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Winter’s coming

It’s time to admire Searsmont as winter approaches and the leftover turkey and turkey soup are in the freezer. The woodstove is lit most nights now and bare trees stand out against blue skies on road walks. Recent rains turn small brooks into whitewater streams and water pools in the dooryard waiting to freeze. Another pandemic year is nearly over, it is dark by 4 in the afternoon and holiday lights make the evenings brighter.

Town Office

At their Nov. 22 work session, the Select Board discussed road work on French Road North, Ghent Road, Muzzy Ridge Road, and Moody Mountain Road, which is getting two 40-mph speed limit signs. Our elected officials are already considering ways to deal with probable cost increases for next year’s town budget. From what we hear, the office is very pleased with new bookkeeper Cassie Inman. And because he’s been under the weather lately, wishes for a speedy recovery to Neil at the transfer station.

The Broadband Advisory Task Force heard updates on Searsmont’s work with the Southwestern Waldo County Broadband Coalition (Liberty, Montville, Palermo and Freedom). Folks from Appleton’s RedZone internet service provider presented ideas about providing wireless high-speed broadband using existing towers to cover almost all of the town. A lot of federal money is coming into the state for high-speed internet, so 2022 should see a good bit of activity on this issue. Stay tuned for public meetings for more information.

Town Library

The library is a valuable community resource. Come in and pick up an Aging Well in Waldo County Directory of Services for Seniors and a copy of Searsmonter Jim Hillmann’s pamphlet of poems, “A Fraternity Village Remembrance.” You can now borrow digital audio and e-books through the CLOUDLIBRARYbybiblioteca system. Join through the Searsmont Town Library website, or ask the library director to help you sign up.

Bits and pieces

Having people gather for Thanksgiving after last year’s lonely celebration was a real blessing, wasn’t it?

Glendon Jr. called to wish his parents Glendon and Susan Mehuren a happy 50th wedding anniversary. We join the whole family in saying “Congratulations.”

For only $10 you can attend the Vicky E. Morgan Foundation’s Veterans Day Christmas Crafts Fair at the Community Building Saturday, Dec. 4, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., complete with a noon to 2 p.m. visit from Santa. Call Gail at 751-3384 to sign up for her Santa’s Workshop ornament, movie and holiday treat event ($30 per person) the same day from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on New England Road. Gail is also hosting a Dec. 11 gnome-making event.

Waldo County Woodshed bought 200 cords to add to its donated wood, and will hold weekend volunteer sessions to cut, stack and distribute it at its Searsmont depot near Threshers. Call Bob MacDonald at 338-2692 or email to help out, or sign up for a free quarter-cord if you need it.

Waldo Community Action Partners tells us there is still time to make a first come, first served Christmas request. Call 338-4944 for Neighbor4Neighbor assistance with holiday food or gifts.

Nearby food banks and pantries can also help. Call Liberty’s AMVETS at 322-3680 or Morrill’s Crossroads Food Pantry at 342-4044. In Belfast, Greater Bay Area Ministerium Food Cupboard, 338-5575; Little River Baptist Church, 338-4843; Belfast Soup Kitchen, 333-4845; and No Greater Love Food Pantry, 299-2093, also are ready to serve.

Caring readers let us know that bittersweet, which we pick in the woods for holiday decoration, is an invasive species harmful to native Maine plants. With apologies for our ignorance, we will burn it in our woodstove to prevent accidental seeding, and never speak of it again.

After recent heavy rains, water rushes in a Searsmont brook that is bone dry most of the year. Photo by Mickey Sirota