Welcome winter

Water skiing, boating and leisurely strolls are not what Mainers have in mind when we think about winter, and I am happy to see that all of that nonsense is now behind us. After wearing my fall jacket through most of December, I was thrilled to go outside last week to find that it no longer kept me warm. My winter coat is now back where it belongs, on the coat hook next to the front door. I was dreaming of a white New Year since a white Christmas wasn’t in the cards, and I got what a wanted. Winter has finally arrived in Bridgton.

Keep it coming

Yes, we do have some snow and a little ice on the lakes, but we need more in order to have a successful winter season here. It’s great to see little skiers on Shawnee Peak as I drive by on the Causeway, but those who love being on the mountain have the advantage of man-made snow. Everyone else has to wait for Mother Nature.

I do hope that the Mushers Bowl can go on as planned this year. I recall a couple of times in recent years that there just wasn’t enough snow for the dog sleds to safely participate in the planned races. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that that won’t be the case this year.

The Downeast Mushers Bowl Races will take place on Jan. 23 and 24 at Five Fields Farm, 720 South Bridgton Road. For a complete schedule, visit www.downeastmushersbowl.com, email [email protected] or call 647-1217.

Spreading joy

What I am about to relay to you is, by now, old news, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share what I found in Pondicherry Park just a few days before Christmas. As I was walking on the Pondicherry Loop Trail, not too far from the Dunning Memorial Bridge, a tinkling sound got my attention. I looked around to see what it was, and my eye caught a glimpse of something magical and unexpected: a decorated tree in the woods. Someone had lovingly adorned a most adorable tree with a white star, beaded garlands and red, green and gold ornaments. It might have been the squirrels, but I am guessing it was a human Bridgton resident, looking to spread some delight to those who frequent the park. Whoever you are, I hope you read this and know that you brought absolute joy to me that day. At last check, the tree was still decorated, so it might not be too late to see it before the decorations are taken down.

Forget resolutions

I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions, because I know that if someone really wants to do something, they will do it, regardless of the date on the calendar. I think a better approach to the new year is to vow to do what makes you feel good and happy. If you are looking for a new activity that accomplishes both of those things, I recommend checking out the free Tai Chi classes offered at Old Town Hall. Beginner classes take place on Thursdays from 10-11:30 a.m. For those with prior Tai Chi experience, classes meet on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. For more information, check out www.taichiinmaine.com. Tai chi helps with balance, recovery after surgeries, mental clarity, agility and an overall sense of well-being. It’s also a great way to get out into the community and to make new friends.

Adult Ed

The Adult Education program at the Crooked River School in Casco is undergoing many new changes. The name has been changed to Lake Region and Fryeburg Area Adult Ed, and is now being led by director Madelyn Litz.

There will be a variety of satellite locations, making the classes more accessible to residents in our area. Classes on purchasing real estate and academic remediation are being offered at Stevens Brook Elementary School during the winter term. In addition, GED prep and testing, and college and career advising will be offered by appointment, beginning in mid-January, at the town office’s lower conference room on Wednesdays, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Hopefully this is just the beginning of a wider variety of programming that will be available to adults in our community. Share your ideas by calling 627-4291 or emailing adulted.lakeregionschools.org. You can also visit www.lakeregion-fryeburg.maineadulted.org for more information.

Happy winter, everyone. And wishing you a year filled with love, peace and happiness.

The woodland creatures of Pondicherry Park got into the Christmas spirit this year.

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