Neighbors: spring isn’t that far away

Hello neighbor.

If you are like me, you are already thinking about spring. Even with the snow and dropping temperatures in recent days, I’m looking on the bright side — spring is only 61 days away.

I guess the weather isn’t supposed to be bad this weekend, but the temperatures probably won’t go above the 30s, so my grandson Justin and I are headed out of Franklin County this time to “Discover the Dinosaurs” at Mass. Mutual Center in Springfield on Sunday.

Justin is at that curious age, 17 months, and his vocabulary increases each day, so you never know what he’ll come out with next.

He has fallen in love with dinosaurs, or “big das” as he affectionately calls them. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say about our adventure.

I also wanted to tell you about this month’s full moon, which will appear on Jan. 26. According to the Old Farmers Almanac, it is called the Full Wolf Moon, because it appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside of Native American villages. It is also known as the Old Moon or Moon After Yule.

The Snow Moon, or Hunger Moon, will appear on Feb. 25. It is called the Snow Moon for obvious reasons. It is also called the Hunger Moon, because it was so difficult to hunt in the heaviest snow of the year.

I haven’t had a chance to connect with our rookie prognosticator Farrah Pomeroy, but I will let you know on Tuesday where we’re at with her snowfall prediction.

Until then, enjoy your weekend and stay warm.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE ORGANIZATIONS, Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, is offering a low-cost vaccination and microchip clinic on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at its Springfield facility, 171 Union St.

The clinic will assist our low-income residents with protecting their dogs and cats with rabies, parvo virus (dogs only) and distemper vaccinations. Dakin will also offer microchips at $15 each. Vaccinations will be $5 each.

In addition, a $15 examination fee will be required for each animal at the time of the visit. Dogs must be on leashes and cats must be in carriers.

The clinic will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and there will be a limit of 50 animals served.

Participants must bring proof of financial assistance.

For more information: visit You can also call Dakin at 413-781-4000.

Dakin is also a great place to find a dog or cat, if you’ve been thinking about adopting and growing your family. I got my beloved Eddie at Dakin.

Eddie was a greyhound. He had raced for close to five years before Dakin took him in. Eddie — he was such a good, sweet boy — died of cancer about three years later, but I’m hoping he enjoyed his brief time in the comfort of a loving home. He seemed to.

MOHAWK TRAIL REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL received the School Spirit Award at the 73rd Model Congress at American International College recently.

Mohawk students joined more than 200 other high school students from schools throughout New England for the three-day event.

The AIC Model Congress, I’m told, is the longest running event of its kind in the country.

The Mohawk Trail delegation submitted a bill to encourage American students to enter a profession in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines. The delegation also sponsored a measure to decriminalize the use of recreational drugs.

Congratulations Mohawk!

PIONEER VALLEY REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL student Noel Koester received an Honorable Mention at the 73rd Model Congress at AIC for his participation in the three-day event.

I was told by a spokesman for AIC that each delegate is judged on his or her debating skills and parliamentary knowledge throughout the event. The top four are awarded scholarships and the honorable mentions received awards.

Congratulations Noel!

MOTHERWOMAN IS COMING TO ASHFIELD later this month. The support group for new mothers will hold its first gathering on Jan. 28 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 469 Main St. in Ashfield.

The group, under the joint sponsorship of It Takes a Village and the church, will meet each Monday at the same time, except on school holidays.

Pregnant and postpartum mothers are welcome. Infants stay with their mothers, and there are snacks for everyone and free child care for children up to age 4.

As the mother of three — one being my daughter, who had twin boys four months ago — I think it’s a great idea to have this kind of support.

The contact person for the group is Anna Westley at:

A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO I told you about a group called Scottish Rite Masons that was about to make telephone calls to children from Santa.

Well, they did. They called more than 120 children. Volunteers also made calls to children throughout Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and North Carolina.

Calls were made on Dec. 18 between 4 and 7 p.m.

“This is an amazing program for the children of our community,” said the chairman of Telephone Calls from Santa Claus. “It provided a great deal of enjoyment, fellowship and satisfaction.”

How nice.

FRIENDLY’S HAS KICKED OFF its annual Cones for Kids Campaign to benefit Easter Seals Camp Youth Leadership Network.

For a $1 donation, Friendly’s provides customers with five Valentine cards, each one redeemable for a free kids cone.

Easter Seals Camp allows children with disabilities to try new things, make friends and build confidence.

What could be better than helping children — and ice cream! My favorite Friendly’s flavor is chocolate almond chip.

So, head to Friendly’s on the Mohawk Trail.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280 or call her cell at 413-388-6950. You can also reach Anita on Facebook at Anita’s Neighbors. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: up until noon on the day before you want it to run.

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