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Spring break

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It’s been a while since I participated in an “official” spring break and took the requisite trip to Florida to hang out with friends, get rowdy and party till the sun came up. The very thought of doing that now exhausts me and is a reminder that I might be approaching the autumn of my years, which is a bit unnerving too. These days, I’m happy to celebrate spring in an entirely different way: sweeping, dusting and clearing the cobwebs, both real and metaphorical, as the buds emerge on the trees and the birds begin building their nests throughout the Upper Delaware River region.

April also heralds an explosion of events that will keep me running until fall, so I took advantage of the quiet Easter weekend to gather my thoughts and get a start on the spring cleaning. My emphasis is on the outdoors, determined to create a tick-free environment for Dharma, who is still (believe it or not) fighting the ravages of the dreaded Lyme disease. She is better, but not out of the proverbial woods yet, and the predictions for both humans and animals this year is dire. “A tick(ing) time bomb is set to explode this season” claims the website www.pestworld.org “in fields, forests and yards across the country, as we head into what is expected to be an extremely heavy tick season.” Now that I’m beyond paranoid, I’ve put a halt to tossing stale bread out for the deer and making sure that the brush is cleared in an effort to keep them at bay. Here in the Catskills we are living in what is considered a “hot zone,” and I’m hoping that writing about it (endlessly) will serve as a cautionary tale. ‘Nuff said.

Along with the promise of spring awakenings, I usually suffer from pangs of guilt over not being able to attend everything offered up, both here in New York and Pennsylvania, since The River Reporter is active on both sides of the Delaware, but I do what I can. I’m often frustrated by the plethora of simultaneous offerings and swear to be fair, as best I can. This week is no exception as I scan the calendar, noting that I will have to spring into action in order to cover as much ground as possible in the coming weeks. From the looks of things, there will be little time to nap on Saturday, which begins with the sixth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event being held at the Sullivan County Government Center in Monticello, sponsored by Rape Intervention Services and Education (RISE). “Let’s walk together to show our support for survivors of rape and sexual assault” RISE’s Facebook page suggests. “Men are encouraged to wear red high heels.” I’m unsure how far I can walk in women’s shoes, but RISE is doing its utmost (IMHO) to “provide advocacy and assistance to survivors,” and we can all make a difference. To participate, call 845/794-3300, ext. 2440.

Later that same day, the Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless is holding its second annual penny social in Monticello starting at 5 p.m. (call 845/794-2604), while the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce prepares for its annual fundraiser at the Monticello Motor Club that same evening. The party, called “Channel Your Inner Hollywood” is bound to be fantastic, promising “an exceptional night of glitz, glamour and entertainment” with an opportunity to “play roulette and blackjack, surrounded by your favorite actors and Hollywood icons” while supporting the organization. Last I heard, tickets are still available (845/791-4200), but Dharma and I are already booked to judge the highly anticipated Hortonville talent show, so once again, we had to make some difficult choices.

Every year, the Presbyterian Church in Hortonville showcases the myriad of talent that abounds in the community, and while I’m sad to miss out on some of the other incredible events being held across the county, being asked to participate again this year makes me happy, even if it is only because they want the dog to attend and I am her perennial chauffeur. I’ll be sure to have some coffee after the show (the baked goods are a highlight for me), because the evening will culminate in the wee hours with the Lyrid meteor shower (www.earthsky.org), which has the potential for providing a great show, produced by Mother Nature herself. “The peak of this shower is expected to fall on the morning of April 22, with little or no interference from the slender waning crescent moon,” and predictions call for 10 to 20 meteors per hour, in the pre-dawn. So with fingers (and paws) crossed, my spring break will end with a bang.

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