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Digging out

Well, that was a doozy of a storm Jan. 29. Searsmont got about a foot and a half with twice that in drifts around the house and car. We are grateful to the people who plow us out, thankful that the snowblower started right up to deal with the fluffy white stuff and cleared paths to the bird feeders, propane tank and oil fill. Isn’t it amazing how quickly the town’s roads are plowed and driveways cleared? Folks in Massachusetts were digging out and were without power for days. We’re too modest to take credit for electricity staying on during the storm. But it’s a fact that we put in a generator last year.

Town Office

At their Jan. 31 work session, selectmen reviewed the town’s response to clearing the roads after “the big snow.” They advise all Searsmonters to slow down in places where extreme cold means ice remains in places the sun does not reach through evergreens, especially at curves. Good advice.

There was a detailed budget discussion with Dawn Bryant and Sarah Tompkins of the Rescue Department, with the possibility of a tiered call rate to increase volunteers’ compensation during training and call-outs by $3 or more per hour. They also considered an addition to the department’s reserve account to allow for purchase of a new ambulance stretcher, cardiac monitor and other needed equipment. And the selectmen approved the Donation Advisory Committee’s recommendations that will be voted on April 2 at town meeting.

Town Library

The next “Waldo County Walk,” led by Sarah Crosby and Bill Evans, starts Saturday, Feb. 12, 10 a.m., at the library parking lot. Sarah says snowshoes are likely to be needed and that depending on conditions, either Bog Brook or Whitten Hill at Sheepscot Wellspring is the destination. Call 342-5549 to sign up and provide your email or phone number to get on the information list.

Lesia Sochor’s “Series of Threads” oils and other works now at the Searsmont Town Library. Courtesy of Searsmont Town Library

Local artist Lesia Sochor’s works, including “Series of Threads” oils, sewing pattern collages and “bodice” collection, are now on exhibit at the library and worth a visit. Lesia is a painter, instructor and back-to-land Mainer who co-founded Belfast’s first co-op art gallery in the ’70s, started a creative space there in the ’90s, and taught through residencies and museum workshops for 25 years.

In her spare time she has illustrated two Down East children’s books and honors her Ukrainian roots through the art of Pysanka egg making. Lesia says her exhibit “evokes a feeling of our lives connecting, our clothing, its origins and our pasts.” Lesia’s works and greeting cards are on sale, with card proceeds going to the library.

Deer tracks in deep snow after the Jan. 29 blizzard. Photo by Joyce Sirota

Bits and pieces

Should be a good talk at the Searsmont Historical Society’s monthly meeting Thursday, Feb. 10, 1:30 p.m., at the Community Building. Masking and social distancing are recommended, and the cookies are really good.

Pretty impressive that the paper got delivered just before the big storm hit. It was an adventure walking 300 yards to the road to get it just as the wind rose and snow started to pile up. This column runs online around the time of the predicted Feb. 4 storm. Searsmonters have their fingers crossed that it’s not too bad.

Searsmonters also understood why, but were astounded that the transfer station closed Jan. 29 “on account of blizzard.” You can usually count on them to be there every week, and the town thinks they made a very wise decision. Hannaford was open, but even they closed early.