joycesirota@gmail.com; mickeysirota@gmail.com

322-7572; 322-5671

Partners

Recent surgery meant more than a week with only one person in this Searsmont household doing the work of two. It makes you realize how much rural folk depend on each other for “the little things” that add up to a lot — such as getting the morning paper, bringing in the mail and a day or two’s worth of stove wood, making an extra pot of coffee, picking up “just a few things” at Amanda’s store, filling the bird feeders, shoveling a path to the outdoor compost bin and other kindnesses too often taken for granted.

At a time when we count our blessings and make resolutions for the new year, let us not forget how much we depend on each other. Here is hoping your Christmas is merry and bright (despite rain, wind and ice), and that 2023 brings you health and happiness.

Town Office

Searsmont received the last half of the $5,000 grant it was awarded last year to plan for broadband expansion. By all accounts, it was money well spent and the town says “thank you” to every volunteer member of the Broadband Advisory Task Force that got the ball rolling and led to Searsmont’s part ownership of the Waldo Broadband Corp. Just waiting now to hear from Maine Connectivity Authority about a decision on the corporation’s broadband expansion implementation grant request.

Selectmen held Dec. 12 and 19 work sessions but canceled the Dec. 13 monthly regular public meeting for “lack of matters to discuss.” Searsmonters can forgive one canceled session.

Seniors who applied before Dec. 1 for the property tax freeze got letters from Assessors Agent Jim Murphy letting them know they were approved and will pay the same amount in 2023 as they did in 2022. Thank you, Santa.

And a reminder that Dec. 29, the last Town Office business day of the year, is the deadline for getting your 2023 dog license. There is a grace period, but renewals after Jan. 31, 2023 will mean a late fee.

More sad news

Searsmont has lost two more neighbors. We knew and will miss them both.

Alva Pollard, a life-long resident of Muzzy Ridge Road, passed away Dec. 6 at age 66, leaving his son Trevor, daughters Danielle and Annette, and former wife Zona. He attended Belfast Area High School, was a member of United Bikers of Maine and loved those bikes, racing and music.

Selma Shure, whom everyone knew as Sally, died peacefully at age 99 on Dec. 19. The former social worker was born in New Jersey, but no one who knew her and her late husband Mel thought of them as anything but Searsmonters. Sally served the Searsmont Historical Society, Searsmont Town Library, Searsmont Women’s Action Group and the Belfast Garden Club. Her friends mourn with her sons Kenneth and Howard, daughter Anne, nephews and niece, grandchildren and great-grandson.

Celebrations of Alva’s and Sally’s lives will be held next year and condolences may be shared with their families at ripostafh.com.

Town Library

Searsmont’s library, closed Dec. 30 and 31, starts up again Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, at 10 a.m. with winter sessions of Gentle Yoga led by Searsmont’s Janneke Zaadstra. The weekly classes in the Community Room are free (donations welcome). You bring yourself and a yoga mat, or use one of the library’s mats, and “new folks are always welcome.”

Thanks to Belfast Flying Shoes and Friends of the Searsmont Library, the free Tri-Town Music Program for students in grades 2 through 5 starts Jan. 10, 2023, and continues every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. Registration is officially closed, but it couldn’t hurt to call 342-5411 and see if there any last-minute openings.

The Friends’ year-end fundraising campaign is still underway. Your tax-deductible donation supports the Friends’ $6,000 annual gift to the library to buy books, movies and CDs. Donation envelopes are at the library front desk. Searsmonters would have to look hard to find a better local cause.

Bits and pieces

That noise you heard in Searsmont Dec. 21? Townsfolk banging on pots and pans to bring back the sun. It worked. Days are getting longer now.

Searsmonters are serious about New Year’s resolutions. They are all going to lose weight, exercise, repaint the house, grade the driveway, put up a new mailbox and take that trip to Tahiti.

Regular readers will recall your correspondents buying a generator two years ago and that since then, Searsmont’s electricity has rarely gone out. If yours stayed on during the Christmas weekend storm, you’re welcome. If it went out, ’tis a puzzlement.

Bob and Vicki Sirota performed Dec. 16 at the Muzzy Ridge Concerts gala event, a donor “thank you” and preview of next August’s performance series in Searsmont. Photo by Joyce Sirota