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This winter just keeps giving and giving

The winter of 2010-11has been one that will surely go down in the record books. It goes in my own personal diary as one I’d just as soon forget. In fact I’ve been inspired to write a short poem:

Ode To Winter 2011

O’ snows of winter, white and pure…

Serve to children a beguiling lure

To roll and toss and skate and sled…

But for me, I prefer to stay in bed.

Apologies to all poets everywhere … but I’ve truly had my fill of winter’s thrills and trying to avoid unexpected spills.

In our little slice of the planet we’ve been extremely fortunate, though, not to have experienced worse, as our neighbors to the west, north and east have. I greatly appreciated the calls that came from the city’s CodeRED emergency alerting system recently. The calls gave one a sense of assurance that someone out there cared and was prepared to help if help was needed. Thanks to our city fathers for putting this program into effect.

A winter’s sojourn … Kraig Sutherland drove to Minnesota in late January to help his son, Kaleb, store his dorm jumble, and then take him to the airport for his flight to London. Kaleb is in his second semester of his junior year at St. Olaf University in Northfield Minnesota. A whopping 85 percent of St. Olaf students participate in some form of studies abroad. Kaleb selected a London/Florence program in cooperation with ACM (Associated Colleges of the Midwest), in which 14 Midwest colleges participate.

Kaleb will be in London through March 25 living with 16 other students in an apartment located in the southwestern part of London approximately 3.5 miles from Westminster Abby. His course studies in London include: “Literary and Theatrical London” and “London as Visual Text” that examines the art and architecture of London.

 Kaleb is considering the possibility of being part of an organized trip to Spain in late February as part of the London program. He gets 10 days for spring break when he plans on visiting parts of Europe as he makes his way to Florence, Italy. Kaleb has set up a blog to track and share his adventures. His blog address is: Kaleb attended St. Paul Lutheran School and graduated from FHS in 2008. One of his 2008 classmates, Danielle West, is currently studying in Scotland.

Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14 … The day of wine, roses, romantic dinners and cards decked with roses and cupids is just around the corner. Many of the local restaurants have special menus planned for this weekend for Valentine couples. The St. Francois County Country Club will offer a special dinner on Saturday, Feb. 12 with a menu that has as the main a choice between filet with lobster béarnaise sauce, veal cutlets with thyme butter sauce, hoisin marinated pork chop, or lemon chicken piccata, and linguine tutto mare. All of the entrees will be served with soup or salad and followed by desert. The club is offering this fine dining experience to all members and guests for only $35 per couple. Reservations are definitely needed for this.

Who doesn’t love Chocolate? … The Memorial United Methodist Women are holding a delicious “Chocolate Bazaar” this Saturday, Feb. 12 in the Fellowship Hall that starts at 10 a.m. A delectable assortment of homemade chocolate yummies, including candy, cookies, and cakes will be on sale starting at 10 a.m. They will even have special pretty packaging to make the perfect gift for the special people on your Valentine list.

Happy Birthday to everyone’s Valentine, Minnie Cowley. Minnie will be 95 on Feb. 10, but her family and friends held a large old-fashioned basket dinner to celebrate the milestone event this past Sunday afternoon in the dining room of Memorial Methodist Church. Among those present were her three daughter and families: Bonnie Henson; Marilyn (Mrs. Ron) Pirtle and her two children and their families: Carmen Pirtle, and Rodney and Janna Pirtle and their son Lexie; Nettie May DeLuca (Mrs. Ray) and her four children: daughter and son-in-law Dr. Josh and Adrianne Trussell of Royse City, Texas, Mrs. Monique Tsipursky and grandson Noah of Phoenix, Az.; Dave and Sonya Bahr of Bonne Terre; and Christopher Gierse and his son Cole, and mother-in law, Vivi Acedo of Troy,. Ill. Also attending were Minnie’s brother and sister-in-law Harry and Lois Powell and several nieces and nephews: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith of St. Charles, Mo., Robert Wayne, Alan and Michelle Smith and two daughters Veronica and Isabelle of Afton, Mo.; Mr. and Mrs. Gene Smallen of Farmington nd son Eric Smallen of St. Charles; Mr. and Mrs. Bob Powell of Terre du Lac; Marsha Beulick and children Elaine and Nick Beulick of St. Louis; Gary and Diane Powell of St. Louis; Gale and Grace Powell of Millstadt, Il.; Nancy Thomas and friend Larry Worley Farmington. Also close friends Martha and Lloyd Pritchett.

During the morning’s church service, Marilyn Berry sang a special song for the fifth year for Minnie, “You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings.” Minnie loves cooking and her specialties are her lemon meringue pie and chicken and dumplings, which she didn’t get to prepare for her birthday dinner, as family insisted she was the guest! She still enjoys preparing lunch every day for her daughter Marilyn as she has for many years. Minnie you are a treasure and we hope you are here for many more celebrations. Happy Birthday!

Coming up:

Saturday, Feb. 19: Making up for lost time. The Fabulous Motown Revue that was postponed from its earlier engagement, will be showcased at the Cenetene Center this Saturday evening. Contact the Civic Center about tickets.

Sunday, Feb. 20: Mineral Area College retired art professor Jerry Walters’ previously scheduled free lecture, “Icebergs on the Hudson” has been rescheduled for Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. in the MAC Fine Arts Theatre. Admission is free and a reception will follow. “Icebergs on the Hudson” will take art enthusiasts and history-mystery buffs on a scenic tour through culture, history and politics from the Civil War to the modern era. According to Walters, this particular painting, ‘The Icebergs,’ was painted in 1861 and known also as ‘The North.’ It was done by Frederic Church, part of the second generation of landscape painters associated with the Hudson River School. The event is being sponsored by Mineral Area Council on the Arts and Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

Friday, Feb. 11….The Mineral Area College Continuing Education Department will offer a series of beginner-level dance classes for the general public in February and March. The courses are non-credit and open to the public. This Friday a 1.5 hour Salsa Dance class will be held from 4:00-5:30 pm where students will learn basic Salsa steps, frames, and forms. A 1.5 hour Slow Dance class follows from 5:45-7:15 pm. The cost of each class is $10 and a special Valentine’s Day gift certificate is available. To learn more or to register, contact Mineral Area Continuing Education at 573-518-2342.

February 17-19…Tom Stoppard’s play, “Arcadia” will be performed at the MAC Theater with doors opening at 7 p.m. and curtain at 7:30. Arcadia is a combination of 12 unique characters creating two hours of entertainment unlike most of the plays produced at MAC. It is set in 1809 amid a madcap family’s lives run amuck and alternates with researchers in 2009 trying to prove theories about that same past. Arcadia is rated R. Tickets for Arcadia may be purchased prior to performances at the MAC Bookstore. Admission prices are $7 for general public and $3 for MAC Students (with ID) and senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased at the door the evening of the performance if they are still available.

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