Season of Song

Neighbors create music for all to enjoy

November 12, 2005

Darker and longer are the days of November and December. It can be difficult in this season to avoid dwelling on the lack of light and loss of foliage, to pine for June flowers and August produce as we scrape the ice from our car windows.

But the glaze of frost also comes at a time when the glimmer of song fills the air in Hood River County.

This weekend brings an unofficial beginning to a growing tradition of holiday musical events in the community with a new and novel celebration, the well-named “Harmony Harvest” presented by the Hood River Valley Sweet Adelines on Saturday.

This inaugural regional talent show at Hood River Middle School will bring people together from around the region. It will be a unique opportunity to hear young voices from the Gorge compete for scholarship money, and to hear the latest from accomplished choruses made up of hard-working singers who are in it for the pure love of music.

Other local musical events that help bear out the community’s love of song include the musical “Seussical” on stage through Nov. 19 at Hood River Valley High School, the second annual Thanksgiving Hymn Sing Nov. 19 at Hood River Valley Christian Church, (see page A5), and Riverside Community Church’s annual holiday tradition, the Advent Concert Series starting Dec. 9. Look for new and familiar faces in the talent-rich Advent series. Plans are also afoot for the fourth annual Christmas tree singing festivities sponsored by the Heights Business Association. Hood River News will track these and other events throughout the next few weeks.

It’s a joy and a challenge to keep up with all that goes on, musically, among us.

The love of music and other young people’s educational pursuits is a key note to the “Brighter Futures” fundraiser and other ongoing financial support efforts by the Hood River Education Foundation, which will be featured in the Nov. 16 Kaleidoscope in this newspaper.

Between now and Christmas, take the time to smooth out your schedule and add brightness to your season by supporting the musical events in the Gorge.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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