It was a busy day at the Sampson household on Christmas Day. My oldest brother Matt, his wife Lucia, nephew Joshua and great-nephew Hunter came for breakfast. Piles of pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs and home fries were served.

After some cleaning up (and a brief nap), we were visited by my husband's oldest daughter, her husband and two kids. A light lunch was served and I showed Alex how to make REAL whipped cream for the chocolate pie. One more Christmas to go on the 30th with the whole Picard clan at my Uncle Ed's house on the Plantation.

It has been a Christmas tradition since we were kids that I make Tim Ferreira no-bake peanut butter cookies. I didn't get a chance to visit with him this year as he was in Boston seeing his dad, Bob, who is ill and receiving care. I made the guys at the shop promise not to eat them. We continue to hold Bob and the whole Ferreira family in our thoughts and prayers.

Since Jan. 1 is a holiday, the next selectmen's meeting will be Dec. 31 at 10 a.m. Normally this time is for our "workshops," which are always open to the public, although sometimes we are out doing road inspections and whatnot.

Great news for the "Miracle Cats"; all seven survivors of the 12 cats that were locked in a storage unit for 17 days with no food or water have been adopted at the Waterville Area Humane Society. According to our ACO, Crystal Nichols, the first "Giving Garland" was a big success and she was able to raise some additional funds and supplies for the shelter.

Alas! We lost all of our snow, but the ground remains frozen. Many thanks to the Albion and Pittsfield snowmobile clubs that helped the Unity Snow Dusters work on the trails last weekend. Also, many thanks to the landowners who allow the trails to traverse their property!

Don't forget your 2019 dog licenses and avoid the $25 per dog late fee! If you need current rabies certification, there are still two more clinics coming up: Wednesday, Jan.  9, Dixmont Town Office, 5 to 6 p.m., $8, and Saturday, Jan. 19, Troy Town Office, 5 to 7 p.m., $10.

Now we close out 2018. I have enjoyed writing these weekly news columns for you and look forward to continuing in 2019. If there's anything you would like to add, feel free to call or email me. Here's to a healthy and happy New Year!