Ashley LodatoBy Ashley Lodato

I know you’re all waiting to hear whether or not I hit my finger on the painful-but-not­dangerous cotton candy machine and you may be relieved to hear I didn’t. That’s because Ken Bevis took a hit (actually two of them) for the team.

Ken ran the cotton candy machine at Saturday night’s circus gala and during his training briefing prior to the event, I pretty much had to physically restrain him from testing my warning about how much it hurts to whack your finger on a strip of leather spinning at about 3,500 rpm. Is that a guy thing or what? Someone warns you something is going to hurt and you want to feel it to believe it?

As you might expect, as soon as I had my back turned during the event, Ken hit his finger. He apparently liked the experience so much that he hit it again about an hour later, just to remind himself that yes, as Doug Mohre promised, you think your finger has been amputated without benefit of anesthetic. Despite the pain, Ken rallied to his task and gallantly offered up — in his words — “freshly-made artisan organic free range fair trade cotton candy” to circus gala guests throughout the evening, going home with a slightly sore finger, a shirt covered in light blue candy fluff, and the kind of confidence that can only come from proving that a mere cotton candy machine was no match for him.

Eight-year-old Kellen Miles recently spent a Saturday afternoon finishing up another book in the Rick Riordan series and afterwards he walked over to his mother, sighing with happiness, and reported that he’d finished. “Did it leave you in suspense?” his mom asked. Pointing vaguely in the direction of the living room and giving his mom a quizzical look Kellen replied, “No, I left it on the couch.”

A quick update on Wayne and Linda Mendro’s efforts in the Congo: Through the generosity of those in this community and others the Mendros have raised $8,000 toward a new house at the orphanage and now have a donor who has offered a $15,000 match. If this season of giving moves you to move the Peniel House project one step closer to reality, please contact the Mendros at 997-6070.

I know that a bunch of you braved the Arctic temperatures this weekend and went out into the woods and cut yourselves some Christmas trees, and I suspect that at least a few of these holiday jaunts resulted in children crying, couples arguing, and scrawny little last-resort trees being hauled onto car tops. Rest assured, we all want to hear your stories of mishap, woe and meltdown.

Do share!