By Erika Kar
In case you have had your head buried in the snow (wait, what snow?), you are probably aware that Christmas is coming right up. And that means one thing, Christmas at the Very End of the Road held at the Mazama Store. This year, the popular event will be held on Sunday, Dec. 16 from 3 – 6 p.m.
If you have never attended, I highly recommend it. There will be local vendors on hand displaying their goods, lots of sampling, not to mention that the store itself is chock full of gorgeous gift ideas. But the most exciting thing is that The Kringles, both Kris and his wife Krissy, will be making an appearance. The Kringles used to enjoy making personal visits to the children of Edelweiss, but soon realized that they would get to see more kids if the kids came to them. So they asked the LeDucs if they could set up at Christmas at the Very End of the Road and the rest is history. Mrs. Kringle has let me know that there will be giant chocolate-filled candy canes for the good children and coal for the ones that have been naughty. Parents, bring your cameras for some photo ops with your kids and The Kringles.
Another thing that is pretty fun this time of year is the continuing smoke. Just kidding. In fact it is not fun at all. Nancy Kuta, along with a small group of concerned Mazamans, met last week with Dr. Liz Walker and her cohort, Racheal, to discuss the smoke and how it affects us. The sentiment is that smoky summers are something that we will continue to need to deal with, along with the necessary evil of prescribed burning in other seasons. Who ever imagined an upper valley filled with smoke in December?
It is taking its toll on many people, both physically and mentally. So, what can we do? Nancy says, “We discussed solutions such as air purifiers and the low cost solution of using a HEPA furnace filter over a box fan to freshen air quality. Others mentioned leaving the valley during times of heavy smoke but that this isn’t an option for everyone. Businesses rely on tourism and when the valley is filled with smoke for days, people tend to stay away and money is lost. So, the wildfire smoke is taking an economic toll on our small business owners.”
Along with just being able to voice concerns and fears, what did came from the meeting is that Methow Valley residents are going to need to come together and seek solutions for our problem. Sounds like sage advice for just about any challenge in life.
And since we can’t end this column in such a depressing manner, let’s bring it back around to Christmas again, shall we? I have more sage advice to finish these 500 words off: An elf on the shelf is better than two in the pocket. Thank you, Kevin Petty, for your wisdom.