By Ashley Lodato

It’s always nice to be reminded of the good things happening around us. Linda Mendro tells me that two of her young pals recently raised $600 to benefit the Peniel House, the orphanage and school that Linda and Wayne are involved with in Lubumbashi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Fifth-graders Ila Newman and Meaghan Robinson baked 70 dozen cookies in three days and sold boxes to friends and neighbors, resulting in a huge windfall donation for Peniel House. “Asante sana,” says Linda on behalf of Peniel House, “thank you.”

More good news involving schools: the North Central Regional Library made students at Methow Valley Elementary School happy by purchasing sets of eight books by children’s book author and illustrator Ben Clanton. Clanton will be the featured author at the annual Young Writers’ Conference at the school in the spring, and the sets of books will allow teachers to familiarize students with Clanton’s work by using his books as mentor texts.

In case I haven’t asked this purely rhetorical question in public before, I’ll ask it here: “How much luckier could we get than having the NRCL library system?” And the answer — you “Spinal Tap” fans will agree — the answer is “None, none more luckier.”

It was not, however, a good week for chickens, at least not in the Barnsley Lake area. Lisa Spitzmiller went out Saturday morning to feed her chickens and became suspicious when she didn’t hear any clucking coming from inside the coop. She opened the door and saw a coop full of dead chickens and crouching in the corner a bobcat — which had jumped a fence and opened the coop’s back door. Lisa had the foresight to keep the cat trapped in the coop and called for reinforcements. Fish and Wildlife took the bobcat and relocated it to somewhere up on the Loup on Saturday afternoon. We hope the cat loves his new home.

Here’s a way to end your week on a happy note: stop by Little Star Montessori between 3:30 and 5 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 10) to make a Valentine’s Day card for the school’s founder and fairy godmother, Rayma Hayes, who has given so much of her love and her life to the children of this valley. Bring a candle, and at 5 p.m. all who are at the school will spark up these lights of love. As long as she is feeling up to it, Rayma plans to drive by the school and witness the gathering in her honor.

Good deeds, gratitude, joyful thoughts — they’re as contagious as the flu, but they’re actually worth spreading around!


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