By Pamela West-Finkle
The frosty fingers of Fall have touched us early this year. I just turned on our new radiant heat floor and new furnace here at the library because the forecast is calling for four days with freezing temperatures at night. I don’t remember having frost as early as September 15th, but thankfully all but the hearty crops like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower are done in my garden and instead of processing food, I’ve moved on to stacking the ten+ cords of wood we require to make it through the winter. When our new transplants from downstate come into the library, I like to mentally prepare them a little for our seven months of Winter.
As the rest of us know, being able to survive these Catskill Mountain Winters is the initiation and then quiet resolve necessary for living here. Everyone develops different coping mechanisms for acclimating to the cold weather. For instance, my husband insists on watching the Robert Redford movie Jeremiah Johnson. Every-Single-Year. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love watching Robert Redford, but after fifteen annual viewings, I’ve decided he can enjoy that coping mechanism himself.
October, however, is a glorious month (at least the first half of it!) and the library is officially reopened for our normally scheduled hours, including Fridays from 1 to 5 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to noon. No appointments are required, but you may still use our curbside service and make computer appointments if you feel the need to. Masks and hand sanitizer are still required.
When you come in on Fridays, you’ll notice a new face sitting at the desk. We have hired a new Andes resident, Tami Jaegel, to take Gloria Carlson’s Friday librarian spot. Gloria retired during the pandemic and is moving onto the board, but will continue to do our acquisitions for the library.
Tami grew up in Saugerties, but spent the last fifteen years working at the Roseland Free Library in Roseland, New Jersey as a senior library assistant. Prior to that she had worked as a medical secretary at Margaretville Hospital and in Kingston. We are very excited that a library assistant with her qualifications landed here in Andes and we hope that you will take the time to stop in the library on Fridays to meet her and welcome her to the community. On Saturdays, we are going to rotate between Tami, myself, our summer intern Adam Lang and a few select volunteers who are willing to work with the COVID protocol.
The library staff and board of trustees would like to thank our patrons and friends of the library who have so diligently sent back their donation envelopes with generous contributions. The 2019 report to the community and appeal letter went out at the end of August asking for contributions so that we can offset the shortfall of operating expenses we are expecting in the coming months. If you did not get a packet in the mail, there are some available at the library, both on the porch and inside.
Our new trustee, Diane Lockspeiser, created a fundraising thermometer so that we might draw the attention of those who have recently moved to the area. I have also applied to the Community Foundation of South Central New York for a $15,000 Operations grant, and don’t be surprised if you see me out on the porch one nice weekend singing my heart out with my guitar and a donation bucket next to me. We were not able to have our large fundraisers due to COVID, but thanks to your generosity and support, we know we are going to get through this difficult time.
Lastly, Halloween is on a Saturday this year. The pandemic has everything up in the air, but please keep an eye on the Andes Library Facebook page for any announcements about special activities going on. If I can, I might have a special Halloween story time. I would also like to put together little grab bags for the kids and we might be able to have a little social distance costume parade, but at the very least, please reach out if you would like to bring your child to the library on Halloween morning so that I know how many grab bags to make up.
Stay safe and enjoy our beautiful Catskill Mountain Fall!~