The Top of the Mountain

Letters from Sandy Hook — Newtown to the World, compiled and edited by Sandy Hook resident Suzanne Davenport, has been released. The book is available at The Newtown Bee office, C.H. Booth Library, and Everything Newtown. The cost of the book is $30 and when purchased at any of the abovementioned locations, all of the proceeds will be donated directly to the Newtown Memorial Fund. The book is available on Amazon, but the foundation gets only three percent of the proceeds in that case. Don’t wait to get your copy — they seem to be flying out the door.

It looks to me like the seniors in Newtown are health conscious. So much so that exercise classes at Newtown Senior Center have been expanded (unlike the waistlines of those participating). Beginning Monday, January 6, there will be a 9 to 10 am class, and then a second class from 10:30 to 11:30 am. The same goes for the Wednesday classes. Classes are meant to accommodate the growing need. Only one class per day can be attended.

Neither snow nor ice nor heavy rain can wipe the smile off the face of the giant hay teddy bear seated on orthodontist Dr Joshua Baum’s front yard. In a departure from his autumnal appearance, the bear took on a holiday look last month, with a frosty coating and lots of presents around his feet. It’s hard to imagine that anyone seeing that big bear can’t help smiling back.

Thanks to Yankee Candle Company and Pine Creek Deli for providing luminaria kits, free of charge, last weekend to residents. Big Y and Stop & Shop were the points of distribution, until the supply ran out. The kits provided materials and instructions to make 26 luminarias to place outside on Christmas Eve, as a symbol of hope and remembrance of the 26 lives lost on 12/14.

Passing by Ram Pasture to admire the bird houses hung there by local Girl Scouts, in honor of the children and educators of 12/14, I noticed that a row of 26 luminarias was lined up nearby, another lovely tribute to 12/14.

I am giving my Good Egg Award this week to the staff and students of Head O’ Meadow School, for donating $1 from every item purchased at their Holiday Shop to FAITH Food Pantry, Toys For Tots, and the Danbury Animal Welfare Society. They collected $1,375 to split between the three charities (see a full story, with photos, in this week’s Schools pages). You are all Good Eggs!

Our main website page at www.newtownbee.com has been inundated by wintry Instagram photos. I was particularly impressed by two photos from Instagram user @ndhen04. She took some photos of a “yarnbomb” in Newtown courtesy of the Cosmic Knittas, a local group of five women who have affiliated themselves with international yarn “graffiti” groups that bring smiles to communities by randomly wrapping knitted lengths of yarn about trees, telephone posts, street signs, and just about any other inanimate object. Check the photos out for yourself at www.newtownbee.com, or see if you can spot the newly decorated trees around town. And then post your own photos to The Bee’s website via Instagram using #viewfromnewtown.

Christmas might be over, but it’s good to know that the children’s book Snowflakes Fall, by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Steven Kellogg, found its way to the Barnes & Noble top ten stories to read to youngsters this Christmas Eve, less than a month after its release. The author and illustrator were at C.H. Booth Library and the Queen Street Big Y, earlier this month, signing copies. If Santa didn’t slip a copy of the book into your stocking, there may still be one or two left at The Big Y, or visit www.barnesandnoble.com or www.amazon.com.

Snowflakes fell, raindrops fell, and the old year is quickly falling away. What could it bring? I’m hoping for fewer pet food recalls, for one thing. A prosperous year to The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary and the new Park & Bark dog park, soon to open, are two more wishes on my New Year’s list.

I’m hoping for forever homes for all the animals in the care of The Animal Center of Newtown, as well as those spending their days and nights at the Newtown Animal Shelter (as nice as it is). I would love to see Kitten Associates of Sandy Hook prosper, but wouldn’t it be nice if there were no cats in need of rescue?

I wish good luck to Charlotte’s Litter, and its advocacy for therapy and comfort dogs, and welcome Boaz, a therapy dog in training who will be working out of Sandy Hook Promise.

What kind of a cat would I “Bee” if I didn’t send special wishes for a Happy New Year to Rosé, Piper, and Tique, the office dogs?

I would make a resolution for the New Year to be less catty, but I’m not sure that’s even possible… I cannot even resist a cat New Year’s joke shared with me recently.

What do cats eat to celebrate New Year’s morning? Mice Krispies.

As you raise a toast to the New Year, I remind you of these words from William Shakespeare in The Merry Wives of Windsor: “Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.”

Have a Happy New Year, with no trace of unkindness, and mark your calendar to… Read me again.

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