Rockport news

By Stevie Kumble | Jan 02, 2014

Happy New Year

The Town Office, library and all local schools resume regular schedules today, Thursday, Jan. 2. And a reminder to Town Department Heads, Committees, Boards and Community Services that your budgets are due in the Town Office by Friday, Jan. 10.

Municipal meetings

All meetings are at the Town Office unless otherwise specified and are open to the public. The C-R Pathways Committee will meet today, Thursday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Washington Street Conference Room, Camden. The Planning Board will meet Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. at the Opera House; televised on channel 22.

The Strand

The live in high-def encore showing of London National Theater’s “Frankenstein” is today, Thursday, Jan. 2, at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.

“The Human Scale,” the First Friday Film co-sponsored by The Farnsworth will be shown Friday, Jan. 3, at 8 p.m.

And, Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 1 p.m. is the Met’s live-in-high-def encore performance of Verdi’s “Falstaff.” Doors open at 12:30 p.m.

FMI about any of The Strand’s programs, go to or call 594-0070.

Books, plus

Local poets George Chappell and Jim Ostheimer will conduct a poetry workshop today, Thursday, Jan. 2, (again Jan. 16), from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The workshop is open to the public and welcomes all levels of ability and experience. Bring samples of written work.

The Fiber Arts group will meet Tuesday, Jan. 7 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Come and join like minded enthusiasts, ask questions, work on your stitching with others, share tips, and just plain enjoy yourself!

FMI about any the library or any programs, call 236-3642 or visit

Nature walk

Coastal Mountains Land Trust and the Camden Conservation Commission teamed up to co-sponsor monthly natural history walks in the Camden area. The second “Monthly Naturalist Walk,” easy to moderate, will be Saturday, Jan. 4, at Merryspring from 10 a.m. to noon. Wonderful opportunity to learn about birds, trees, flowers, insects, animal tracks and other areas of natural history and this month will be even more fascinating because of the incredible variety of winter weather we’ve experienced already, presenting challenges to birds and wildlife. Snowshoes may be helpful! The walks are facilitated by area naturalist Roger Rittmaster and will encourage experts and amateurs to discuss and share their knowledge of natural history; please leave dogs at home! To learn more and to find notices of location, last minute changes and/or cancellation, visit Coastal Mountains Land Trust's Events Calendar page at

Kids and Families First

A “Morning Mom’s Group” for moms of children ages 4 to 8 will start Monday, Jan. 7, and an “Evening Mom’s Group" (same ages/format), will start Tuesday, Jan. 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The groups will meet twice monthly. Call (603)801-6382 to register.

Music at noon

The second winter season of intimate “Music at Noon” lunchtime concerts sponsored by Farnsworth Art Museum in partnership with Bay Chamber Concerts, begins Wednesday, Jan. 8, (continuing in February, March and April). Enjoy a simple, tasty warm lunch from Atlantic Baking Co. while surrounded by art and music in the beautiful Farnsworth Art Museum Library. Tickets include lunch (a cup of soup, bread and a cookie), as well as free entrance to the museum following the show. FMI, call 596-6457.

Dip for Derek

If somehow you forgot or were just too busy (or said no way - I don’t go in that water in August!), to do the “Dip for Derek on Jan. 1, you can still contribute. Make out checks to the "Derek O'Brien Trust." For more information, contact Peter Roper at 236-0074. Donations can be mailed to Peter Roper at 10 Spring St., Camden.

Nature notes

Had a wonderful call from a friend in Camden on Christmas Eve day. It seems that during the height of the ice storm on Saturday, six bluebirds hovered on a birch tree near the house feeding on nearby holly berries. The bluebirds normally live on her property on Howe Hill, but it was an unusual sight that icy morning!

The past couple of weeks, an incredible variety of birds have swarmed our deck feeders and even the water dish. Following the most recent storms, our two pairs of cardinals (both mom and dad) regularly visit the deck feeders. Grandson Lucas loves birds and he spent a lot of time at the sliding doors leading to the deck and at the dining room table watching the birds. At 21 months he's talking a blue streak and he excitedly told us about each bird landing (sometimes more than 10 at a time!). The marauding squirrels proved a delight to him, too. Amazing how my own joy in watching those birds was so incredibly enhanced by watching Lucas's delight and to hear his infectious, joyous laughter about the birds, the squirrels and the snow - life in general! And, as if there were lulls in December conversations, the weather certainly gave us enough to talk about! What a two-week end to December. Record snows, the ice storm, cold - you name it! One of the “warm” memories we’ll have is our Dec. 26 afternoon trip out to Rockport Harbor to share Andre with 21-month-old grandson Lucas, here for Christmas with Mom and Dad, daughter-in-law Hannah and son Eric. We sat in the car for a bit watching the snow and the solitude of the harbor. When we decided to move on, couldn’t get up the hill (we didn’t have my Subaru - was easier to leave Lucas’ car seat in the Toyota rental - we learned!). Luckily, Harbormaster Abby was there, she called the highway department and within 5 minutes down the hill came a town truck plowing and sanding. Even after a sanding round trip, the hill still wouldn’t let us get beyond halfway. Another double pass from the town truck and we were good to go. Thanks so much, yet again, to town employees who so willingly show up to help, even silly people who put themselves in bad situations!


The current tradition of presenting a housewarming gift to someone moving into a new home dates back to a custom begun in Scotland in the 14th century. On the first Monday of the new year according to Scottish custom, children and servants were given a small gift (handsel), to bring good luck, with the broader application of marking any new situation.

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