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What a strange beginning to a new year

January seems to be continuing the quest for “weirdest” winter on record with its mercurial mood swings between spring-like temps and winter blasts. The year certainly made certain no one would forget Jan. 1, 2011 with the advent of devastating tormados to our north, followed by the one-two punch of snow and frigid temperatures. Mom Nature must be having a horrific case of PMS!

All of this leaves the big question of “What will the weather hold for this year’s Chamber of Commerce Banquet on Jan. 28?” Last year those of us who bravely donned our heaviest winter gear and made our way to Centene Center were rewarded with good food, great entertainment and the chance to applaud the members of our community whose good works were acknowledged that evening. Then we went out to be slapped in the face by a good ole Midwest blizzard!

Not one to give in to pessimism, I plan to be at the banquet again this year and sit happily being entertained “Under The Big Top” (this year’s theme) as Chamber Director Doug McDermott conducts his three ring circus. If you haven’t made your reservations, do so now. It’s always a great evening to meet and greet, and show support for the hard work of the Chamber throughout the year.

A “sappy” item … Those of you who get the Missouri Conservationist may have recognized the article by Shanna Raeker about making maple syrup (January issue). Shanna is the daughter of Herb and Janet Beck of Farmington, and the large wooden bowl and box shown in the lead-in photo was made by Herb for the maple syrup activities they have at Rockwoods Reservation where Shanna works. A maple syrup festival is held in February when Shanna and her coworkers actually go out and tap the trees, gather the sap, and boil it down into maple syrup and maple sugar. Rockwoods Reservation is located on Hwy 109 just north of Hwy 44. The address is 2751 Glencoe Road, Wildwood, Mo. 63038. The Maple Sugar Festival is Saturday Feb 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Festival is free and open to the public. At the Festival they will show visitors how to tap a tree, what equipment is needed, and how to turn the sap into maple syrup or maple sugar; and, of course, you’ll get a taste of real maple syrup. You’ll have to furnish your own pancakes.

A vacation in warmer climes…David and Susan Parmley spent a week with friends enjoying the warm weather in Santa Rosa, Fla. in mid-December. Miffed at being ignored, Missouri prepared a “welcome-home” for them of cold and blowing snow. But, at least they had a tan to wear for their white Christmas.

A new chief at Parkland …Parkland Health Center has announce that Dr. Scott D. Kirkley, MD will hold the office of Chief of Staff at the hospital for the years 2011 and 2012. Dr. Kirkley assumed this position from Dr. Brett Dickinson, who held the office in 2009 and 2010. Dr. Kirkley joined Parkland Health Center and the Medical Arts Clinic on August 1, 2007. He received his medical degree from University of Missouri-Columbia where he also completed his postgraduate education and residency in internal medicine.

A closing and a move … After closing the sale of Blake Graphics to The Printing Company, Anita Gray and husband Larry made their planned move to Washington D.C. Larry has taken a position with a firm there as a consultant. Hopefully, they’ll find lots of occasions to return to visit their families and friends in Farmington. We wish them good luck on their new venture.

Get fit with no fee …If you’ve been thinking about joining the Civic Center, there’s no better time than right now! If you sign up during the New Year Pass Special you pay no joining fee (Some restrictions apply) plus receive a credit towards your first month and a Free Class Sampler. This offer ends Jan. 31, so hurry in to put your X on the dotted line.

Inside and Outside Show…The Farmington Civic Center Home and Outdoor Expo will be held Jan. 29 and 30, sponsored by B104fm and The Daily Journal. This is one of the area’s most popular events. This year’s show will feature demonstrations by The Blue Owl Restaurant & Bakery and much, much more. For a complete list of vendors, visit Show hours are: Sat. Jan. 29th 9:00am – 5:00pm, Sunday Jan. 30th 11:00am – 4:00pm And the best part, admission: is FREE!

A swing and a hit …Mary Ann Burcham recently had a hole-in-one on #7 hole at the St. Francois County Country Club even though the day was cold and windy. Her husband Tom Burcham was her witness. When Mary Ann was asked to whom she told the good news, she said “everyone she could”. Congratulations to a very merry Mary Ann.

A reminder …The SFCC clubhouse will be closed from Jan. 10 through Jan. 18 for maintenance and cleaning. The club will reopen on Jan. 19.

A Christmas visit …Dorothy Miles of Cape Girardeau spent Christmas day and night with Sonny and Elma Jenning. On Sunday, the Jennings drove Dorothy to her home in Cape and where Sonny and Elma celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary as dinner guests of Dorothy at a Cape Girardeau restaurant.

Doris and Bob Griffith of Georgetown, Ky. arrived on Tuesday to spend the day and night with Sonny and Elma. That evening the Overall siblings gathered at the Jenning’s home for dinner and belated anniversary celebration. Attending besides the Griffiths, were Lorene and Vernon Kollmeyer; Maxine and Gene Cole, Margaret Norton and Doris

MUM’s Café now open …the popular MUM”s Café at Memorial United Methodist Church has reopened and continues to serve a free meal every Thursday evening from 5 to 6 p.m. Volunteer members of the congregation prepare and serve a different menu each week. The meal is free and everyone is welcome.

Rock A New Baby…A Baby Shower was held on Sunday, Jan. 9 for Brian and Kelly Nolan for the anticipated arrival of Baby Hadleigh, due to arrive in February. The Nolan’s daughter, Kennedy, is eagerly awaiting her time to be a “Big Sister.”

Make this year a special one. Time is fleeting, and there are no “mulligans” in life. Be alert for the good and wonderful in each day…and enjoy it to the fullest.

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