Washington news from Charlotte Henderson.

Variety show – best “evah!”

The 2022 Variety Show from Evening Star Grange was the best ever (aren’t they all!) with a wide variety of fine performances, a packed house of enthusiastic spectators, and an amazing surprise. Performers included our favorite “cowboy,” Rosie Gerry, Cyd Zeigler, Martha Johnston Nash, Martha Jackson, Lillyann Forbes, Dave Heckman, Dale Griffin, David and Bunny Stanley, Mary Winchenbach and superlative accompanist Sybil Wentworth. An unexpected treat came from classical pianist, Ron Marlowe, who gave us a trio of delightful classic piano pieces. The program was a good balance of music and comedy with clever banter from Emcee Mildred Melgard and the performers and guests. Dave Heckman offered a good dose of non-partisan patriotism with a rousing rendition of “God Bless America” that was especially welcome to these old ears. The whole show was fun and left everybody with a smile — the best of all outcomes. Many, many thanks to everyone who helped make this a grand evening for the audience.

Roast Pork Supper

Mt. Olivet Masonic Lodge will present its October public dinner on Saturday evening, Oct. 15, from 5-6:30 p.m. at their hall on Liberty Road. On the menu is roast pork with all the fixin’s, dessert and beverage. The cost is $12. With the current COVID-19 level “low” (at this writing) here’s a good chance to get out and about. Take-outs are welcome, too, if you prefer.

Help with drafty windows

An organization — Maine Community Builds: Window Dressers — will work with homeowners to make custom fitted window inserts to reduce heat loss during the coming cold weather season. For more information, call them at (207) 596-3073 or email info@windowdressers.org. Read their website to get an idea of how it works at https://windowdressers.org/insulating-inserts/. Several years ago now, I made some inserts for a couple of my windows. It was a good experience with a team of people showing me and the rest of the group how to construct the frames, apply clear polyolefin film and a foam gasket for a snug fit. A crucial element is accurate measurement, and Window Dressers will help with that basic step. The small window inserts I made are still in use after ten years and at the time cost me about $40. The cost is only for the materials you use for your project. The Window Dressers site shows some estimated costs. There is also a cost adjustment for low-income residences. Check it out — maybe you can stop some drafts and save a little on the heating bill.

Another energy aspect

Every week we receive mail inviting us to join some solar project that will reduce our electric power costs. They urge consumers to enroll in some “community solar project” that would apply your share of the “juice” it creates to your overall power bill. Now, bear in mind that is a gross over-simplification of these projects. What I want to convey is that, while many of us jump at the chance to do the right thing — which often includes going solar — there are things we should know. In this broadcast from a couple of months ago, Maine’s Public Advocate, Bill Harwood, explains the programs and what questions to ask: https://www.maineconservation.org/lunchnlearn/community-solar-in-maine-clean-energy-for-all.

Most fun at Harvest Festival

Pumpkin Vine Family Farm is just over the town line in Somerville, on Hewett Road. This Sunday, Oct. 16, is Pumpkin Vine’s Annual Harvest Festival from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Visitors can wander among the pumpkins to find your perfect Jack o’ lantern, orange or white! Or press a glass of apple cider to enjoy with a freshly baked cinnamon roll while you browse the farmers market. Enjoy spinning and weaving demos throughout the day and learn about natural dyes at 1 p.m., in a special presentation by Skirt of Leaves Fiber Studio. Kids have lots to do as well: play pumpkin ring-toss, see how far you can shoot our apple blaster, and make a multi-colored corn bracelet to enjoy all winter. The whole family can get in on the fun with our “Farmer Photobooth” – dress up in some of our farmer outfits and pose on our decorated hay wagon for some unforgettable memories. Be sure to bring your walking shoes and camera if you want to take a fall foliage hike around our beautiful farm. Admission is free; donations are gratefully accepted. Visit https://pumpkinvinefamilyfarm.com for more information or contact Kelly at (207) 549-3096. In case of rain, please check Facebook to see if the event is still on – https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinvinefamilyfarm

Trunk or Treat sign-ups

The Parent-Teacher Group at Prescott Memorial School is sponsoring a Trunk or Treat Halloween Party on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 4-6 p.m.  All the activities take place in the Grange Library Town Office complex in the village. Trunk or Treat involves decorating your vehicle trunk for Halloween and supplying it with goodies for kids who will be trick-or-treating in the area. Please help make this annual event a great time again this year by bringing your trunk to the festivities. For more information or to reserve a spot for your trunk (vehicle), please contact Prescott Memorial School PTG before Wednesday, Oct. 26, at prescottptg@gmail.com.