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August musings

There’s a reason folks from away come here in August. For Searsmonters, there are a multitude of attractions that keep us in town during the month. August and September are payoffs for putting up with punishments like January ice, March snow and mud, and the flies and mosquitoes of May through July. Don’t even get us started on ticks or browntail moth caterpillars. So when we see cars from New York and Vermont pass us on the road during a walk, we wave in acknowledgement that they are “in the know.”

We went swimming at Levenseller Pond at the south end of town and at the Camden end of Lake Megunticook during the recent hot weather, the first fresh water dip in years, and were very pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it was. All around you are the beauty of the Maine forest, the sound of wind and birds and the performance of swimming loons.

Autumn is officially less than a month away and shorter days give us a better chance to enjoy the night sky. In the south, bright Jupiter and (very near to its left) Saturn are putting on quite a show in Searsmont’s blessedly dark sky away from street lights. It’s a perfect time to use that telescope that’s been gathering dust for years.

RSU 71 referendum

Only 36 voters turned out for the Aug. 18 school budget vote. No surprise that it passed, as it does every year, but in Searsmont it was close. School starts Sept. 1 for grades six and nine orientation, Sept. 2 for all other students in grades one through 12, and Sept. 8 for pre-kindergarten. Too bad there are still so many questions about how things will work out and not a little anxiety, too. We wish the best for students, parents, teachers and staff.

Selectmen

Selectmen now meet every two weeks. Check townofsearsmont.com or call 342-5411 to find out how to “attend” their next meeting by Zoom.

What’s new at the library

Despite the pandemic, there are many new books and DVDs at the Searsmont Town Library. On the book side, fiction titles range from "The Geometry of Holding Hands" by Alexander McCall Smith and "One Fatal Flaw" by Anne Perry to "Trace Elements" by Donna Leon and "One Last Lie" by Paul Doiron.

If nonfiction is more to your liking, there’s "Twilight of Democracy" by Anne Applebaum, "The Lincoln Conspiracy" by Brad Meltzer or "Too Much and Never Enough" by Mary L. Trump. A complete list is on the library’s Facebook page. We have a 30-minute in-person appointment later this week, and will report on the experience.

Recap of recent events

Demo Debris Day at the transfer station on Aug. 15 was quite the sight as pickups, trucks and cars streamed in to drop off their loads to be crushed into a large garbage truck. We couldn’t help but notice that many items considered someone’s trash — lawn mower clipping bags, old furniture, kindling-size cedar shakes, lumber — could easily have been somebody else’s treasure.

The Searsmont United Methodist Church’s lobster supper, also Aug. 15, was a success. Several busy volunteers took a minute from their work serving about 100 bugs to express their pleasure at the turnout, mostly local folks who raved about the meal, especially the wicked good blueberry cake.

Squash, anyone?

The amount of summer squash coming into Searsmont gardens now could feed a small army. We’re begging neighbors, relatives and friends to take what they want (kale and cherry tomatoes, too), but produce keeps ripening. Thank goodness the excess can be put in a bag and brought to the Town Office outer lobby any time the office or library is open for folks to share the harvest. Waste not, want not.

And, as always…

Stay safe and be well.