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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Waiting for Winter

Looking forward as Stephen, the guy who loves December, loves to bake Christmas cookies, loves to see how people light up their houses for the season, the guy who is working on appreciating winter more (and is doing so by reading Winterlust), I see a lot on the horizon for the rest of the month and into January. Two things I wish for—and maybe see coming—are more snow and temperatures that are truly winter-like. See? I really am trying to appreciate winter more.

As Stephen, the guy who writes this column, I am looking into December and January and not seeing much going on. This lull often happens in January, but never in December. Thanks, pandemic.

I know people are out and about, though. On a dreary, foggy not-winter-like day while in the Village, I ran into Janet Malcolm and Ollie at the Reading Greenhouse, which was busy, and Rob Macri while he was out walking his dog. Later that day, I was in Woodstock, and the town was hopping. Everyone was masked up, and the atmosphere was festive.

In past years, I would have wanted to jump in. There were a few stores in town I needed to go to, but I decided I'd wait. The normal for me now is to shy away from crowds, which is pandemic-appropriate. I wonder if this will be my new normal.

One thing to do that doesn't require a crowd is knitting. I've been doing it when I can. I am still working on that same scarf for the Ottauquechee Health Foundation's Share the Warmth campaign, and I'm over halfway done. I showed it to Bill the other day, and he mapped out the colors he wanted for a scarf for himself. I want one, too. Those projects will keep me busy for a good chunk of the winter.

Other local knitters seem to be much faster than I am. Thanks to Reading folks who donated knitted and crocheted items to Share the Warmth. I collected items from Libbet Downs, Susan Damon Balch, and Jess Seman this month, and Sue Mulder last month. The Ottauquechee Health Foundation had its second collection day last Saturday, and we received more items this time than we did on the first collection day in November.

If you've got time and yarn on your hands and want to help out, contact me. The Share the Warmth campaign runs through December 30.

And as a reminder in this season of giving, the Reading Giving Project is still happening. When I was in Town Hall last time, there were a few cards left on the tree. Granted, that was a while ago. If there are no cards left, you can still give. Write a check to "Reading Seniors." Be sure to put "Giving Project" in the memo. You can mail the check to the Reading Town Clerk PO Box 72, Reading VT 05062.

Consider your favorite charities this year, too. Some, I know, have curtailed or canceled annual appeals, given the state of the economy. Regardless, they probably need your help, as well.

Admittedly, one thing about December with which I have a love/hate relationship is Christmas cards. I love getting them. I love the idea of sending them. However, sitting down to do them always seems daunting. Same for you? I'm going to try hard this year because I think getting a card in the mail would be extra-special right now.

The vaccine is coming. In the meantime, keep up the good work with social distancing, hand washing, wearing a mask, and caring for others. Consideration right now is a gift we can give freely and to everyone.

That’s the news from Reading. See you next week.

This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on December 17, 2020.

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