322-7572; 322-5671

Searsmont welcomes 2021

In the early days of the new year, Searsmonters try to consider some of the things we take for granted. The list is a long one. If you’ve lived in or visited a big city in the winter, you know that it’s a big deal that snow in Searsmont stays white for a long time. The silence in the snow is breathtaking, allowing us to hear the quiet calls of nuthatches and chickadees interspersed with raucous cries of jays, crows and ravens.

Neighbors here have sheep, chickens and other livestock (take that, Portland!). And thanks to Selectman and Road Commissioner Chris Staples and the town’s road crew, the roads are cleared promptly and effectively. Smoke from a neighbor’s woodstove welcomes us as we do our daily walk.

Folks at the post office and in the Searsmont Town Office are helpful and cheerful. And even though the Searsmont Town Library isn’t open the way it was before the pandemic came along, emails and phone calls and scheduled visits give us access to this wonderful space and all those books and DVDs and CDs.

Town Library

Speaking of the library (open Tuesday for walk-ins and Thursday, Friday and Saturday by appointment), it begins 2021 public programs Saturday, Jan. 16, with “Explore the Wilds of Searsmont.” Guides Sarah and Bill have been hiking, bushwhacking, skiing and snowshoeing the area for many years.

Adults, children and dogs are welcome, but space is limited, so call 342-5549 to register and leave your name, number and the number of people in your party. Bring weather-appropriate clothes and footwear and meet in the library parking lot at 9:45 a.m. to caravan to the trailhead.

Ever attended a Searsmont meeting?

All town committee and board meetings are open to the public by Zoom or in person. Call the Town Office at 342-5411 to get exact dates, times and Zoom log-in information on any of these upcoming opportunities to see for yourself how the town works.

Selectmen meet at 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month. Jan. 26 is the next one. The Planning Board meets at least once a month on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Also the Board of Appeals holds its next meeting Jan. 19, 6 p.m., and the Donation Advisory Committee will have its once-a-year meeting Jan. 27, 6:30 p.m. Call 322-5671 or email to attend either one.

Memorial Day parade

Committee co-chairs Jesse and Gayleen Gogan were saddened when the Memorial Day parade was canceled last year, though they did arrange a village memorial ceremony. Jesse called to say they are planning to celebrate “for real” this May. If you’re interested in helping out, taking part or finding out more, call 342-4133 to log on to the parade committee’s meeting on Monday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m.

Bits and pieces

Who says no one reads this column? Someone saw our recent photo of a 1920s woodstove online and told us the wood was too close to the firebox. Good advice. It’s winter and indoor burning time, and a house fire is no picnic. Heartfelt thanks to our eagle-eyed reader.

We still haven’t had to use our new generator because the electricity hasn’t gone out since we bought the thing. You’re welcome, Searsmonters.