322-7572; 322-5671

Historic times

Folks our age remember where we were when we heard about John F. Kennedy’s assassination and then spent days watching TV with the rest of America. We remember watching men walk on the moon, the towers come down in New York, and we mourned with Mainers at the loss of the Challenger.

So as this year ends, we feel the same closeness with each other as we watch life-saving vaccines being trucked into Maine to be given to frontline medical workers. Searsmonters hover over screens and near radios listening to Maine CDC’s Dr. Nirav Shah giving his pandemic updates. We watch together as electoral college votes come in, an event drawing more attention than we could ever have imagined. We see pictures of our fellow citizens waiting for COVID-19 tests, and for food.

That’s why, like you, we’ve spent time and effort trying to find some routine, some normalcy. That’s why we take a walk nearly every day. Go to the grocery store once a week. Try to keep in touch with friends and neighbors by visiting outdoors, socially distanced, as long as we can stand it until it gets too cold. Do everything with a mask on.

The things that are helping us, like most people in Searsmont, are pretty simple: the happiness of a warm pot of soup, food in the pantry, gratitude for having plenty of wood for the stove and someone to share it with.

Town Office and Town Library

Here’s your dog license update. The good news is that 150 of our canine residents are all set for 2021. The bad news is there are almost 300 licenses still looking for a home. Chances are your dogs won’t care, but a license is only $6 now ($11 if your pooch isn’t spayed or neutered) and after Jan. 31, 2021, it’ll cost you a $25 penalty.

Jan. 31 is also the deadline for paying your Searsmont property taxes in order to keep your name off the “naughty list” in the Town Report.

For a while there, the state of Maine did not recognize Libertarians as an official party, but now it does once more. So if you want to change your political party registration to Libertarian now, go for it.

The library will be closed from Thursday, Dec. 24, through Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, for year-end holidays.

Extended Grab and Go Meals through RSU 71

In case you missed Fran Gonzalez’s recent article in this newspaper, here’s some welcome news. Parents of the district’s students up to age 18 can receive up to three days’ worth of food from any RSU 71 school, including Ames School here in Searsmont. Just call between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. one day ahead to schedule a pickup. Call Ames School at 342-5100, Gladys Weymouth School at 342-5300, Troy Howard at 338-3320 or BAHS at 338-1790. You’ll be asked for the student’s name, there’s no charge and your student doesn’t have to be enrolled at the “pickup” school.

Happy holidays

Since we’re always willing to help Searsmont businesses, we remind you that a local gift certificate to Threshers or Fraternity Village Store is always a last-minute gift choice. And we hear that some Christmas tree farms sold out this year. Maybe more folks decided to put up a tree and stay home for the holiday. Sounds like a plan. Have a very Merry Christmas, stay safe, be well, and we’ll wish you a Happy New Year next week.