Hello Monroe!

Ethan and I (and Oliver!) would like to wish our Monroe and surrounding community readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It is my sincere hope you each experience health and happiness in abundance over the final days of 2020 and usher 2021 in with a deep breath and optimistic outlook. Our lives as we once knew them have to start resembling more normalcy in 2021, yes?

Christmas tree reflections

When I was a child growing up in Palermo, my father planted hundreds of Christmas trees in neat rows right in our small backyard. For many seasons, the KTs Christmas Trees sign was propped on the side of Route 3 at the end of the Banton Road, with the promise of $25 trees just 2 miles up the road. KT was coined as a spin on my older sister’s name, Katie. Weekends from Thanksgiving through Christmas saw many vehicles parked in our yard as families wandered up and down rows looking for their perfect tree to saw down and tote back up the hill to their car.

I love that my dad wasn’t an overly aggressive pruner. I feel it gave the trees character and a touch of “wild.” To this day, I’ve never chosen a tree from another farm, choosing to instead take one from what was left of my dad’s for as long as I could, and then resorting to the woods out back, as those more closely resembled the trees I grew up decorating each holiday when living at home with my parents.

My dad and I tried planting 25 trees last April in a back corner of our field here in Monroe. We transplanted them from right out back. Perhaps it was my lack of watering. Perhaps the very dry summer. Perhaps the fact that the field is such a heavy gravel base. I think two are still alive…maybe I’ll try again after some more research and when I’m better prepared to water them on a regular basis until established.

I would love for Oliver to grow up with a small patch of Christmas trees planted in rows by his G'pa Darryl to wander through and choose from each winter. If that dream doesn’t happen for us, we will keep walking out back as a family and choose from the scattered but bountiful selection there. And that will be just as good.

Worth celebrating

Happy belated 8th birthday to Master Carter Aitken. I hope your day was as special as you are to so many family and friends here in Monroe!

Congratulations to Mariah Ross of Monroe on receiving her degree, a B.S. in educational studies, from Husson University. Mariah accomplished this while working and raising her family, no small feat in today’s times!

Dog registration reminder

With around 350 dogs currently registered in the town of Monroe, please make sure to register yours before the Dec. 31, 2020, deadline.

The fee is just $6 per spayed or neutered canine, or $11 per canine for those who are not spayed or neutered. A $25 per dog late fee will be tacked on to the $6 or $11 fee for those not registered by end of January, after a one-month grace period. You'll probably agree $6 or $11 per dog sure beats $31 or $36 per dog!

The Monroe Town Hall is open Monday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Call ahead, 525-3515, with any questions. Please be prepared to wear a face covering and socially distance yourself while in the public building.

Have a great week!