On and Off The Mountain-Stephanie Grubert

There is something special about the first snowfall of the season. Mountaintop got 3 inches according to the measurements in my yard and confirmed by our weatherman Tom Clark. With the temperatures in the 20’s the snow stayed stable over the rest of the weekend. Our winter wonderland looks so beautiful by day with some sunlight and at night the Christmas lights in many yards sparkle all the more. The best part of the event was that it came down on the weekend when many people are home from work and school.

The rifle deer season ended Saturday December 9. The deer archery season begins December 26 and runs through January 13. I haven’t seen any deer in our yard since rifle season began more than 2 weeks ago, but we did see hoof prints in the snow under the apple tree. The animals are bedding down for the winter. I can once again venture on up into the Gamelands on my walk.

Our Christmas tree is a bright spot in our front room. I love to sit and look at the tree when I write or surf the web. My ornament collection is nearly 50 years old and includes many homemade ones from my early years as a wife and mother. Some were gifts and some have significance for a special event.

The gift-wrapping awaits Charlie and me now. Our older grandchildren don’t get large toys any more. Computer parts, an iPhone, makeup, holiday pajamas and warm sweaters and coats are part of the mix. There may be shoes, skates, belts and purses. Electronics are on some wish lists.

Today is the last day to try to win a Christmas ham through the Mountaintop Eagle’s Holiday Ham Giveaway. Ten generous businesses supported our promotion and we thank them. Look for ongoing contests and giveaways in 2018.

Winter Solstice

The countdown is on for me to the Winter Solstice on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 11:28 am EST in Mountaintop. That is eight days from now. The sun rises at 7:25 a. m. and sets at 4:38p.m. a total of 9 hours and 12 minutes of daylight.

December 21 is the shortest day of the year, when the Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting longer. It is only a minute or two a day, but by June 21 and the summer solstice we will be enjoying a 15 hour 7 minute “day” as long as the nights are now.

The strong light between 11 a. m. and 2 p. m. each day is most welcome, especially on a clear day. I am so thankful to enjoy the bright lights of Christmas for this final week before the days begin to lengthen.

Christmas Season On this week before Christmas

many families are shopping, decorating, making cookies and enjoying celebrations of all sizes and with many different friends and groups. Just about every church has some sort of Christmas program and most have special services too. After all the preparation we stop to remember that Christmas is in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ so long ago in Bethlehem. There is so much war and unrest in the area of the world where Jesus lived and taught his message of love. Our wish for Peace on Earth is never fully realized, for there is always somewhere a place that is suffering.

As we wind down our gift shopping this week, let us be thankful for all that we have, and pass on that thought to everyone in our families. Sometimes it is not a tangible gift that we give, but time and energy to a person in need. A phone call, letter, email—whatever you do to keep in touch with friends, family and neighbors goes a long way in this special season.