Crocuses blooming in the author’s garden. Photo by Perri Black

Sheltering in place

Now that it is mandated, it is our civic duty is to stay at home. I hope all Lakes Region Weekly readers are doing so and managing to maintain some sanity. While it is difficult to distance from friends and loved ones, the only way we are going to beat this thing is to follow the rules issued by the state and the CDC. For updated information go to maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/.

Fortunately, we live in Maine and are experiencing a wonderful early spring. Staying at home and maintaining social distancing does not necessarily mean staying indoors. Get outside and start raking the gardens to see what is coming up. I have crocuses blooming, daffodils getting ready to open and a flowering quince beginning to bud. Buds are also appearing on a lot of trees, so get away from toxic TV, go outside, breathe fresh air and look around.

Trail closures

A lot of land trust properties are open to the public for hiking, although Loon Echo has closed four trails on Pleasant Mountain due to a surge in hiker traffic. The closures were requested by local fire departments for safety reasons. Loon Echo suggests trying trails on some of its other 11 preserves – go to lelt.org for locations and further information.

Open for business

Bridgton looks like a ghost town these days, but a number of stores and restaurants are still open for business, albeit in modified forms. Restaurants are doing takeout only, some stores have online shopping and others take phone orders and offer curbside pickup service. The Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce has a list of the current offerings of its members at mainelakeschamber.com.

Helpful organizations, repeated

Things are changing by the minute, so here is a reminder of the organizations offering help during this time.

Local food pantries – Bridgton (318-4467), Sweden (647-5735) and Harrison (647-3384) – are open their regular days but procedures have changed to comply with distancing regulations. Call ahead or check websites/Facebook for details.

The Bridgton-Lakes Region Rotary Club can also help in a number of ways. Call 200-5084 or go to lakeregionrotary.com for details.

Bridgton Farmers Market vendors are taking phone orders for pickup at the Saturday market. Some farmers have also opened their farm stands early. For a list of vendors and contact information email [email protected]

Two face masks were left on the author’s door handle. Photo by Perri Black

Thank you

Finally, I want to say thank you to the mystery angel who left two lovely, hand-sewn face masks on the door handle of my house on Kennard Street. I was wondering where to get masks, but now I have two that are much prettier than any I could buy. Thanks again, it was very kind of you.

Perri Black may be contacted at [email protected]

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