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Around Hancock

February 02, 2006|by ANNE WEATHERHOLT

Watching the weather

Tomorrow is "Groundhog Day." But even before this quintessential American holiday was the "holy-day" of Candlemas. It is traditional on this Christian festival to bless the candles that will be used in the church in the coming year, while noting thankfully the gradual return of the morning light a little earlier each day.

Sayings about the prediction of the weather began long before either holiday. An old rhyme goes: "If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, Winter will have another flight. But if it be dark with clouds and rain, Winter is gone and will not come again." This sounds suspiciously like the groundhog's prediction or saying. How far we have gotten from the quiet and thorough observation of the cycles of nature! We hardly ever get out to see what is happening! Thus, life becomes a series of reactions based on immediate concerns instead of long-range realities.

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Whether we end up with six more weeks of winter or not, Groundhog/Candlemas serves to remind us that the power of observation over a long history brings a better understanding of life.

Candlemas service

Speaking of Candlemas, St. Thomas' Episcopal Church will celebrate this holy day at its services this Sunday morning. The 10 a.m. service will include the traditional blessing of all the candles that will be used in the church this year, and there will be special music.

With the electric lighting turned low, a highlight of this service is a joyous candlelight procession encircling the church. All are welcome to attend this celebration at the historic church, located at Church and High streets.

Winter Festival

Will it be sand or snow? It is hard to tell at this point whether Hancock's Winter Festival will be a repeat of last year or a real snow day. Some forecasters on television are suggesting that February will be much more wintry than January has been. Even so, it has not been cold enough to bother with the snow-making machine, and even if it begins to get chilly soon, it may be too late to try. BUT despite the lack of snow, the festival will go on! So, plan to come to Widmeyer Park on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 10 a.m. There will still be a lot to do - music, food, a chili contest, a cake walk and a silly hat contest. New events this year will be a maze with hay bales, plus a silent auction to benefit the Hancock Arts Council. Organizer Sinclair Hamilton promises a great day!

Television reunion

I received a notice from Downs Hewitt that there is a search on for former employees of the Washington County Board of Education's Television Center. There is a reunion being planned for Sept. 23 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this program. If you worked or know someone who worked for this program, please call 301-582-2837 for more information.

'Life Line Screening'

You can make an appointment now for a "Life Line Screening" on Monday, Feb. 27, at the Hancock Assembly of God, 431 N. Pennsylvania Ave. This screening is fast and painless, using an ultrasound technology to scan for potential health problems related to blocked arteries. A bone density screening will also be available for both men and women. For more information or to make an appointment, call 1-877-237-1287. Pre-registration is required.

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