Town News

Linda Baniszeski


Sincere apologies to everyone who expected to see this column in last week’s Calais Advertiser.  Due to a computer glitch, it didn’t appear as expected.  I was probably as surprised as you to open my copy of the paper, looked for the Meddybemps news and, alas, found nothing.  This week’s news combines last week’s and this one.  Thanks for your understanding.

Wow! Only ten more days until Christmas; and less than that for some December birthdays.  Happy Birthday to Mary McLellan on December 14th.  If you see her around Calais, wish her a happy day.  Meddybemps residents’ birthdays include Tammi Smith on December 16, and Pete Trouant on the 18th.  Birthday blessings to each of you.  

 Sally Ketchen tells me that her brother Mark will be visiting her for awhile right after Christmas. She is greatly anticipating and looking forward to his visit.  Her sister Susan (isn’t there a Beatles song by that name?) is substitute teaching in Washington State where she lives.  She and her family won’t be here this winter, but will return for a long visit in warmer months.

 The temperatures are quickly dropping below freezing.  Last Monday was the coldest yet at 20 degrees.  We knew it was getting cold when little ice bergs started floating in the lake.  The little chunks of ice of ten days ago broke free from frozen lake edges and moved into the open water.  Before the water froze over, we could tell that the lake level had consequently risen a few inches.   In the Reynolds Beach area, the lake was quite frozen out into the cove. Since then, nighttime temperatures have plummeted into the teens and one night to single digits.  By the end of last week, lake surfaces at the Meddybemps end were frozen over, and now snow covered.  It appears to be just another snowy field out there.  Very dangerous for our little Scuffy if she runs from us toward the lake.  Her little pea brain doesn’t differentiate between lightly frozen lake surfaces and just more snowy ground to run around on.   This Monday’s snowstorm is quite a contrast to the heavy, soaking rains we had the week of December 5. 

 A phenomenon of the week before the lake froze was a large flock of sea gulls swooping and diving over the lake.  We have never seen that before.  Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to ask them what’s going on?  Then again, we might not want to know.  Ignorance is bliss.  We are also seeing more birds at the feeder.  A woodpecker especially enjoys the suet, and got into quite a squabble with a Blue Jay.  The woodpecker won when he flew into the jay feet first with its little talons extended.

 Beautiful Christmas lights spread joy as we travel from Meddybemps to Calais and Machias.  It is delightful to see the sparkle of Carl and Debbie Gordon’s house reflecting in the night.  Barry put out my lighted deer in the yard.  His brother Bruce made us a beautiful wreath.  With a few lights in the windows, and a Christmas flag, we are expressing our joy for the season and our Savior’s birth.  As much as many of us absolutely love this season, for others who have endured heartbreaking losses in the past year, it is especially difficult and nearly excruciating to go through Christmas without people we deeply loved.  Our hearts go out to everyone going through this, and that you will have the peace of the Lord throughout the holidays to comfort and encourage you.

 The December 7th, 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor has come and gone.  There were very good documentaries on the History Channel covering many aspects of that terrible day and the aftermath.  Many of these continue to air on that channel.  It certainly led to my father enlisting in the navy, and flying from an aircraft carrier throughout the Pacific Theater of the war. The number of WWII veterans that are still with us is dwindling as they pass on. To those who still remain, we continue to thank you for your service to our country during very dire times in our history.  

 We have just learned that one such veteran, Lewis Reynolds passed away in October.  His son Marc gave Barry the news during his current visit to his camp, Lewis’s former property.  Lewis got to see many of the renovations and upgrades that Marc has made to the camp over the past few years.  We’re sure it gave him great satisfaction to see the family camp in better shape than ever, especially since it was an original part of the property owned by Lewis’s parents.  Lewis and I had a very nice conversation a few years ago when he was first diagnosed with cancer.  At that time, he shared about his faith in Jesus as his savior and the peace it gave him in facing death. He lived much longer than the doctors initially gave him and certainly, exactly as long as the Lord wanted him to.  It is a blessing to know he is now home with the Lord he served.

 There are many special events that everyone is invited to attend during the coming weeks.  All are invited to Meddybemps Christian Church for its special Christmas service on Sunday, December 18 at 9:30 a.m.  There will be Christmas music and special readings by congregational members during the service.  Immediately  following the service is a Christmas party at Meddybemps Community Center with refreshments.  A little elf told me that Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be there to delight the children.  Sally Ketchen shared that Meddybemps Church is decorated with a tree and a new Manger Scene mounted on a wall.  The church’s traditional manger scene is also in place near the altar.  Meddybemps Church is also holding a Christmas Day service, December 25 at 9:30 a.m. All are invited to this celebration of the “reason for the season.”

 Other special area events are Christmas concerts at 2nd Baptist Church in Calais.  On December 17 at 6:30 p.m. Kathy Francis and friends will host a night of Christmas music, followed by light refreshments and fellowship. The following night, December 18, the Children’s Christmas Cantata will begin at 6 p.m. at 2nd Baptist Church.  All are welcome to attend.

 Merry Christmas to all!

 Please submit your news to or phone 454-3719.