By Ashley Lodato
If you were out on the ski trails in the past two weeks, or if you were at the ice rink, or if you were walking around downtown Winthrop, you might reasonably draw the conclusion, based on the number of people you witnessed doing the exact same thing as you, that people were out and about over the holidays. That they were exercising, socializing, or learning a new activity. This would be a perfectly reasonable assumption; however, you’d be wrong.
It turns out that what people were actually doing was eating. Either eating, or buying food in preparation for eventual consumption. We know this because on Saturday (Jan. 3), East 20 Pizza was forced to announce that they would not be able to open the following day because they were completely wiped out of supplies. We know this because whole sections of shelves in the grocery stores were empty, with food flying off the shelves almost as fast as clerks could stock them. (Overheard in line at the Winthrop IGA: “I’ve lived here for 20 years and I’ve never seen you run out of water chestnuts before.”)
This wasn’t disaster buying; no one was stocking up for impending shortages. This wasn’t a case of food service trucks not making it into the valley. There were simply a lot of people in town, and everyone wanted to eat.
It wasn’t just the people, either; even the deer are doing some serious gobbling. After devouring the contents of my bird feeder within minutes after I refilled it, a couple of deer wolfed down the Christmas tree I had put out in the yard the night before. Now they have taken to peering in the windows, eyeing the bird feeder that I brought inside temporarily.
As I chiseled my way into my ice-encrusted car this morning (all the while chastising myself for not shoveling last night when the snow was light and fluffy), I was reminded that there is at least one place where ice is welcomed throughout the winter — the Winthrop Ice & Sports Rink. The cold temperatures of the past week gave us the gift of an open ice rink for the holidays, but it would be great to count on ice throughout the winter. The fundraising campaign to install refrigeration at the ice rink needs just a little more help to reach its goal. Consider making a donation, because wouldn’t guaranteed ice be nice?