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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Game Night at Bartley Field Happens on Friday

If I think about it only as “ripping pages off the calendar,” then it’s hard to believe it’s the middle of June. Maybe I put too much expectation on the month, but it seems like such a loss when 1/30th of the month goes away every 24 hours, or we experience days like June 4 that don’t even reach 50 degrees.

However, all I need to do to put things into proper perspective is just look around. Despite last week’s iffy weather (until Friday), my tomato plants easily gained two inches in height. They’re not huge yet, but for plants started from seed about three months ago, they’re looking pretty good! My brussel sprouts, planted four months ago, have set. They’re standing tall and are ready to grow their jewel-studded stalks. We’ve eaten the first lettuces from our garden. All that has happened in just 14 days.

Also, I’ve noted that irises, both Siberian and bearded, are very popular around here. Do you have them in your yard? If not, I think you’re the exception. Mine are all in bloom. My canna lily has flowered, my ornamental lilies have reached a foot in height, and my cosmos, which grew from last year's plants, somewhat of a miracle to me for this annual flower, are doing great. And of course, every day that will eventually get ripped from the calendar, brings a new shade of green, whether it's the vibrant green of new growth or the muted green of a neat, freshly mowed field.

The month is still half-full, and it is brimming with things blossoming.

About a week ago, the trustees of the Reading Public Library and Tony Pikramenos, our librarian, put in this year's edition of the Reading Public Library Herb Garden. You may not have heard of it, because it’s also the very first edition!

The garden runs along both sides of the walkway leading from the sidewalk to the library's front steps. Herbs include thyme, rosemary, marjoram, sage, chives, tarragon, and oregano. Though not an herb, between these fragrant, tasty plants, the trustees/librarian/gardeners added portulaca for a dash of color. The Reading Greenhouse introduced me to these flowers last year. There may have been more for the library to purchase if I hadn’t fallen in love with these lovely little blossoms and planted two dozen of them in my flower beds.

The herbs are for community use. However, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. These plants need some time to grow before the leaves can be snipped. Let them enjoy June, at least, until you inquire about harvesting some to put on the chicken you’re going to grill.

Now that we're in unofficial summer, you may be thinking it's time to enjoy the great outdoors. Well, you live in the right place. Vermont has lots of great outdoors, and much of it can be found in state parks. During these warm months, the library offers a pass for many of these parks, good for free entry into designated park day-areas for up to eight people in one vehicle. These passes are good at Mt. Ascutney in Windsor, Camp Plymouth, Wilgus in Ascutney, Silver Lake in Barnard, and Thetford Hill, among others.

The library also has passes for half a dozen Vermont historical sites, including Bennington Battle Monument, the Eureka Schoolhouse in Springfield, the Old Constitution House in Windsor, and the Calvin Coolidge Birthplace at Plymouth Notch.

And the free passes don’t stop there! The library also has passes available for the American Precision Museum in Windsor, the Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, and the Vermont History Museum, with branches in Montpelier and Barre.

Though not free, you can also snag reduced-price passes for Echo Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington.

Like library books, these passes can be checked out. They just need to be returned in two days.

Thanks to Tony for sharing this information. I knew the library had passes. I didn't realize it had so many and so many options. These'll make being a tourist in your own state easy!

Tomorrow night, June 15, is the second outdoor Game Night. At this writing, the forecast is for clouds but no rain. We’ll have wiffle balls to hit, horseshoes to pitch, hula hoops to twirl, and soccer balls to kick around. We’ll also tee up some great conversation. So why not join us at Bartley Field? Bring yourself, your kids, your fun/competitive spirit, a chair or blanket, water, and bug spray. Festivities kick off at 6:30pm.

Incidentally, if the forecast is wrong, Game Night moves to the Reading Public Library. The commissioners will post the change of venue, if necessary, on the Facebook page (

I’m sure a Rec Commissioner or two might be on hand with a stack of Ducky Derby tickets in case you want to purchase some. They are $5 each or you can buy a quack pack, which is 6 for $25. If you can’t wait until Game Night or decide to buy them after the last pitch has been thrown, you can also get yours at Watroba’s, Reading Greenhouse, Town Hall, or from one of the five Rec Commissioners. They are Joe Braun, (, Stephen D’Agostino (, Lisa Kaija (, Gerry Marletta (, and Lisa Morrison (

For updates on prizes, be sure to visit the Rec Commission's Facebook page.

Happy birthday to Lynn Reichert (June 17). Happy anniversary to Bill and Virginia Springer (June 16). And

Happy Father’s Day to all the Reading Dads!

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

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