Bundle up folks. We’re about to have another blast of winter. This balmy 53 degrees we are currently enjoying will be gone by dark. Be sure to shelter your pets and leave the water dripping before you go to bed tonight. You might just want to stay in bed under the electric blanket tomorrow. But you can’t. It should be a beautiful crisp day for you.
Saturday was the anniversary of the 2009 ice storm that brought North East Arkansas to a grinding halt. I remember it well and so do you probably, if you were here ten years ago. I was mesmerized as I watched from my bedroom window and the utility lines became fringed with icicles that sparkled in headlights of approaching cars. Out on the highways the ice brought the lines down and with them one pole after another, until the entire county and further was without electricity. It remained out in town for almost two weeks and much longer out in the country.
I also remember the community during that time. Neighbors checking on each other, sharing their homes, their stoves and showers, group dinners. Volunteers, including a host of school children gathered at the Rector Community Center every day and cooked free meals for anyone who was there. Trees fell and limbs broke and one by one they were cleaned up and eventually everything was back to normal. We were inconvenienced, but alright and maybe a little better because we all came together and helped each other.
Last week I told you about the Rector Cougars of the First Lego League Arkansas taking first place in the programming category at the Championship competition in Fayetteville. At the time I didn’t have the names of the team members. Now I do and this will give me an opportunity to mention them all again. Congratulations to: Austin Simmons, Emma Holmes, Maggie Rabjohn, Chloe McCurry, Jaydin Stirnaman, Anna Isom, Ben Schimmint, Jaxon Burns, Libby Green and Jackson Lynn. Now, on to the California Legoland Open Invitational in May.
I have an update on Ronda Haney. She and John are still Little Rock, but she is improving steadily now. After struggling through several setbacks, Ronda now reports that her heart is once more functioning at 100% and her blood pressure is staying up where it belongs. The kidney function is also improving. She is still facing some more procedures and the doctors are keeping her busy with tests and checkups almost every day, but her spirits are rising and every day she is closer to coming home. She is really ready to be in her own house. Not for a while though. Keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Needless to say, the expenses of staying close to UAMS are still going on. If you would like to help defray the out-of-pocket expenses they are facing, you can contribute to the account at Centennial Bank, 809 East 9th St., Rector. The account is in the name of Ronda Haney and Alex Green. You can also contribute through Paypal: https//www.paypal.me/rondaandalex . And if you would like a snazzy bracelet, go to the Facebook page of Sarah Pruett Boyd. She has hand made bracelets for sale with all the proceeds going to Ronda and Alex.
The Night of Chocolate is coming up on February 9th. It will be at the Rector Community Center and is a dinner theater production of “A Farce of Nature,” a very funny play. This is always a favorite night of mine. The food is marvelous, the play is fun, and the company is always enjoyable. And there is chocolate! Make your plans and get your tickets early.
Also mark your calendars for March 30th we will be celebrating Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day again. This year the featured honorees will be Purple Heart recipients. If you or a relative or a friend has received a Purple Heart in the service of this country, regardless of which war, please send us the specifics of that honor. You can send them to me or to Joey Pruett or you can post them on the Facebook page: Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home.
Hayden and Emma Crancer and their dog Louie will be attending the Westminster Dog show this year on February 11. Louie, as you know has an impressive collection of awards and this will be his crowning joy. Let’s all wish them luck and be sure to watch.
February 14 the Rector Community Museum will host a Valentines Day Music and Sweet Memories event. Come out and celebrate at the Museum on Main Street from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.
Saturday, February 23, prepare yourself for the Annual Chili/Soup/Jambalaya Cook-off at the Community Center. Call 870 595-3035 for entry forms and information. Then save the date whether you want to enter your own prizewinning recipe or just come to eat.
What else is going on that you would like to see in this column. Give me a heads up and I will share it with everyone else. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Phone number (870) 595-4997. Check out your Rector, Arkansas website: www.rectorarkansas.com from time to time. I love to be told I need to update it and I take all suggestions to heart. Take a look.
Goodbye for now.