The past week was quiet, with many Montauk friends away on mid-winter vacation. We’ve recently had a few sunny days with temperatures climbing past 50 degrees right here in Montauk. My dog, Chance, and I took our favorite walk on Sunday, West Lake Drive over to Gloucester and then a quick loop around the still frozen ponds up at Montauk Downs State Park. I heard what sounded like the murmur of distant voices—snowmelt and rainwater gushing through the streams and metal culverts at the edge of the park. Toward sunset, also on Sunday, February 23, I heard red-winged blackbirds for the first time this year. Their distinctive cheerful warble is a welcome tune at what I hope is the tail end of this rather harsh winter. Optimistic cardinals have been singing their spring songs for a few weeks, even when snow and cold temperatures predominate.Uplifting it was to find green spears of daffodil leaves about two inches tall that had been growing under snow. In a sunny spot in the vegetable garden I found garlic chives sprouted, a tasty garnish to perk up bland winter vegetables. Temperatures back down to the low ’30s are the forecast for this week and possibly more snow. Wasn’t it heavenly to enjoy these tantalizing hints of spring?
On Sunday at Montauk Community Church we had a “missing parson.” Pastor Bill Hoffmann was away for a few days on vacation. The congregation was pleased to welcome as guest minister the Reverend Rob Stuart who lives in Springs. Reverend Stuart has filled in on many occasions at MCC, so all found it particularly nice to catch up with him again.
Other news at MCC: In March, Mayela Vargas is going to Cuba along with members of other local churches. Included in this week’s bulletin is a list of items particularly welcome as donations for the Cuba trip. Suggested are ibuprofen, acetaminophen, Band-Aids, adults’ and children’s cold medicine, toothpaste, toothbrushes and bath soap. Especially needed for Sunday school classes in Cuba are pens, pencils, rulers, crayons, glue sticks, and construction paper. Also, stickers and glitter! Contributions of children’s underwear and socks are also listed. Please bring items to church where Mayela will collect and organize your donations for travel with the group to Cuba.
On Wednesday, March 5, St. Therese of Lisieux Church will have an Imposition of Ashes after the 8:30 a.m. Mass. In addition, a short service at 5 p.m. on that day will also provide Imposition of Ashes. For those not able to attend either time, ashes will be available at the front of the church sanctuary, all day on Ash Wednesday, for all those wishing to mark themselves with ashes and pray.
At Montauk Community Church, Imposition of Ashes takes place at an evening service at the church, at 7 p.m. on March 5.
Proud parents Chris and Don Schnell stopped in to see me at Atlantic Beach Realty to say their younger son, Phillip, recently passed his board of review to become an Eagle Scout. Phillip’s Eagle Scout project was to lead fellow scouts in Troop 136 in the construction of medical backboards, made of plywood and mahogany. Phillip also helped organize a pancake breakfast at Montauk Firehouse to raise money for supplies for the project. The finished backboards are destined for shipment to Haiti and Jamaica for use by Doctors Without Borders. Phillip’s Eagle Scout ceremony will be late this spring when older brother Eddie returns for summer break from Clemson University in South Carolina.
Your emails regarding upcoming events, social occasions, birthdays, anniversaries or family reunions are welcomed! Reach me at email@example.com. The novelty hasn’t worn off yet. I’m always thrilled to open my in-box and see a new name pop up.
St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. Save the date—the Montauk Friends of Erin hold their 11th annual Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner, which benefits the upcoming parade, at the Point Bar and Grill on Saturday, March 15, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The evening features raffles, prizes and an opportunity to enjoy a traditional Irish dinner with great fellowship, as well as music by “Todd the Guitar Guy.” Tickets, available at the door, are $15 per person, $10 for children.
On Saturday, March 8 at 1 p.m. there will be a “Hike and Seek” at Camp Hero State Park, sponsored by the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation.
Join a State Park Naturalist on this scavenger hunt hike. While hiking, “seek” out items from a list of local plants, animals, and objects specific to Camp Hero. The naturalist will give a brief explanation of each item as it’s found. Hikers will meet at the bluff parking lot located directly south of the main entrance to Camp Hero State Park. The hike takes approximately two hours and requires advance registration. Please call Latisha Coy at 668-5000 ext.201 to reserve your spot. Visit nysparks.com for more information on this and other upcoming activities.
The East Hampton Trails Preservation Society is pleased to offer a new summer internship for local high school and college students interested in gaining experience in trail maintenance and as hike leaders. Applications are accepted through April 15. Detailed information about the program, along with a downloadable application, can be found on the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society Facebook page, or email EHTPS@hotmail.com for more information.
On Thursday, February 27, at 7 p.m. “All Is Lost” is scheduled for this week’s Friends of the Library free movie selection. Screening is at 7 p.m. in the lower level of the library, with light refreshments and conversation to follow.
Story time for preschool children happens Mondays from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Listen to stories, sing songs and make crafts with Miss Korpi. Younger tots are welcome and encouraged to listen. Crafts are most appropriate for preschool children.
Practice the art of Tai Chi. Join the group Monday, March 3, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Upcoming for seniors, Frank Masterson will be at the Montauk Library on Wednesday, March 5, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Walk in and speak with Mr. Masterson about Medicare savings programs, SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), HEAP (heating help), and preventive care services available under the Affordable Care Act, and other benefits for which you may be eligible.
AARP Tax Help will be available at Montauk Library this Friday, February 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You must register in advance 668-3377 for a one hour appointment, no walk-in help.
Here’s something I wasn’t aware of: Come to the library to have free access to Ancestry.com, library edition website. Start researching your lineage and create your family tree while enjoying Montauk’s beautiful library.
I never cease to be impressed by the healthful, intellectually stimulating and downright friendly activities available, right here in our little hamlet.
Welcome back, vacationers. Wishing everyone a great week!