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The Top Of The Mountain



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I’m expecting to curl up in a rosy glow anywhere I go on Monday, May 4,when the world celebrates International Firefighters Day. “For the first time, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) invites communities to celebrate firefighters by lighting their homes in “red” on May 4, 2020. We ask that you change your porch light(s) and share your #ShineYourLight4Firefighters story with us on social media as a thank you to all of the firefighters who are on the front lines every day, keeping us safe,” reads an e-mail sent to me. “Lighting up in ‘red’ on May 4th would be an additional symbol of support to all of those who are there 24-hours a day, 7-days a week to protect us.” Share that you will take part at https://www.firehero.org/international-firefighters-day/shine-your-light-for-firefighters/.

Make your light shine a little brighter the next day, May 5, when you make an appointment to donate blood. The Newtown Congregational Church, in partnership with the Newtown Lions Club, will host a blood drive at the 14 West Street church, next Tuesday, from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment, or visit RedCrossBlood.org to sign up, and for details on donating. Face masks and social distancing protocols will be required.

Then, mark your calendars for Thursday, May 7, when the Newtown Virtual Gathering for National Day of Prayer takes place. Dial in to 712-432-6148, ID number 713551 to take part in praying for this country, from 6:45 to 7:45 pm.

How much is that puppy in the window? The one with the waggly tail? I hear that Tracy Van Buskirk, a member of the Newtown Arts Council, and husband, Peter, have gotten creative with their time and have welcomed a new puppy into their home. Working from home will have its advantage, I imagine, for housebreaking needs. I have to wonder, of course, what the resident kitty, Xena, is thinking about all this... According to the AARP, more adults are facing the pandemic by adopting new companions. It’s a win-win for the four-legged and the two-legged. A recent AARP press release quotes Julie Castle, chief executive of Best Friends in Utah, as stating, “Numerous studies have shown that contact with pets offers both physical and mental health benefits, including reduced stress and lower anxiety, helping us manage loneliness and depression and — during a crisis — offering moments of calm and peace when the news from the outside world is distressing and overwhelming.” That’s news to purr about.

Speaking of pets, the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary and Newtown Community Center are accepting donations of dog and cat food, and kitty litter, to support the pets of homebound Newtown senior citizens. Donations can be left by the main entrance of the Community Center, 8 Simpson Street.

Get ready to make some noise! The Chamber of Commerce of Newtown, the Town of Newtown, and the Newtown Community Center want to bring townspeople together in the only way possible right now. So this Saturday evening, May 2, beginning at 7 pm, you’re invited to take part in Horns For Hope. Decorate your homes inside and out to thank those who are helping us get through this, from emergency responders to your next door neighbor. Then from 7-7:05 pm, you’ll hear church bells ringing; from 7:05-7:10 pm, emergency sirens will pierce the air; and then from 7:15-7:20, it’s your turn to turn up the volume, any way you want.

If you live on Lake Lillinonah and had the feeling that the lake water had taken a dip this week, you’re not going crazy. Because of high river flows and impending days of rain, the level of the lake was lowered by 3.5 feet this past Wednesday afternoon, with plans that it would stay at that level until the high river flows subside.

I hear from Two Coyotes Wilderness School on Huntington Road that “COVID-19 began to spread just before the launch of our spring programs, and so we postponed and ultimately canceled the entire season. Our amazing staff worked quickly to design and launch Connected Coyotes, a virtual nature connection program for our spring students to receive weekly lesson plans created by their mentors. Each morning of a program day, our mentors host a conference call where children and families join in for gratitude, a song, and an overview of the plan for the day. With that, each group coyote howls and goes off on their outdoor adventures, at their homes. Throughout the day, students have the option to check-in through “The Coyote Den,” our message board using the Slack platform, to share photos, videos, stories and questions. In the afternoon, there is a second conference call for students to share their Story of the Day while our staff uses the Art of Questioning to deepen learning by fostering each child’s sense of wonder... Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see snippets and short videos of what our mentors & students are working on.” Visit twocoyotes.org for more information.

What? Is nothing good in your world? You must have something to say! The Newtown Bee would love to share your personal essay (500 words or less, please) on what is right in this COVID-19 world. Send your essay to editor@thebee.com, subject line ESSAY, and we will consider it for publication as part of our Community Voices series. Throw in a photo or two, as well, if you wish!

Congratulations to EverWonder Children’s Museum, which posted on its Facebook page this week that they are one of the local businesses to benefit from Reverie Brewing Company’s sales of their Small Business Relief IPA. Profits from those sales go right to the little companies in our town that have been impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown. And kudos to the Church Hill Road brewery for taking action to make others’ lives better. That is worthy of A Good Egg Award, for sure! You can order some Small Business Relief IPA or find out how your business can be considered at https://reveriebrewing.com/front-page/beer-relief/. (And on EverWonder’s Facebook page, you’ll find ideas for keeping kids happy and engaged in fun brain work!)

If you’re like me, you’ve been missing the movies and programs at Edmond Town Hall Theatre. ETH Operations Manager Sheila Torres tells me that sadly, the facility must remain closed to the public until safe reopening is determined. But chin up — look for news on ways you’ll be able to support our town movie theater during this down time!

I’m hoping you’ll continue to support me each week. Be sure to... Read me again.

Reverie Brewing Company gets the Good Egg Award for its continuing support of local small businesses through the sales of its Small Business Relief IPA.
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