Around the Towns

Putney Public Library explores 'Women of Genius'

PUTNEY - On Thursday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m., Michelle Blake, the Putney Public Library Writer in Residence, will offer a class on the question of how history has perceived and portrayed women of force and talent.

Included in this group are the women whose work the Writer in Residence events have focused on during the past two years - Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, and Edith Wharton - as well as others that have not yet been discussed - Harriet Jacobs, Helen Keller, Ntozake Shange, and Zora Neale Hurston.

For this first class, the group will focus on the life and work of Julian of Norwich, the first woman known to have written a book in the English language (no telling how many books by other women lie buried and forgotten).

Very little is known about the life of this 14th century writer, theologian, anchoress, and saint, but we do know she had an extraordinary intellect and determination, which enabled her to write Revelations of Divine Love, one of the great works of mystical theology.

Questions the group will ask include: What did these women have to do and sacrifice in order to pursue their gifts? How have their lives been reported and evaluated? How are our ideas of genius and greatness shaped by gender, race, and tradition? Bring questions, theories, and a desire to figure this all out together, and the night will go from there.

The Putney Public Library is located at 55 Main St. This program is free and open to the public, and is made possible by a generous bequest from Dorothy Morris Mudd.

Brattleboro Area Hospice offers Pet Loss Support Group

BRATTLEBORO - A six-week Pet Loss Support Group will meet Saturdays, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, beginning Dec. 7 and ending Jan. 25 (no meeting on Dec. 28) at Brattleboro Area Hospice, 191 Canal St. Cheryl Richards is the facilitator.

Anyone who has experienced the death of a beloved furry, winged, or scaly family member is deeply aware of how profound a loss this can be. The human-animal bond can be one of unsurpassed shared devotion, understanding, partnership, and love.

Saying goodbye to anyone we love is always a difficult experience. When the loved one is a companion animal, its grieving humans often feel isolated and lost, with the intensity of their grief going unrecognized or minimized by those around them.

This group is for adults who have experienced the death of their companion animal. Topics will include stories of love, joy, and loss, exploring and sharing methods of maneuvering through the grieving journey, and examining how the human/animal connection has enriched our lives. To pre-register and for more information, call 802-257-0775.

Tree lighting in Saxtons River welcomes holiday season

SAXTONS RIVER - The arrival of Santa Sunday on Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. will signal the start of the holiday celebrations in Saxtons River when the village Christmas tree is lit in front of the Historical Society.

After the lighting, Santa will visit with the children and hear Christmas wishes at Main Street Arts, with hot chocolate and cookies provided by the members of the Nature Club and other community members. There will also be a tractor-drawn wagon ride around the village, with Roger Dolloph at the wheel.

The group Harmony Lot will sing seasonal songs, and there will be reindeer games to entertain the kids while they wait to bend Santa's ear.

The event is sponsored by Main Street Arts, the community arts center, and the Saxtons River Village trustees, and is free for everyone.

At 6 p.m., the community is invited to gather at the Saxtons River Inn for a sing-along, with Richard Mitchell at the piano and hot cider on tap.

BFUHS hosts arts and music night

WESTMINSTER - Bellows Falls Union High School presents a night of art, food, and music performances on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at BFUHS.

Terrier Music and Arts Night begins at 6 p.m. with a gallery hour with music by the BFUHS Jazz Ensemble. Come walk the gallery of student art work and enjoy live demos on visual art such as sketching, pottery, and acrylic paint pouring.

As you enjoy the student art gallery, live demos, and jazz performances, you will also be invited to enjoy refreshments prepared by students from BFUHS foods class.

Following the art gallery, there will be a concert in the auditorium from 7 to 8 p.m. Come enjoy musical performances of different shapes and sizes throughout the auditorium with minimal to no transition time.

The concert will feature BFUHS Concert Choir, Concert Band, and Terrier Big Band in addition to soloists and small ensembles. Selections of music will encompass a variety ranging from traditional concert repertoire through holiday fare. This night of art, music, and food is free and open to the public.

RFPL presents workshop on using DNA testing in genealogy

BELLOWS FALLS - On Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., join genealogy enthusiast Wayne Blanchard for a presentation, “Using DNA Testing in Genealogy,” at the Rockingham Free Public Library.

Millions of people have taken home DNA tests. This means there are many more chances of finding genetic cousins. For those who are researching their family history, this means that there are more ways to expand the family tree.

DNA testing doesn't replace traditional genealogy, but it is another tool to be used along with other sources. There will be a discussion of the available tests and how the results can be used in genealogy.

For those thinking about taking a DNA test, the benefits and drawbacks will be discussed. Those who have already taken a test should bring the results with them, so that ways to use them can be explored. If you have a laptop or tablet, bring it along. The RFPL's wi-fi can be accessed for further research.

Registration with contact information is recommended (in case of the need to cancel due to inclement weather). The library is located at 65 Westminster St., and is wheelchair accessible. To register or learn more, call 802-463-4270, email [email protected] or stop by the library.

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