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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Sweet and Savory Events on Tap for Reading in November

Two down. Two to go. Didn’t that seem fast?

If your impression of this time of the year is like mine, you know what I am talking about. With a blink of the eye, September and October are gone. They were glorious months weather-wise, warm and sunny for the most part. So much so that it is only recently that I decided I look foolish wearing shorts every day. Now, I will wear them just some days.

In my first column in September, I noted some of the things that are signs of fall to me. The list included the obvious—maple leaves turning color—and my favorite—the burning bush outside my kitchen window earning its name. However, this past week, I noticed something that perhaps qualifies as a sign of mid-fall. I readily admit that my assumptions could be the result of observational error, but here goes. At this point in autumn, the wind is different. Here’s my proof.

Two weeks ago, if you recall, we had a wind-driven rainstorm. The day before the maple in front of my house was so bright that I often confused the glow reflected off the leaves into my office for a light I had mistakenly left on. The day after the storm, the tree was a skeleton, all of its light tossed to the ground.

Last week, we had another bout of windy weather. Yes, it was a different storm, and the wind could have been blowing from a different direction, but it really rattled the house. We have four Moravian (26-pointed) star lights hanging on their electric cords on our porch. In last week's windstorm, for the first time since March, they were swinging on their cords, banging against the house. Maybe I am just being romantic or poetic or feeling a bit of pre-winter melancholy. Still, I am going to venture that the winds—more powerful, more biting, more menacing—have ushered in part two of fall. These next two months, perhaps spurred by these new winds, go faster than the two months that preceded them. Hold on tight!

As I write this, the forecast for Halloween weather is not great. If the predictions hold true, it will be the first Halloween since I have been here with frightful weather. The festivities will go on, though! There are things scarier than a little rain. A child without Halloween candy, for instance.

Remember, festivities start at 4:30pm at Town Hall with pizza. Kids can trick-or-treat in the village or trunk-or-treat in the Town Hall lot from 5pm to 6pm. At 6pm, the winner of the best-carved pumpkin and the best scarecrow in Felchville contests will be announced. Then it's off to Robinson Hall for Fright Night fun!

Something else scary at this time of the year is that taxes are due. Why should this season be terrifying for just children? Remember, taxes have to be at Town Hall by November 4. A letter delivered on November 5 with a postmark of November 4 will be considered late. In case you need to drop by and hand-deliver your taxes on Monday, know that Town Hall is open from 7am to 5pm.

November may start on a scary note, but there are some savory, sweet, and informational events happening next month, too.

For example, on November 13, the annual Community Turkey Dinner happens. The feast starts at noon. The cost is just $5 per person. You need to RSVP to Tom Brennan by November 8 by calling (484-0276) or emailing ( him.

The 3rd Annual Chili Cook-Off happens on Saturday, November 23, from 11am to 1pm at Town Hall. If you want your chili to be voted the best in town, email Barbara Lord at by November 8 to let her know you’re in!

You’ll need to bring your entry in a crockpot (so it can stay warm) and an extension cord. Barbara asks that the chili be kid-friendly. I assume that means not so spicy that kids can't eat it.

People not wishing to make chili but who still want to participate are an important part of the Chili Cook-Off. Everyone is encouraged to come to the event, taste the chili, and cast a vote for your favorite. This lovely community gathering will also allow you to hang out with your friends and neighbors and discuss the finer points of chili as well as plans for Thanksgiving and other November happenings. The cost for non-chili makers is $5 per adult and $1 per child. All proceeds go to the Reading PTO.

Also happening on Saturday is the Pie Sale. It, too, is sponsored by the Reading PTO, and it runs from 8am to noon, overlapping slightly with the Chili Cook-Off. Some of the flavors available for purchase are apple, pumpkin, and coconut. Needless to say, it’ll be a busy day for the PTO!

Here's an important reminder: the pies can sell out. So for the best selection, arrive early!

Here's the informational event happening this month. On November 18, at 7pm, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing regarding the Reading Town Plan. Ahead of the meeting, you can grab a copy of said plan from the Town Clerk, or you can download it at

One more thing! Don’t forget to fall backward on Saturday before you go to bed. Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend. That is another sign we are getting into mid-fall.

Happy birthday to Jessica Hathorn (November 3), Sue Mulder (November 6), and Nancy Stahura (November 6).

Happy Halloween!

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

This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on October 31, 2019.

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