Happy New Year! I hope 2024 brings you peace, health, and joy.
Those of you who drive along Route 8A in West Hawley will have noticed that cars no longer must wait for a traffic light or traverse and extremely narrow lane to get by Sears Road. The culvert project there isn’t quite finished; final paving and cleanup of the surrounding area await the spring. Nevertheless, most of the work is done. Congratulations to our officials, and to Will Cosby and Lloyd Crawford in particular, for their persistence in making sure the phone company and construction company did their jobs and got the job done before winter set in.
Attention Students: The deadline for applying for a Fred Wells Scholarship is coming up in March. We have application forms at the Town Office. You may also download them (and get more information about the scholarship) at https://www.wellstrustscholarship.com/.
The Tyler Memorial Library is gearing up for a busy January. Kids and their parents can enjoy Family Story Hour on Saturday, January 13, at 11 a.m. Make jewelry and/or a birchbark candle holder at Winter Crafting on Thursday, January 18, between 5 and 7 p.m. Finally, on Saturday, January 27, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., the library will host a Climate Café. This is a time in which people concerned about climate change (many of us, I’m sure!) can express their emotions. See this poster for more details.
Free COVID Tests
As many of you are aware, cases of COVID have been on the rise lately as we huddle indoors. I still have test kits and masks at the Town Office; just come in on a Tuesday between noon and 4, or call 413-339-5518 to make an appointment to get one. If you didn’t get your free tests from the federal government in November, those are still available; go to https://www.covid.gov/tools-and-resources/resources/tests for more details.
From the FRCOG Health Team
This month’s topic is connecting to others. Although our days are getting longer, the darkness of winter can make us want to isolate or withdraw. Consider focusing on social connection this winter.
Our relationships with family, friends, coworkers, and community members can have a major impact on our health and well-being. When we are socially connected and have stable and supportive relationships, we are more likely to make healthy choices. Also, we can better handle hard times, stress, anxiety, and depression.
We can build social connection by making new relationships and also by strengthening our current ones.
Building new relationships can start with your interests. Join a virtual or in-person activity that aligns with your hobbies. Making time to volunteer can connect you to new people and your interests. Our local libraries and senior centers can be great places to find out about upcoming events and interest groups.
Consistency is key to strengthening our current relationships because regular contact makes us feel connected. Set aside a few minutes to write a card, email or even text message. Plan a meal, phone call, or walk with others can build connection during daily activities.
Find ways to be responsive and supportive to family, friends, and neighbors. Reflecting can be a useful tool. Asking ourselves what we have felt grateful for from others recently can show us how interactions big and small made us feel good.
We all like to support worthy causes, especially at this time of year when we know people are suffering. The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office asks us to beware of fake charities, however.
A Record in Hawley
Georgette deFriesse informs us that Hawley made National Weather Service news in 2023. If you look at this year-end report, you’ll note that East Hawley had the highest snow total in the state during our crazy March storm, 37 inches. (Here in West Hawley, we had only 36 inches, which was plenty!)
Finally, I hope that those of you who have recently lost family members—in the past couple of months, four Hawleyites have died: Paul Griffin, Harold Fait, Tammy Schofield, and Alice Parker Pyle, and others died earlier in the year—find a little solace as the days begin to get a little longer. You are in my thoughts.
Town of Hawley
8 Pudding Hollow Road
Hawley, MA 01339