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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Reading’s First Game Night is Tomorrow

Is it me, or are we living in something of an altered reality? Last week, I saw my neighbors go by with a load of maple buckets. From my window, I watched as they bounced down what seemed like a typically muddy road for early March, and I wondered if they were putting out the buckets early. I asked Abby Rowlee about it, and she said that it was, in fact, earlier than usual.

The signs are up for load restrictions on Class 2 and Class 3 roads around town (see the March Informer for more info or check out the signs at the beginning of many roads). I thought this annual event seemed early, too. I asked Calista Brennan when I went to vote, and she said, no. They went up about the same time they usually do. They are in effect until May 15. If you’re wondering, the winter parking ban is in effect until April 1. Two days after I asked, we got a foot of snow.

Yes, we are in that unique in-between season—half-winter and half-spring. Perhaps we have a new portmanteau for this time of year—wining. It’s almost spelled like the thing many of us may be doing right about now, given the fickle weather.

My Brussel sprouts and leeks are planted and germinated. That may seem early, but starting them so many weeks out from when they can be transplanted follows the advice on the seed packets and from VPR’s Vermont Gardening Journal. Plus, I like to get my Brussel sprouts pretty big before they go into the garden. By the time they go into the ground, I will have transplanted them twice and performed a month-long ritual of taking them outside in the morning so they can acclimate to the temperature and the sun, and then taking them in in the evening.

Of course, this week, we turned the clocks ahead, just when I was getting used to it actually being light before 6am. Now, going against the “early” theme of my column, the sun rises late and sets late. That we move the clocks ahead the second week in March is, to me, too early. Who remembers when it used to be the last week in April? At this point, I’m all set to go on Atlantic Time year round and never switch my clocks again.

Early check-ins with the three maple producers I tap for information report that things are progressing well. Jason Dow, who sugars on my hill, tells me his 3,600 taps have yielded sap enough to make 800 gallons of maple syrup. Tatiana Werner McCarthy reports that Spring Brook Farm has produced 650 gallons, and Jim and Sue Mulder say that their 300 taps have yielded enough sap to make 30 gallons of maple syrup. If you’re producing maple syrup, drop me a line and let me know how your season is coming.

It’s not too early—in fact, it may be too late—to remind you that Reading’s first-ever Game Night takes place tomorrow, March 16, at 6:30pm at the library. The event, co-sponsored by the Reading Recreation Commission and the Reading Public Library, is open to everyone who likes to play games—except maybe for those who like to play mind games. Kids, parents, adults, strategy players, card players, dice rollers, puzzle piecers, you’re all welcome to attend! The library will supply popcorn and some games, but if you have one you love and want to share, please bring it!

For more information, contact a member of the Rec Commission. They are Joe Braun (203-313-1468), Stephen D’Agostino (802-484-5425), Lisa Kaija (802-952-8395), and Lisa Morrison (802-952-1011).

It’s not too early to think about the Reading Bunny Hop. That’s on March 31 at 10am at Bartley Field (with a snow/rain location of the elementary school). Before the town’s kids go out and hunt for them, the colorful plastic eggs need first be filled with treasures. The Recreation Commission is looking for volunteers to help load up the eggs. The “stuffing event” happens on Tuesday, March 27, at 6pm at Town Hall. All you have to do is bring your nimble fingers, a sense of industry, and bit of community spirit. With those three ingredients, the work will be done faster than Peter Cotton Tail can hop down the bunny trail.

The Rec Commission is also looking for volunteers to help hide the eggs on the day of the Reading Bunny Hop. More information on exactly where is to come, but if you’re interested in helping out, give a member of the Rec Commission a call. The numbers are above.

Happy birthday to Calista Brennan (March 20) and Crystal Wiltshire (March 21). Happy anniversary to Ed and Hilda Allen (March 15), and Happy St. Patrick’s Day to Irish and non-Irish alike. I think St. Patrick’s Day should be a bigger holiday in Vermont than it is. After all, by virtue of its name, the state’s always wearing the green.

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