• Stephen D'Agostino

Bartley Field Goes Green In Advance of the First Outdoor Reading Game Night

Maybe because the weather late last week was so spring-like, it made me almost forget that Monday, the last day of April, it snowed, and Tuesday started raw. By Wednesday, I was pining for a convertible, and by Thursday, I was practically watching my daffodils form buds. Friday, I was planting peas (even though my garden is still pretty wet) and Saturday, while cleaning out the flower beds, I discovered something. Seems that every inch of exposed dirt and lots of my grass are covered—and I mean covered—with tiny maple saplings. If I left them alone, in thirty or forty years, I could be Vermont’s number one maple syrup producer. However, pursuing that sweet dream would leave me no room for my lupine, anemone, coreopsis, hollyhock, foxgloves, sneezeweed, and black-eyed susans. With weeder in hand, I opted for a more instant gratification.


We are just about to enter my favorite seven weeks of the year—that span from mid-May to early July—when the sun sets late, the weather is warm, but usually not too hot or too humid. Adding to that, here in Vermont, it seems like every one of those days brings forth a different shade of green, making every 24 hours a new wonder to behold.


Bartley Field is in the process of putting on its spring and summer finery. Its timing is perfect; next Friday night, May 18 at 630pm, is Reading Recreation Commission’s first outdoor Game Night. We’ll be hosting at Bartley Field, and we’ll be playing whiffle ball.


Yes, whiffle ball, and there are two main reasons for that. First, it’s a game that most kids and adults can play together. Second, some adults and probably some older kids could easily clock a baseball or softball over the fence into the field or the river. I, for one, do not want to be searching for errant softballs knowing that my likelihood of finding them is small and the likelihood of ticks finding me is large.

If you’re interested in playing, why not put together a team? Mix it up: kids and adults, boys and girls. You don’t need to tell the Rec Commission who is on your team. Just show up and be prepared to have some fun!


They’ll be other games, too, including horseshoes. Special thanks to Sandy and Jim Peplau for donating a set to the Reading Recreation Commission. Sandy told me the set belonged to her parents, and they loved playing. I'm happy to know that these horseshoes will continue to provide enjoyment to a new generation.

While you’re working on your swing and imagining your star turn like Robert Redford in The Natural (or Tatum O’Neil in The Bad News Bears), here are some things to keep you grounded.

It’s that time of year again when you can safely dispose of your hazardous materials for free. There are two dates and two locations for your disposal convenience. The first is May 12 from 9am to 1pm at the Springfield Transfer Station and the second is May 19 from 9am to 1pm at the Weathersfield Transfer Station.


Just what are hazardous materials that you can dispose of? The list is quite long. It includes things like no-pest strips; drain, toilet, and oven cleaners; mercury thermometers and thermostats; rust proofers; wood preservatives; roofing tar; driveway sealers; and latex-, lead-, and oil-based paints.


Do not bring used motor oil, fluorescent bulbs and tubes, asbestos, fireworks, or tires. Also, leave your radioactive waste at home. For a full list of “brings” and “do not brings” visit www.vtsolidwastedistrict.org.


The Reading West Windsor Aging in Place committee is hosting a free Informational forum on Monday, May 21 at 10am at the Brownsville Grange (1023 Route 44). This will be an informal time to meet with people who work at Windsor's Volunteers in Action, Woodstock's Thompson Senior Center, and the Woodstock Area Job Bank. We will discuss how these organizations can help seniors find financial support for medical and dental issues, vetted resources/workers for small projects and transportation. They will also offer tips on preparing senior-friendly meals, exercising, and recreational activities. Light snacks will be served. If you need a ride to this event, please call 802-674-4971.


The last topic I’m going to cover is the recent PTO fundraisers. I’ll start with a question. If a child wins a season’s worth of vegetables, is that really winning for the child? To find out the answer, we’ll have to ask Brody Allen, who won the CSA raffle. Congratulations, young man, and remember: eat your vegetables!

Second, Tatiana Werner-McCarthy, who leads the PTO, would like to thank everyone who came to the Soup Supper and bought raffle tickets for the CSA share. Together, you helped the PTO raise $426 through the former fundraiser and $385 from the latter. Plus the PTO donated $100 through sales of CSA raffle tickets to the Reading-West Windsor Food Shelf. As Tatiana said, “the word community just doesn’t embody what it offers us again and again.” I agree. This outpouring of support is just one things that proves this small town has a big heart.


Happy Birthday to Gabe Hathorn (May 10), MaryJane Wilkins (May 13), Shiri Macri (May 15), and Brian Leonard (May 15). Happy anniversary to Adam and Kristen Ameele (May 15).


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


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