Holiday brings time with friends, community events

My cup runneth over this holiday season, with Thanksgiving and so much to be thankful for in all our lives and the true meaning of Christmas to behold before us.

As Elizabeth Barrett Browning said, “Let me count the ways.” The safe haven of our land, the beauty of the barren frozen fields, our homes, our churches, friends and family, freedom and the countless ways to love as we chose.

The friends and neighbors of Presidential Park North celebrated the season with a Christmas gathering at the First Baptist Church with an absolutely delicious dinner catered by The Rolling Pin in Versailles. Entertainment followed by the Columbus East Jazz Band, which was an amazing group of talented students under the direction of David Rogers. They will be performing at East’s cafeteria at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The event also will include a silent auction and desserts. If you like jazz, this is a must to see and hear with a beat to your feet.

The Shakespeare Club met in November at the home of Natalie Roll with the assistance of Ingrid Askerberg and Jody Harter as co-hostesses. We were royally entertained with readings, performances remembered and stories of experiences of Doug Stender and his time with the Royal Shakespeare Theater of London. Stender and his wife, Jill Tasker, are new members of the club, coming with a vast knowledge of the theater here and abroad.

Columbus native and Gov. Mike Pence and his family ventured south with a turkey donated by Hackman Farms to spend the holiday with their son, a Marine stationed at Pensacola Naval Air Base. The turkey was transported on ice and turned out to be a delicious dinner with all the trimmings.

Our Thanksgiving took us to Chicago with misgivings about the traffic which is always very dense on Wednesday before the big day. We decided to venture to an old route which we had taken on our trips north in days before the interstate. This would take us through the scenic and charming byways of Indiana that are less traveled, State Roads 52 and 41 up to Interstate 80/94 where we entered the interstate system east of Chicago. A much more relaxing and pleasant trip.

Local residents have a chance to be one of the 1,800 Hoosiers selected to carry a torch in the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay, which begins Sept. 9 in Corydon, later coming to Bartholomew County from Decatur County and then on through the state. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 31, and we need to nominate local residents to be a torch bearers. I plan to nominate a couple of veterans. Go online at Indiana2016.org and fill out the form and return it to Columbus Visitors Center, or email it to Lynn Lucas at llucas@columbus.in.us.

Some fun things to do this month:

The farmers market is open at FairOaks Mall, 2380 25th St., Saturdays through March.

Columbus Indiana Philharmonic with the Children’s Choir will perform at 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday at Columbus North High School, 1400 25th St.

“An Anniversary Christmas Celebration” at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church, 1306 27th St., is 7 p.m. Dec. 19.

“The Nutcracker” by Dancers Studio will be performed at 1 and 6 p.m. Dec. 19 at Columbus North High School, 1400 25th St.

A blessed and Merry Christmas to all!