• The lifelike wax figure of Charles Dickens, author of the beloved "A Christmas Carol," sat quietly in his corner at the Williston Public Library on Saturday, Dec. 8, as the Friends of the Library's annual open house swirled about him.

    A few people browsed through the books, and some tried to use the computers in the usually quiet space. It wasn't easy to concentrate.

    There was a buffet table laden with fancy finger foods and punch. (No mulled cider this year - the weather wasn't appropriate.)

  • If you were out last Sunday evening traveling on SR 121 between CR 326 and CR 464, depending on which direction you were headed, you couldn't miss the massive display of lights leading into the woods where you are invited to join in the guided and narrated "Walk to Bethlehem" that will be open each evening from 7-9 p.m. through Sunday, Dec. 23. There is no admission fee.

  • Saturday, December 15

    *Williston Green Clovers, Juniors 4H Club, 9 a.m., Methodist Church, Williston, 213 W. Noble Ave.

    *Gospel Sing, 1:30 p.m., Highland Baptist Church, Morriston on CR 326 just east of SR 121.

    *SHARE Distribution, 9-10 a.m., Williston Lions Club, Contact Elsie Neal 528-5709.

    Monday, December 17

    *AA Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Thompson Hall at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.

    *Lions Club 7:30 p.m., Lions Club 401 S.E. Sixth Ave.

    *Levy Veterans Support Group, 7 p.m., Williston City Hall.

    *VFW Post 5511, 7 p.m., at the post.

  • The Nature Coast Master Gardener program is accepting applications for enrollment.

    The program serves Dixie, Gilchrist and Levy counties. NCMG is directly affiliated with the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Service through the extension offices in Dixie, Gilchrist and Levy counties.

    The goals of the UF/IFAS Master Gardeners program are to increase the availability of horticultural information for the community at large and to improve the quality of life for the residents of each county in Florida through horticulture volunteer activities.

  • Mandy Allen and Matthew Cribbs, both of Williston, have announced their engagement. The bride-elect is the daughter of Earl and Melissa Heaton. She is a graduate of Williston High School. The prospective bridegroom is the son of Dave and Eunice Cribbs. He is also a graduate of Williston High School and Central Florida Community College. The wedding is planned for June 7, 2008.

  • Once again I'm impressed by how a small amount of time can produce a rich variety of nature observations.

    Some of the interesting stuff I noticed happened around my home. One morning's worth of paying attention included seeing or hearing a pileated woodpecker knocking on a tree in the yard, the cheery three notes of a titmouse, a flock of killdeer spiraling away from an unseen (by me) predator, crows stalking across a pasture, and a red-shouldered hawk perched on a fence post.

  • I prepared and served my first complete holiday meal for Thanksgiving, 1961 when I was a mere 19 years old. I had the help of a couple of my younger sisters but, for the most part, I could take credit, or blame, for most of it. Fortunately, it turned out to be a delicious dinner. The only thing missing were our parents who had both passed away earlier that year. I was among those fortunate enough to have been taught the basics of cooking, baking and setting a pretty table, as my mother called it.

  • Saturday, December 1

    *Friends of the Williston Library, Book Fair, 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Community Center in the City Hall Complex.

    Monday, December 3

    *AA Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Thompson Hall at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.

    *Lions Club 7:30 p.m., Lions Club, 401 S.E. Sixth Ave.

    *Levy Veterans Support Group, 7 p.m., Williston City Hall.

    *VFW Post 5511, 7 p.m., at the post.

    Tuesday, December 4

  • Music sought for ?Light Up?

    The GFWC Williston Junior Woman?s Club is looking for children?s and youth choirs or musical groups to participate in the Light Up Williston festivities. Groups should be prepared to perform 10-15 minutes of holiday-themed music at the pavilion in Linear Park during Light Up Williston on Dec. 7.

    Please call Monique at 528-7676 for more information.

  • We are officially into the holiday party season now that Thanksgiving has come and gone. Groups, families and employers everywhere are planning their annual gatherings and celebrations.

    Every such event will have one central theme - food. As far back as time goes, a feast has always been the way to fellowship and celebrate with those around us.

  • I?ve been scratching my head enough years trying to figure out what sort of oak trees grow around here, what trees I?m passing on my walks.

    So, to the books. I checked out from the library a tree book that includes keys to pinpoint exactly what tree is in front of me. And it?s full of Latin names!

    If you haven?t wrangled with one of these devices, the key is essentially a list of features that you compare with the tree you are trying to identify.

    It works as a process of elimination.

  • Well, even nature observers get kolds in their doses sometimes. I go on a trip?I get a cold. A pattern is emerging here.

    Both times to Europe I come back either already with a cold or I developed one soon after.

    This was my first road trip in years and ... you know the rest.

    The column still had to be written despite sneezing, coughing, dripping and general malaise. A friend, Alice, was willing to take me on a day trip to explore an unknown, to me, conservation area in Gainesville. There are several of these little pieces of land set aside for nature.

  • This Thanksgiving weekend you will want to have lots of baked goods on hand for your own family and any visiting relatives and friends. In addition to the traditional pumpkin, apple and pecan pies that followed the delicious turkey dinner you served; you may want a few extras to serve with coffee in the morning or as an evening snack.

  • I know the color of fall leaves can be pretty in our area, but my whole concept of autumn got reworked after visiting Tennessee the first week of November. I'd forgotten just how breathtakingly beautiful fall scenery can be.

  • Last week I emphasized the importance of starting holiday baking early and being prepared before you start. If you follow these two guidelines, your time spent in the kitchen will be enjoyable and you will have delicious offerings to show for it.