Just Add Imagination

Okay, any of you who have been praying to the snow gods, you can stop now. My husband has had to rake our roof more in the last few weeks than the combined total of the five years since we moved here.

Just as we were lamenting the fact that we have run out of places to put all of this snow, I looked out of our window and saw our 84-year-old neighbor, Martin Burke and his wife Patricia making what I initially thought was a snow fort. As I sat in front of my cozy fireplace and watched the progress, I started thinking that there is more than one way to enjoy to enjoy this heavy blanketing of the white stuff, you just have to use your imagination.

Having just read an interesting article on rediscovering the art of trudging (a deliberate journey through some sort of hindering medium, such as snow), coupled with watching our neighbors frolic in the cold, made me realize that I was using the snow as an excuse for not getting outside.

It turns out that the Burkes were actually building a snow tunnel not a snow fort, but it is quite functional none the less as it gets you from here to there. You do not have to own a snowmobile or a pair of skis to enjoy our winters and you certainly do not have to be young, just “young at heart.” Get out and rediscover your youth, start trudging, or build a snow fort.

Carnival Needs Cash

As with most events, it costs money to do it well. Unfortunately, at this point the Carnival Committee only has about half of the money needed to sponsor this community event, which includes fireworks on Saturday evening, Feb. 16. If you would like to help support the carnival, donations may be made payable to the Muddy River Sno-Seekers, P.O. Box 794, Naples, ME 04055. Please note in the memo section of your check that the donation is for the Naples Winter Carnival. For more information on the carnival or to volunteer, please call Dan Allen at 318-6965 or 693-6832 and please mark your calendars for Feb. 16 and 17.

Good Election Results

As many of you are aware, without the support of the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce as well as the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber, many of the activities that occur here in Naples would not be possible. I was thrilled to see so many Naples residents, business owners and employees elected to the Bridgton Lakes Chamber Board of Directors for the 2008 year. For a list of board members representing the 13-town chamber geographic area, please visit their Web site at www.mainelakeschamber.com.

The Bridgton Chamber Executive Director, Mike McClellan and his board are working hard to collaborate their efforts with a lot of the events happening here in Naples as well as future Lakes Region events.

Bowl Fills Up

The Mushers Bowl Winter Carnival is moving to a 10-day event in 2008 and will run from Jan. 18 through Jan. 27. While most events are happening in Bridgton, there are two events occurring in Naples and Harrison respectively. The First Annual “Musher’s Bowl Teen Talent Search” will occur at Lake Region High School Auditorium in Naples at 7 p.m. Jan. 23.

Teens in grade-seven through grade-12 from the surrounding areas of the Lake Region can compete to win cash prizes and to benefit Lake Region High School Project Graduation 2008. Go to www.mushersbowl.com and click on the schedule icon to learn more about this event and how to participate in the show or of course by attending to watch the performers.

The other event occurs in Harrison at the Ballroom on Saturday, Jan. 19. This is the second Bridgton Lakes Region Rotary Wine Tasting, so come and for one price enjoy the wines, gourmet appetizers, light desserts and the music of the Blue Willow Trio. There also will be an art show exhibiting local artists. Tickets are available by calling the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce at 647-3472.

These two events are a start to the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce push to get more towns involved with the Mushers Bowl Winter Carnival and in linking to other local winter events. These include the Naples Winter Carnival, the Maine Winter Fest and Ice Derby occurring at Point Sebago Resort on Feb. 22-24 and the Harrison Winter Fest on Saturday Feb. 23. This effort can only serve to enhance the success of all of the events that occur here in the Lakes Region.

What of the Queen?

You have been unable to pick up a newspaper in recent weeks without reading about our bridge replacement dilemma, so I will not bore you with repeating the details. Negative economic impact aside, if we are forced to accept a fixed bridge, we as Naples residents will also lose another little piece of history as well. Whether or not you own a boat, do not care about access between Sebago Lake and Long Lake, or just say to yourself that this will not impact you, you are mistaken. A fixed bridge project will take away an historical element for “Our Town.” I am talking about the Songo River Queen.

One of my earliest memories of summering here as a child was going down to the locks to watch the Songo River Queen I and wave to the tourists. I know we all have some memory of this paddle boat that has become a symbol for Naples, so I would like to encourage all of you to attend the public meeting with the Maine Department of Transportation Jan. 30 at the Songo Locks School to discuss the entire bridge replacement project. Your voice or even just your appearance for a show of support is very important, so I hope to see you there.

Take to the Courts

Finally, adult pick-up basketball sponsored by the Naples Recreation Department has begun, but there is still time to join. Games are played on Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Songo Locks Elementary School. If you made a New Year’s resolution to get more exercise or lose a few pounds, please contact Harvey Price, the recreation director at 693-6364 for more information.

Have a great week and as always, if your organization has any upcoming events or if you have information to share, please let me know.

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