The best time to see these paths is in the winter when they stand out like snaking chalk lines, white against the black underbrush.
In the spring, they are still visible, outlined by the mush of green buds that festoon the shrubs.
They are almost impossible to see in the summer, as green grass takes advantage of the dirt of their exposed surface and blends in with the lush growth around.
But they are still there, traveled by the feet of fishers and occasionally the stray cat or dog searching for bait, catch and an adventure.
Unofficial paths cross paved and planned streets everywhere, but we don't see or notice, bent as we are on the errands of the day.
They lead toward places of unexplained beauty where spring flowers bloom in empty, trash ringed lots and where neighborhood citizens doze on a back porch.
When we take them, we might be disappointed, but never bored; and we just might find permission to break free of the truss of winter and see the hope of spring.
Health Olympics holding signups
This is the first week to sign up for the 2008 Hancock Health Olympics.
Make a plan to lose weight and get in better shape over the next few months.
You can register and weigh in at the Tri-State Community Health Center in Hancock and the Rankin Fitness Center in Berkeley Springs, W.Va.
You can sign up to lose 10 pounds and receive a form to keep track of exercise and caloric intake. There is no cost to participate and local businesses offer prizes for anyone who loses any weight. With warmer weather on the way, this is a great program to help you enjoy the great outdoors.
RE-use center holding contest
The RE-use Center in Hancock is sponsoring their annual "It pays to RE-use" contest. The contest is a way to encourage local citizens to build something or re-use materials for a project. Think of a creative way to re-use any of the materials from the center, then submit the details of your idea and a picture of the completed project and you can win a prize of $200, $100 or $50.
The deadline for submission of your idea is July 17, which should give you plenty of time to stop by the RE-use Center, purchase your supplies (for a very small fee) and complete your project.
You can see plans and pictures of winning projects from the past and get a copy of the contest rules if you stop by the office during regular hours: Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. You may call 301-678-6160 and speak to Hope Hargett.
Rum buns part of weekend sale
Rum buns and soup! De-e-elicious!
The ladies of St. Peter and St. Patrick Roman Catholic churches will have them on sale Saturday after 11 a.m. in the Parish Hall.
You can place your order in advance by calling Hazel Souders at 301-678-6918, Margie Mann at 301-678-5540 or Pam McCusker at 301-478-2425.
Rum buns cost $4 a pan, and soup - vegetable, bean and chicken noodle - costs $3.50 a quart. Pick up that phone and call today.
Brownies plan tea party Saturday
Miss Manners was the guest at the Monday meeting of Hancock Brownie Troop 735.
The Brownies are planning a tea party Saturday for their families and guests to practice hospitality and manners. Miss Manners (aka Anne Weatherholt) demonstrated proper etiquette by teaching the young ladies how to make proper introductions, how to set a formal table and how to make tea. The Brownies and their Moms enjoyed sampling the many different varieties of teas - black, green, herbal, loose and bagged. The favorite flavor was organic cherry with "sleepytime" a close second.
Each Brownie took three teabags home along with handouts about the history of tea, its place in the history of the USA (remember the Boston Tea Party?) and a picture of a formal table setting.
The girls made plans to bake some treats and carry on good conversations with their guests at their tea party to be held at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church Parish Hall.
Family photos to be taken - free
When was the last time you had a great family photo?
Would you like to avoid the hassle of getting everyone together to go out of town to a studio?
Would you like to have a photo by one of Hancock's best photographers?
Then call 301-678-5300 and sign up to have local photographer Sam Judge take your family photo at the Hancock Library in Widmeyer Park on Saturday, May 3.
He will only be there for two hours - 1 to 3 p.m. and advanced registration is required; no walk-ins.
But - and here's the best part - the program is free. Hey, you can't beat that (there may be a small charge for copies, but no fee for the sitting.)