SOLON & BEYOND: Surprise! CMP reimbursement check arrives in the mail

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning my friends, don’t worry, be happy!

This is one of those weeks when I don’t have any real news to share, but I came across an old clipping (way back in 1988, when I was writing for the Skowhegan Reporter, and my byline back then was, Solon “The friendliest town in the state”). This particular column started, “After writing this column for over six years, some weeks I am hard put to think of something amusing or uplifting to share with you. Such was the case this week and then lo and behold on Saturday what should I find in my mail but an official looking letter from Central Maine Power Co. My heart skipped a beat and I opened it with trepidation because when I get riled over “the principle of the thing” I’m apt to get a bit sassy!

Anyway, inside, much to my wondering eyes, was a check for $48.73; this was the $50 deposit that I was told I couldn’t get back until 1993! They had added on $1.74 in interest and subtracted $2.74 for final bill, there is something very final about “final bill,” but keep in mind to run an air conditioner, sewing machine and a light bulb or two. Now whether this was one of those miracles that sometimes happen in my life or “the power of the press,” either way it did me a world of good and I had to share it with all of you.

Another thing in that same column was a picture of a pig with babies, and the head line, “And this little piggy went to Solon,” Linwood Tuscan, of Solon, got a surprise recently with eight piglets, the first litter from his sow.

In between all of that in this cut out column was lots of history that you don’t see any more (which bothers me, because it is hard to get personal news now, because of privacy matters). I’m going to print some of the old news that was in that column: “The Solon Extension will meet at the Firehall on Thursday, October 13, at 10:30 a.m., for the meeting entitled “What is U.M.C.E.S.?” This will be led by Ruby Gates, and the dinner will be in charge of the Bingham ladies. Another one is as follows: Officials From Solon who attended the Annual Maine Municipal Association Convention in Augusta were selectmen, first, Judy Robertson, second, James Hills, third, Dana Hall and town clerk, treasurer, and tax collector , Mary Jackson and her assistant Barbara Fish. Mary and Barbara stayed in Augusta for the three-day convention.

At the end of that column, also under the pig picture, were these words: ” Brings back memories of the pig rodeos we used to hold in Flagstaff on my uncle’s farm. My mother tried to bring me up to be a lady but probably because I was the littlest, I always got elected to ride the pigs. (Of course, she didn’t know about all of this until afterwards!)

I did get an e-mail about the Weston Woods is a 275-acre forest that has been part of the Weston Homestead of Madison for nearly 250 years. The classically-designed Federalist home, built in 1817, remains in nearly its original condition. The 55 acres of farmland with a mile of frontage on the Kennebec River is actively farmed and protected into perpetuity under an agricultural easement held by Maine Farmland Trust. The pristine forest remains to be protected and SWT holds an option to purchase, We have raised nearly half of the asking price but need your help.

Another little skrid of paper I found near my computer this morning is a good one for Percy’s memoir: “Never Be Discouraged: If we refuse to be discouraged and trust God’s Guiding Hand… So take heart and meet each minute with Faith in God’s Great Love, Aware that every day of life is controlled by God ‘s Great Love, Aware that every day of life is controlled by God Above… And never dread Tomorrow or what the Future brings, Just pray for strength and courage and trust God in all things… And never grow discouraged be patient and just wait For God never comes too early and He Never Comes Too Late!” (words by Helen Steiner Rice.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Articles discussed at selectmen’s meeting

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, my friends, don’t worry, be happy!

Received a card for another budget committee meeting on January 30, at 7 p.m., at the Solon Town Office, to discuss more articles needed for town meeting regarding the McQuilken Road Issue.

The agenda consisted of the following:

1. To see if the Town will authorize the Selectmen to use the funds raised in Article 5-20 to purchase from James Farley, who claims to own property over which a portion of the McQuilken Road currently is located, a triangle of that property with a 10′ leg west of the pin set on the southeast corner of James Farley’s land (Map R2 Lot 14 on the 2018 Solon Town Maps) by Boynton & Pickett Surveyors and extending to the sideline of said Road at the location of the stop sign where it was located on October 17, 2018, and back to said pin for a sum of money, to pay for the associated survey costs, to prepare and execute deeds and related documents therefor, and to pay the costs to record the survey of the new Road right-of-way and the deed(s) for the land at the Registry of Deeds.

Selectmen recommend Yes and paying Mr. Farley $500 for this portion of his land.

2. To see if the Town will authorize the Selectmen to use the funds raised in Article 5-20 to purchase from James Farley, who claims to own property over which a portion of the McQuilken Road currently is located, all of said portion of the property for a sum of money, to pay for the associated survey costs, to prepay and execute deeds and related documents therefor, and to pay the costs to record the survey of the Road right-of-way and the deed(s) for the land at the Registry of Deeds.

Selectmen recommend Yes and paying Mr. Farley $!,000 for this portion of his land.

3. To see if the Town will authorize the Selectmen to use the funds raised in Article 5-20 to relocate and rebuild the section of the McQuilken Road where it meets the Drury Road with the right of way to extend three (3) rods to the east of the pin set on the southeast corner of James Farley’s land (Map R2 Lot 14 on the 2018 Solon Town maps) by Boynton & Pickett Surveyores;, to pay to purchase property on the east side of the McQuilken Road, if needed, for the right of way; to pay for the associated survey costs to prepare and execute deeds and related documents therefor, and to pay the costs to record the survey of the new Road right-of-way and the deed (s) for the land at the Registry of Deeds. Selectmen recommend Yes.

Discuss Salaries of Town Employees: Discuss Library Funding, Librarian salary of $14.50 per hour is &11.687 for the year. 2018 Library funds raised by the town was $11,810. For 2019 we recommend $12,5000. We would like to increase that amount to $13,000. Librarian salary at $16.00 per hour would be $$12,896 for the year.

Lief and I attended the above meeting, and on our way there the car’s weather stated it was only 2 degrees, and when we walked to the building, a cold wind was blowing, making it quite frigid! The three selectmen were present and budget committee members, Barbara Johnson, George Williams, Eleanor Pooler, Mike Golden, Frank Ridley, Alan Foss and Jeff Pomelow were there, but that wasn’t a quorum, so the meeting wasn’t held.

The Solon Food Cupboard has to be moved out of its present site by the end of February. The new location will be 120 Pleasant Street. For more information you may call 207-431-0388. (This was all very sudden, and I will be getting more information that I will share with you in another column.)

And so now for Percy’s memoir, entitled, The Blessing of Sharing: Only what we give away enriches us from day to day,For not in getting but in giving is found the lasting joy of living, For no one ever had a part in sharing treasures of the heart who did not feel the impact of the magic mystery of God’s love. Love alone can make us kind and give us joy and peace of mind, So live with joy unselfishly and you’ll be blessed abundantly.

SOLON & BEYOND: Week of January 31, 2019

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning dear friends, don’t worry, be happy!

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club had a meeting on January 12 with Cooper Dellarma presiding. At that meeting there were two leaders and 10 members present.

Three members have been invited to demonstrate and talk about 4-H. This will be done in the spring.

At the last meeting Hailey Dellarma did a presentation, followed by Debra Kanter doing a officer training, then she handed out pins and a folder with officer information on information on it.

On February 2, Sherri and Molly Thornton will be doing a work shop on winter care of animals from 10 to 11:30 a.m., at the Somerset County Extension office.

In February the Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club will be doing the food trays for the elderly.

Also at the February 4-H meeting, Laci Dickey and Cooper Dellarma will be doing their demonstrations instead of the leaders. This is something new that is being tried this year. All of the other members should be thinking of something they can do at the March meeting.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, February 17, at the Solon Fire Station at 9:30 a.m.

On Saturday, February 2, the Solon Congregational Church will be having a baked bean and casserole supper from 5 – 6 p.m., at the Solon Masonic Hall.

I recently received another e-mail from the New Hope Church, in Solon, and it starts, Dear Friends of the Shelter, “This one thing we know, “God is good all the time….And all the time He is GOOD!” While we often look at events in our lives as something that is such a surprise to us, we can rest assured that absolutely nothing surprises God and also we can know with certainty that He will make something good out of every situation if we are surrendered to His will! It is through this lens we can know that, in His sovereignty, God has a plan for our future here at New Hope Shelter after the loss of our church pastor and board president, Tim Hunt. God’s people have sustained all of us through their prayers and support. Pat and her family are doing well and are thankful as well for your prayers. The church now has two two interim pastors who will bring the messages for us over the next few months as we prayerfully seek the Lord’s direction for the right man who is being prepared by God to come and shepherd us here at New Hope Church. Pastor Tim taught a weekly Bible study and loved spending time to get to know the women and children of the shelter. He will be missed but we rejoice with him that he is now with his Lord and those who have gone on before. We know that when he entered the gates of heaven that he heard Jesus say, ‘Well done good and faithful servant !’ Thank you, Pastor Tim for all you did here at New Hope Church and the New Hope Shelter.”

The shelter, operating under the umbrella of the church, has a board of directors who help with policy decisions, procedures and rules, financial direction, and other general guidance. While the loss of our church pastor and board president is strongly felt, we know because of our years of working on developing a firm structure that the shelter will continue to move forward successfully while still under the oversight of our board of directors.

The above letter was signed, Blessings to you all in the New Year, by Rebecca Philpot.

Last week, I wrote that I would try and find out more about our up coming town meeting, but I didn’t put in Article 2: To elect all municipal officials and school committee members as are required to be elected. Nominated candidates: Selectman, three-year term; Elaine Aloes; Road Commissioner: Gary Bishop; Town Clerk/Tax Collector, one-year term: Christine Jablon and MSAD # 74 School Board Director, three-year term: Deron Whittemore.

Percy’s very much looked forward to memoir will be a short one, because I’m almost out of space: entitled; Winter’s White Gown; Snowflakes are falling Winter’s white gown, Gentley in motion They cover the ground. Beauty awaiting Softly in sound, Crystallized snowflakes Have touched Winter’s gown. Thank You, dear Master, For all that I see, And the snowflakes of splendor Adorning the trees. And the beauty of Winter Seems silent in sound, Season’s own loveliness Dressed up in white gown. (words by Katherine Smith Matheney.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Abbreviated look at warrant as town meeting time approaches

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning my friends, don’t worry, be happy!

Here it is almost town meeting day! How time does fly!

I went to the town office, and got the 2019 budget meeting agenda for the meeting on January 19 to discuss the following: financial state of the town, budget overview, and warrant articles overview by the selectmen. Review of warrant articles and ordinances and review of proposed budget.

There will be a public hearing for the three ordinances that will be voted on at the annual town meeting: The proposed ordinances Shoreland Zoning Ordinance revision, Foreclosed Property Ordinance revision, and Home Cultivation of Marijuana Ordinance. I will try and let you know when that meeting is coming up.

The revenue from state revenue sharing is up about $4,000 from 2017. The excise tax revenues are up about $14,000 from 2017. The Road Paving Project ended up costing $137,906.85 less than was budgeted, so we did not have to borrow the $98,000. They did a chip seal process on the roads and also did crack sealing and crack repairing on the other paved roads in the town out of the Road Paving Project funds.

The town did not receive the BETE reimbursement for 2018 because the state was slow in processing them. The town will be receiving the $113,444 BETE reimbursement from the state this month. They will be asking to use those funds to reduce taxes in 2019.

New one time expenditures: LED electronic notice sign for town office; GIS mapping of the town; new furnace for the fire station; dump body for the 1995 Ford truck for the highway department; and surveying the Coolidge Library property.

There are also increased costs for the expanded town office hours to be open.

I’m going to print a few of the articles that I have room for in this column. Art.4: To see if the town will vote to increase the property tax levy limit of $572,934, established for the town of Solon by state law, in the event the municipal budget approved under the following articles will result in a tax commitment that is greater than that property tax levy limit. Selectmen recommend Yes.

Art. 17: To see if the Town will raise funds for a land survey for the Coolidge Library property. Selectmen recommend up to $3,000 with the funds coming from the Library Capital Reserve Account.

Art. 18: To see if the Town will vote to change the Tax Collector/Clerk position from an elected position to a position that is appointed by the selectmen with the effective date of this change being March 7, 2020.

Art. 19: To see if the Town will vote to form a library building committee, with a minimum of five members, for the purpose of developing plans to build a Coolidge Library addition and exploring funding options. Selectmen recommend Yes.

Art. 20: To see if the Town will approve creating a Swim/Camp Program Reserve Account with the funds to be used for the Swim Camp Program. Selectmen recommend Yes and with this year’s appropriation funds to be put in this reserve account.

Art. 21: To see if the Town will adopt the “Ordinance Limiting Home Cultivation of Marijuana for Personal Adult Use.” Selectmen recommend Yes. Also, on another page in the papers I got it states: WHEREAS, the Town of Solon deems it in the best interest of citizens to limit the cultivation of marijuana for personal adult use within the Town, without affecting cultivation, use, or distribution of Medical Marijuana as allowed by 22.

I was unable to attend the above budget committee meeting, (that is only the second or third one I have ever missed) my apologies, but I hope to have more to share with you about it next week.

Now for Percy’s memoir entitled “It’s Worth Pondering.” We must not, in the course of public life, expect immediate approbation and immediate grateful acknowledgment of our services. But let us persevere through abuse and even injury. The internal satisfaction of a good conscience is always present, and time will do us justice in the minds of the people, even those at present the most prejudiced against us. (words by Benjamin Franklin, 1772.)

SOLON & BEYOND: More Solon school news

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning my friends.

Didn’t have room for all the Solon Elementary School news last week, so I’m finishing the Solon School News email I received. This fall students have received a colored pom-pon each time they did a good job meeting school expectations, displaying positive behaviors, or being helpful and/or cooperative as part of the new Positive Behavioral Intervention Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. Students put these pom-pons in a jar on the counter behind Mrs. Weese’s desk. The students were told that there would be a schoolwide celebration when the jar was full.

Right before Christmas the pom-pon jar was filled. Fifth grader Fisher Tewksbury suggested that for the pupils reward they all play a winter version of the Hearts game they play every Valentine’s Day. So they did! K-5 students were divided into multiage teams to play this game, which is similar to Yahtzee, on December 19.

They also had a contest to see which male student, female student, and staff member could come closest to guessing the number of pom-pons in the jar. There were 709 pom-pons, each one representing a positive action by one of the students. winners were Stuart Hamblen, Katelyn DeLeonardis, and Mrs. Campbell.

Winners of the Hearts Drawing was Hunter Pouliot and Kaitlyn Soucle.

Superintendent of schools, Mike Tracy, joined the kindergarten class for Thanksgiving dinner on November 15. The class enjoyed his visit!

My many thanks for sending me this information to share.

Received the following e-mail from Angie Stockwell from the Margaret Chase Smith Library, in Skowhegan.

Dear Readers,

It’s difficult to imagine that a new year has begun and the first of our newsletters is ready for your reading enjoyment. Our front cover news is the election of Maine’s first woman governor and her connection to Senator Smith. A new exhibit on the 19th Amendment is near completion. Interestingly, the California fires bring back memories of Maine’s forest fires in 1947. National History Day in Maine is always in the works, as is our annual essay contest for high school seniors. The passing of President George H. W. Bush recalls the friendship of the Bush family. And our heartfelt thanks to all our donors who responded to our annual fund drive. It promises to be busy year and we’re grateful for our continued support. Best wishes for 2019.

The following email is from Happyknits. We’re thumbing our noses at winter with another Wine and Twine. Come join us at the Miller’s Table (just downstairs from Happyknits) on Saturday, January 19, from 4 – 6 p.m. Bring your project and a friend while we laugh, sip and nosh. Don’t feel like “wining”? Don’t feel like “twining?” That’s ok – just come anyway! We promise you’ll have a good time!

Do you know about Knit Night at Happyknits? It’s held every Tuesday night from 5 – 8 p.m. It’s free and open to everyone. Does that not work into your schedule? Happyknits has open knitting/crocheting every day of the week, so bring your project, a friend ( or two or three) and sit by our cozy fire. We have set aside Thursday afternoons (anytime) and Friday afternoons, from 2 – 4 p.m., if you want to gather with a group, but you are welcome to relax in our shop anytime we’re here. It’s cheaper than psychotherapy, and a whole lot more fun!

And now for Percy’s memoir: Hold fast your dreams! Within your heart Keep one still, secret spot Where dreams may go, And, sheltered so, May thrive and grow Where doubt and fear are not. O keep a place apart, Within your heart, For little dreams to grow! We see so many ugly things – Deceits and wrongs and quarrelings: We know alas! we know How quickly fade The color in the west, The bloom upon the flower. The bloom upon the breast And youth’s blind hour. Yet keep within your heart A place apart Where little dreams may go, May thrive and grow. Hold fast— hold fast your dreams! (words by Louise Driscoll.)

SOLON & BEYOND: News from Solon Elementary School

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning dear friends.

Was so happy to receive the Solon School News, as always, and there was a lot of good information there.

Solon Elementary School held a Secret Santa activity again this Christmas. Students and staff members drew names and each one designed a tree ornament for the person whose name he/she selected. These ornaments looked great on the school Christmas tree in the lobby!

The Solon PTO sponsored a special Children’s Shopping Day on December 17. Students were able to shop for inexpensive gifts for their families at a “store” set up by the PTO. Thanks to parents who donated items for this activity and to the parents who helped at the store.

The Solon Christmas Program took place on December 18. Students from preschool through the fifth grade performed songs and skits for their families and friends. There was a standing room only crowd for this festive annual event.

The Solon Fire Department came to the school and and held a Christmas party for the K-5 students on December 20. They set up games and activities for the students, and they even brought Santa with them. We appreciate the support of the Fire Department all year long.

In Mrs. Waugh’s technology class, one of the activities in early December was for K-2 students to write and type letters to Santa Claus. At the school the fifth graders teamed up with the kindergartners to help them write their letters. And it is understood that Santa wrote back to the students.

Monthly Assemblies Scheduled at Solon Elementary: The school is holding monthly assemblies again this year, and parents and other family members and friends are welcome to join them for those. At each assembly one of the classes presents a topic they have been studying. At some assemblies, they give awards, the Civil Rights Team makes a presentation, and/or we do other activities.

This is the schedule of upcoming assemblies: January 9, Presentation by Grade 1. held at 1:45 p.m. February 6, Presentation by Civil Rights Team, Honor Roll & Attendance Awards; 1:45 p.m. March 6, Presentation by Grade 3, Bookmark Winners announced at 1:30 p.m. April 24, Presentation by Grade 2, Honor Roll and Attendance Awards, 1:45 p.m. And on May 8, Presentation by Grade 5 at 1:45 p.m.

PTO meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 10, at 6 p.m.

Each year Solon Elementary School holds a contest to see which student can guess the date of the first Snow Day when school will be canceled due to stormy weather. This year’s winner, who accurately predicted that the first Snow Day would be November 16, were first grader Emma Pooler and fourth grader Kaitlin Dellarma. Each of them won a bag of snow-related gifts.

The District Band and Chorus Winter Concert will be held on January 15, at 6 p.m., at Carrabec Community School. Directed by Dan Gilbert.

One thing about our schools in this modern world that had been bothering me terribly, is the fact that cursive writing was not being taught in our schools now.

I had kept thinking I would write a letter to the editor in the paper, {daily paper}, but since it had taken lots of phone calls, and just about a month to get my last letter printed, I gave up on that! But it made my day last week when I read the headline, “Cursive coming back to schools. Writing by hand provides skills in communication. ” ( I would have thought they would have figured that out long before now.)

And now for Percy’s memoir: “You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations in your own mind as to what you cannot do. Don’t think you cannot. Think you can.” (words by Darwin P. Kingsley.)

I had a very wonderful gift given to me recently. It was a very special pin that this friend had made for me of a cat and he said, “It is in memory of Percy,” and I love it!

SOLON & BEYOND: Embden Community Center has many activities scheduled for January

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The Embden Community Center is having their monthly supper on January 12, at 5 p.m.

Embden Community Center, regular events are Neighbor to Neighbor Thrift Shop/Lending library 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Wed. and 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Fri. and Sat. The monthly Suppers on the second Saturday of each month. Country Sunday: 1 – 4 p.m., second and fourth Sunday. By donation. Sewing Class 10 a.m. – noon, Wednesdays. Weight Watchers: 5 – 6 p.m., Wednesdays. Come in and sign up- new members accepted. TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) 10:30 – 1:30 a.m., Wednesdays. Community Center meetings: 6:30 p.m., Thursday prior to the second Sat. Supper. Yoga: 6:30 p.m., (1 hour) Bring your mat, etc. and Sat. 8 a.m.; weekly by donation. If you have any questions, contact Wayne at 474-1065.

We are having a vacation from our Painting Club at Skowhegan Area High School, it will be starting up again the last of February. I’m looking forward to seeing all those artists who have been with me since the beginning, and to those who may want to join us.

Lief and I had a wonderful Christmas with our families and I hope all of you enjoyed the season as well.

Came across some old clippings when I was writing for the Skowhegan Reporter back in 1988. Had forgotten this one: It started with my greeting: “Good morning my friends! The other day when I went to the post office there was a package waiting for me there with the return address to AAA (American Automobile Association). When I opened the package the card was signed by a “concerned citizen” and it is a year’s insurance with this company! The only way I know of to thank this “concerned citizen” is through this column, because I have a sneaking suspicion that they probably read it. I do thank you from the bottom of my heart, it is a comforting feeling that someone cares enough to have surprised me with this unexpected gift and as the letter enclosed states: “Welcome to Maine and dependable travel world-wide! From this point on, everywhere you go, we go, providing all the protection and convenient services you need every time you leave home. “It is a bleak and hopeless feeling to break down along the road as I can vouch the day my wheel broke off; and so my many thanks for the kind thought until this detective mind of mine finds out who you and I can thank you in person!

Here is another one published in the Skowhegan Reporter on October 13, 1988. After writing this column for over six years, some weeks I am hard put to think of something amusing or uplifting to share with you. Such was the case this week and then lo and behold on Saturday what should I find in my mail but an official looking letter from Central Maine Power Co. My heart skipped a beat and I opened it with trepidation because when I get riled over “the principle of the thing” I’m apt to get a bit sassy! Anyway, inside, much to my wondering eyes was a check for $48.73: this was the $50 deposit that I was told I couldn’t get back until 1993! They had added on $1.47 in interest and subtracted $2.74 for final bill, there is something very final about “final bill.” Now whether this was one of those miracles that sometimes happen in my life or “the power of the press,” either way it did me a world of good. (I don’t remember who the editor was at that time, but they were very good to me! (And if you are still alive and reading this paper, I would love to hear from you.)

And now for Percy’s memoir: “May you be blessed with Everything That Could Ever Bring You a Smile. And never forget each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The secret of success is in turning that diary into the best story you possibly can.

“Every day, you’re given a chance to determine what the words will say and how the story will unfold. The more rewarding you can make each page, the more amazing the entire book will be.

“And I would love for you to write a masterpiece.” (words by Douglas Pagels.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Town office expands hours, nomination papers available

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Time surely flies! It will be town meeting time before we know it!

Have received two e-mails from Christy Jablon about the following: I am informing you that nomination papers are available at the town office for anyone interested in running for the following positions, Selectman/Assessor/Overseer of the Poor, term: 2019-2022 ( three years); Road Commissioner, term 2019-2020 ( one year); Town Clerk/Tax Collector, term 2019-2020 ( one year); RSU 74 School Board Member, term 2019-2022 ( three years).

Nomination papers must be returned to the town clerk by the end of the business day January 1, 2019.

I realize this does not give you much time to get a paper for a position with signatures, and I apologize for that, it was not Christy’s fault, she sent it in plenty of time. My computer and I rage often with each other, as in this case!

Another e-mail that I received from Christy states: I’m happy to announce that starting this month the Solon Town Office will also be open on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Closed noon -1 fp.m., or lunch). We are hoping that being open an extra day will be more convenient for everyone. We are going to keep these new hours through March. At that time the town will vote whether or not to keep the office open four days a week. I hope this works well for everyone.!

Now for a report on wonderful events that took place in Solon recently!

Lief and I attended the Holiday Concert-Steel Drums, featuring “The Snow Pond Pantastics,” at the Solon Congregational Church on December 8, at the church; (along with a sizeable crowd, who also seemed to be enjoying it.)

I would never have believed it if I hadn’t heard it, that just drums could produce such beautiful music! Another thing for me, that made it so special, was the joy on the faces of those producing these wonderful sounds!

And then at 7 p.m., on the same day, we also listened to beautiful singing voices by the Skowhegan Community Chorus at the New Hope Church, in Solon. It was a very large group, some from other chorus, and many towns; again, very special!

At both events we were invited to partake of scrumptious food after both performances, needless to say, we were both stuffed – but very happy that we had attended both events of extra special music!

Speaking of e-mails: I had received one earlier about a meeting of the Somerset County Commissioners on December 5 to hear the pros and cons of the NECEC power line project. The one in favor of the project would get a chance to speak first, and those against it could speak later.

Lief and I also went to that meeting, along with a large crowd of those for and against it, (and it was so large some people couldn’t get in the room where it was held. We sat and listened to all the CMP people and their supporters until it ended. I went up to talk with the commissioners after it ended and asked why the ones against it didn’t get a chance to give their side of the issue. The two that I talked with told me there had been a meeting for them two weeks before. Somehow, I missed the boat! On the e-mail that I got, it said the commissioners were going to vote on the issue after that meeting. But now I hear that vote has been changed to December 19.

And now for Percy’s memoir: Have a Wonderful Day…Every Day! Your presence is a present to the world. You’re unique and one of a kind, Your life can be what you want it to be.Take the days just one at a time. Count your blessings, not your troubles. You’ll make it through whatever comes along. Within you are so many answers. Understand, have courage, be strong. Have health and hope and happiness. Take the time to wish upon a star. And don’t ever forget… for even a day… how very special you are. (words by Douglas Pagels.)

SOLON & BEYOND: 4-H’ers active over holidays

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, my friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club met on December 8, with Cooper Dellarma presiding. There were 20 members, three leaders and ten visitors present.

The club is doing a Christmas dinner for a family and it will be delivered on December 19.

East Madison Grange has invited three 4-H members to come and do demonstrations and talk on 4-H. This will be done in the spring.

A craft project using mason jars was done by the members. After awards, a gift enjoyed and refreshments were served.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, January 12, at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station. Debra Kantor, extension educator will present officers training to the members.

Received the following e-mail from Linda French: We will not be moving the thrift shop and food cupboard to the location on South Main Street, in Solon, as we couldn’t come to an agreement with the owner of the property. The food cupboard will remain in operation at the old location on Pleasant Street. The hours will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the second and fourth weeks of the month. December hours will be different because of the holiday. They will be open Dec. 13 and 14, and December 20 and 21. They will be giving out the Christmas dinners on the 20 and 21. They will also be selling a few winter items and Christmas decorations starting on the December 12. Call 643-2855 for info.

Received the following SWT E-News: First a story of great achievement! Entitled My Personal War on Knotweed. You may have recently noticed a bare spot along the river at SWT’s Kennebec Banks Rest Area, This area has become overgrown with an invasive plant called Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) or Mexican Bamboo. It is very hardy, can grow to ten feet tall, and chokes off native plants. The knotweed had grown so thick and high that it was blocking the view of the river.

On April 23, 2018, Earth Day, Somerset Woods Trustees held a Volunteer Clean Up Day and a crew tackled the knotweed patch resulting in two pickup truck loads of knotweed.

Returning two weeks later, spring was in full bloom and so was the knotweed! It had grown back to knee to waist high.

My knotweed war began! I hit it with the weed whacker. But this stuff is tough and when the string hit the stalk it was like hitting a branch. I used two spools of string. The knotweed grew again and came back thicker and stronger. People would walk by, see me cutting the knotweed and they would say “oh, good luck,” or use Round-Up, kerosene, vinegar,” or ” you are never going to win.”

Looking up another weapon that can be a little more selective I dug around in a corner of my garage and found an old weed whip. It works like swinging a golf club! Once a week the war continued; don’t even think of skipping a week!

After this summer routine, success was apparent. Wild parsnip appeared and other ground plants covered the bare earth but then inexplicably, someone dug them up! But, milkweed and other flowering plants have started to return. Next year, if the knotweed returns, maybe I’ll get a goat. (This interesting story was written by SWT Trustee, Tom Hendricks.) I can relate to the story, because I was plagued with the persistent plant at my house on Ferry Street, in Solon.

There will be a bag sale Dec. 12, 14 and 15 (Hours: Wed. 10 a.m – 12:30 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.) at the Embden Neighbor to Neighbor Thrift Shop. Small bags $1 and large bags $2 The Lending Library is open when the Thrift Shop is open.

And now for Percy’s memoir: There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow. (words by O. S. Marden.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Local shelter hustling and bustling

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, my friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

There will be a Holiday Concert: Steel Drums, featuring “The Snow Pond Pantastics” on Saturday, December 8, at 4 p.m., at the Solon Congregational Church. Refreshments will be served. Admission by donation.

Was very pleased to receive an e-mail from Tim and Pat Hunt of the New Hope Evangelical Church telling what has been going on there. “The shelter there has been hustling and bustling all year. We are so thankful for our director, and our shelter manager and all the staff and volunteers who do such a great job here. God has provided through the prayers and the sacrifices of His wonderful people, and we are so thankful for His faithfulness. Thank you for your generosity and kindness to those women who are homeless and in need. You have helped bring comfort and healing to wounded souls. Most importantly, you have helped bring the message of hope and salvation to hearts prepared by the Holy Spirit to receive it.”

Pat and I have gotten involved with the Skowhegan Community Chorus, an area-wide group that performs several concerts a year. This fall some from the church and other good friends have joined us as well.

The church will be having its own Christmas program, A Simple Christmas Story, on Friday, December 14, at 6:30 p.m. This story is interwoven throughout with music that will uplift and encourage you this Christmas season. Discover the promise that can be yours this Christmas!

The ladies at New Hope meet every two months for a Ladies Brunch for food, fellowship and a well planned program.

Another ministry to men, along with the monthly men’s breakfast, is the Man Cave, which usually meets every couple of weeks. The purpose of the Man Cave is for fellowship and addressing important topics concerning men.

We helped celebrate three of our granddaughters high school graduations this past spring. Elli, Zoe, and Abbie all graduated, and our oldest grandson, Gabe, just turned 20! He is a fulltime welder.

Most of our spare time in the summer was taken up with repairing our pool after a hard winter brought about its destruction, breaking the skimmer, crimping the wall, and cracking the liner. Then the pump had to be replaced. But we got it functioning again and spent a lot of time in it.

The Skowhegan Community Chorus will be performing at New Hope on Saturday, December 8, at 7 p.m. Everyone is invited.

And now for Percy’s memoir entitled, Not by Chance or Happenstance: Into our lives come many things to break the dull routine… The things we had not planned or that happen unforeseen … The sudden, unplanned meeting that comes with sweet surprise And lights the heart with happiness like a rainbow in the skies. Now some folks call it fickle fate and some folks call it chance, While others just accept it as a pleasant happenstance. But no matter what you call it, it didn’t come without design, For all our lives are fashioned by the hand that is divine And every lucky happening and every lucky break Are little gifts from God above that are ours to freely take. (words by Helen Steiner Rice.) Another saying of hers is “Look Up” It’s easy to grow downhearted when nothing goes your way, It’s easy to be discouraged when you have a troublesome day, But trouble is only a challenge to spur you on to achive The best that God has to offer if you have the faith to believe.