with a Pot Luck dinner.  Bring a dish to pass and a friend to share with us.

Sorry, last week I reported that the VFW breakfast was on Sunday, but I have the correct date and info:  On Saturday, February 17th the VFW Post will hold a pancake breakfast at the hall on Rt 23 west of Windham from 8 until 12.  Pancakes, blueberry pancakes, bacon, sausage, orange juice, coffee and fruit –free will offering.  Thank you for supporting our post.

On Saturday February 17th their will be a Memorial Service for Mike Boyle at the Masonic Temple in Windham from 5 - 8

The Friends of the Feathered and  Furry Wildlife Center will be holding a bake sale at the Sunoco Gas Station 8360 Main St Tannersville (by Tops) on Sunday February 18 starting at 10 AM.  Baked Goods desperately needed to make it successful.  Call or test Dave at 518-965-1864

The Catskill Mountain Fish and Game Club and the Stoney  Clove Rod and Gun Club will be holding their annual Children’s Ice Fishing Derby on Sunday February 25th from 10 to noon with registration starting at 9AM.  At the Rip Van Winkle/Tannersville Lake.  Prizes awarded for the largest fish and the most fish in both Jr and Sr divisions.  Open to children up to , and including, 16 years old.  Those 16 years of age must have a valid fishing license.  For info call Bob Monteleone 518-488-0240.

It’s early to start thinking about St Patrick’s Day, but not too early to save the date for the Windham Hensonville UMC Annual St Patrick’s Day Corned Beef Luncheon on Friday, March 15th starting at 10:30 AM.  For $15 you will get a corned beef sandwich, cole slaw, bag o’chips, dessert soda or water. 

Prayers for the family of Larry Vanucci who passed this past week.  He with his wife , Joy, were just in town visiting.  Her Mother is said to be doing fine in her home down south.

COVID is still around, latest is Don Mudge.  Billy Matthews is still in the hospital.  Please remember all in your prayers.


Thinking back on Sunday at the coffee hour after church and it still being winter, I go back to the ‘80’s – I’m sure I have written many times about what a great Youth Group we (Ashland Community Church) had.  Each season we tried to go on a different outing. 

I don’t know how many of you remember the Knefley family, Father Paul was the English teacher at WAJ for many a year.  His son, Bernie married Helen Desposito and they moved from Ashland to Pennsylvania and were managing a small ski slope:  Ski Denton in the Denton Hill State Park in Potter County.  It was just a small slope, no chair lifts, just rope tow.  But with other winter activities.  We took the group for a weekend and stayed in Bunk houses.  I was really hoping to learn Cross Country skiing.  HA!!   Before I even started, I fell and sprained my ankle and spent the entire weekend in my bunk.  The young ones had a wonderful time.

Later that Spring, we held a Progressive Dinner.  We first went to George and Pat Davis for snacks.  Jumped in our cars and drove to the Parsonage in Windham for soup and salad. Next course—off to Maplecrest to Justine O”Mahoney’s grandparents for baked ziti.  Back to Ashland to Ruth and Reggie Cross for wonderful desserts.  A lot of traveling, but a lot of fun.

I also remember going to High Falls to Camp Epworth UMC camp for a work weekend of painting and cleaning.  It sounds like drudgery, but many hands make light work.  Will all the joking and carrying on, the time just flew and all were happy.

I miss the days when kids got together to be kids (of all ages).  There were no phones to keep checking, no social media to post to.  Just singing silly songs. Telling lame jokes and enjoying being together.  More memories to pass the long, empty winter nights.

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