Ashley LodatoBy Ashley Lodato

The Shafer Museum got a facelift last week, thanks to the local 4-H group. As one of 4-H’s community service recipients, the Shafer was lucky enough to get a big crew of members, parents and leaders to help clean up the grounds at the museum.

Shafer volunteer Roxie Miller says that the group went right to work with rakes and wheelbarrows and removed the winter’s accumulation of pine needles and cones. Then everyone feasted on homemade cinnamon rolls and doughnuts made by 4-H leader Suellen White.

Roxie says, “What would have taken museum volunteers several days was finished in about 90 minutes, thanks to these children and their families.” It’s volunteers like 4-H members, she says, that help keep the doors open at the museum.

If you missed the clean-up session but would like to get involved with the Shafer, please consider volunteering as a docent. Volunteers spend four-hour shifts working at the museum, answering questions and helping visitors have a rewarding experience on the grounds. The Shafer—which is part of the Okanogan County Historical Society and has been run by community volunteers for more than 40 years—opens up for ’49er Days and will be open every weekend until Memorial Day, at which point it remains open seven days a week until the end of September. For more information feel free to call Roxie at 996-3342.

Speaking of spring cleaning, the big Earth Day clean-up is happening this weekend, with trash and recycling stations at the Mazama Corral, Winthrop Town Trailhead, and Methow Recycles in Twisp on Saturday (April 26) from 9 a.m.-noon.

As you know, I am a big fan of creating lasting memories with the kids and as I’ve discovered with Christmas tree hunting, it’s usually the most miserable experiences that stick with us the longest. So last year when Jon suggested that we take our daughters along with two neighbor girls out in a hailstorm on Earth Day to clean up a 2-mile stretch of Twin Lakes Road, I immediately agreed. I mean, what says “quality family time” better than mining cigarette butts and old beer cans out from the gravel on the shoulder of the road in sub-freezing temperatures?

By the time we found the rotting deer carcass and the two girls who weren’t already in tears almost got sick, I knew that Jon and I had succeeded in curating an experience that the kids would never forget.

But you know what? Here’s a little secret—the kids sure notice trash on the roadside now. And believe it or not, they’re the ones who initiated the discussion about the logistics for this year’s clean-up. So we hope to see many of you out there this weekend, because the more the merrier. Although with “merrier” obviously not being our goal, perhaps we’ll just lure you out there with the friendly reminder that misery loves company.