Winter Spiral and Early Childhood Community Candlelight Potluck, a special event for Early Childhood families will take place today, Thursday, Dec. 19, from 4:15 to 6:30 p.m. This lovely tradition is celebrated in Waldorf schools around the world. In Rockport the theme is nonsectarian and embraces all beliefs in the simple honoring of the light each of us brings to the world, particularly when we share that light with others. Friday, Dec. 20, Winter revels will be held at 9:30 a.m. at Camden Opera House.
Holiday on the Harbor
Many many thanks to town employees, local merchants and others who worked so hard to create a bit of magic with Rockport’s Holiday on the Harbor celebrations last week. (And, I want your secret in terms of weather timing!).
The storm this past weekend was a good reminder of just what a super highway department we have. Even though the storm hit on a weekend and many have the luxury of not having to go to work, I woke to the sound of those trucks grinding their way up Mt. Pleasant Street during the early hours of the storm. They continued their routes throughout Rockport roads and streets the rest of the night and most of the day Sunday and even Monday morning they were "touching up" the job as well as sanding. Thanks, so much to each of you who leave the warm confines of your homes to make it possible for us to safely leave ours.
The Strand just keeps on providing us with some of the world’s best entertainment. This time it’s a performance of the Sleeping Beauty Ballet on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m. captured live in hi-def from the Bolshoi Ballet. Then Monday, Dec. 23, take the family to see "Elf," a family comedy classic. This annual, free, holiday film begins at 1 p.m. FMI/ticket information, call 594-0070 or visit rocklandstrand.com.
The Town Office and the Library and all town departments will close at noon next Tuesday, Dec. 24, and will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 25, in observance of the Christmas holiday. Normal schedules will resume Thursday Dec. 26, “Boxing Day” for some.
All local schools will close Friday, Dec. 20, at normal times and remain closed through Wednesday, Jan. 1, for winter break. Normal schedules will resume Thursday, Jan. 2.
All meetings are at the Town Office unless otherwise specified and are open to the public. The Cemetery Committee will meet today, Thursday, Dec. 19, at 3 p.m.
Other town news
A bit after the fact, but remember, the town’s winter parking ban is now in effect. All on-street parking during the winter months, (Nov. 15 to April 15) between midnight and 6 a.m. is prohibited. In case of snowstorms or, if in the opinion of Rockport Police Officers, illegally parked vehicles are posing a threat to public safety, the vehicles can be towed. And, Beauchamp Point and the Marge Jones Recreational Field have been closed to traffic.
It’s also time to get your dog’s license. Bring proof of current rabies vaccination. Licenses for spayed or neutered dogs are $6 (less than others at $10), but if this is the first time licensing your dog, you’ll need proof of their reproductive status!
The Poets’ Workshop facilitated by local poets George Chappell and Jim Ostheimer will take place today, Thursday, Dec. 19, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the library.
Holiday Bazaar Continues
Remember, if you missed Merryspring’s Holiday Bazaar, you can still come to MNC and check out the many splendid "leftovers" for your shopping list. There are still wonderful hand-crafted ornaments, wreaths, table decorations, centerpieces, nature books, paperwhites and other specialty items for you to enjoy having or giving. Stop by the office during open hours,Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nuts to you, still!
Although going quickly, many kinds of Camden Rotary’s nut sale nuts are still available at many Camden banks. Great quality, great cause - fundraising to benefit local charities.
Benefits of loyalty to local
When the specter of subcontracting local school custodial services was proposed by the school boards as a cost-saving process, folks in the community voiced their feelings, most in heartfelt opposition to the proposal, expressing the belief that some types of penny pinching just aren’t worth it. Their reasoning for keeping custodial services local is sound and was listened to by the boards. The proposal was tabled for now, to be considered further in the context of the 2014-15 budget making process when cuts will have to be made in the requested budget.
Normally, The Strand’s “Live from the Met” encore is held the second Tuesday after the performance. But! Because the normal encore date for the recent performance of Verdi’s Falstaff (highly acclaimed by the NY Times), would have been Dec. 24, Christmas Eve day, (and the following Tuesday is New Years’ Eve day), the encore performance will actually be Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 1 p.m.; doors open at 12:30 p.m. FMI visit rocklandstrand.com or call 594-0070.
Not to be outdone by all the December holiday festivities, this week’s night skies provide a wonderful nature panorama for folks. Last Sunday night with the clearing after the storm, the moon over the new snow created a magical, "almost daylight" scene. When I woke up around 2 a.m., thought I'd left a light on! Tonight, Dec. 19, the moon will be its farthest distance from Earth. It’s also the date of Saturnalia, an ancient Roman festival in honor of the deity Saturn held Dec. 17 of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through Dec. 23. Many feel this pagan celebration helped to set the date of Christ’s birth in December. In fact, the Catholic Encyclopedia states: "Though the abundance of analogous midwinter festivals may indefinitely have helped the choice of the December date,” (Christ’s birth), “the same instinct which set Natalis Invicti at the winter solstice will have sufficed, apart from deliberate adaptation or curious calculation, to set the Christian feast there too."
Winter solstice, the time when the sun has reached its most southern point below the celestial equator, officially occurs Saturday, Dec. 21, at 12:11 a.m., making this the first official day of winter in the northern hemisphere. Sunday, Dec. 22, will be the peak night for the Ursid meteor shower with about 10 meteors/hour with infrequent spikes. Again, the waning gibbous moon will cancel out all but the first evening hours. And, finally, the moon will be in the last quarter Wednesday, Dec. 25.