Donna Kleback is the kind of teacher who makes learning fun, so students look forward to going to school every day. The year I retired, my husband and I took a couple months to drive across the U.S. and Donna asked me to send postcards to her class. She did me a favor. I had a great time writing those postcards and then looking for post offices to buy more stamps. If you’ve driven through the west, you’ll know how far apart some of the little towns are. When we got home, I visited Donna’s classroom. The kids had followed my trip as part of their geography lessons, and while I was there they entertained me by singing along with a You Tube video called Tour of the States. In the video, a hand draws the United States while a guy sings about his trip to every state and its capitol. The students knew the song by heart and even in their old age will remember the capitol of states they never visit or hear about in the news. How many of you know the capitol of Iowa?
I asked Donna how the kids will celebrate Valentine’s Day this year when they are not actually in class. Donna said she calls this No Fun 2021. For adults, Valentine’s Day is defined by Hallmark cards, champagne and chocolate candy. It’s a sweet day to reaffirm affection for a significant other, but I think it might be a sad day for those who never found that soul mate or those who lost their loved one.
It would be nice if we could send every one of them a valentine, just as we did in elementary school. Think back to the old school on Butler Street and our art teacher, Miss DiMirico. She had us bring paper lunch bags for our art lesson. We cut hearts out of red construction paper and larger ones from white doilies. Then the red was glued to the white background and both glued to the paper bag. Additional hearts were made for the windows.
At the end of the day, our classroom teacher gave us a list of every student, and our homework was to write a valentine for every name on the list, whether we liked them or not. We carefully chose a card for each classmate from boxes of little cards purchased at McCrory’s. Even in the privacy of our own kitchens, we felt a little embarrassed to write to the boys and looked for the least mushy.
When we returned to school, the classroom was decorated with our hearts, and our paper bags were hung along the edge of the chalkboard. Like little mailmen, we deposited our cards in the appropriate bags and then got down to the business of school. Phonics and arithmetic were attempted, but our minds were on those bags and the little party at the end of the day. What a wonderful surprise when I got valentines from my favorite people and even kids who rarely spoke to me. What a thrill to get a card from the boy I had a crush on asking me to be his.
Wouldn’t it be nice if, as adults, we went to our mailboxes and found dozens of valentine cards from people who love us or just like us or who rarely speak to us, like the neighbor who never waves hello?
Happy Valentine’s Day from me and, by the way, the answer is Des Moines.
Wyoming, West Wyoming and Exeter residents are eligible for free food from the Al Beech Food Pantry from 2 to 4 p.m. every Wednesday at Church of Christ Uniting, 786 W. Market St., Kingston. Food is available without proof of income, but proof of residency is required. This is drive through only. No walk ups. Remain in your car and food will be placed in your trunk only. Everyone is welcome.
Wyoming Free Library is offering virtual story times, including May the Force be With You Fridays at 10 a.m., Scooby Doo Saturdays at 7 p.m. and on Monday morning stories beginning at 10 a.m., followed by an online event.
Adults can participate in a Zoom discussion of the popular Netflix show “Bridgerton” on Monday, Feb. 22. Email the library at www.wyomingfreelibrary.com for details.
The library is offering curbside pickup service only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. You can return library materials in the outside book return and they will be quarantined for seven days. No fines will incur during quarantine. Staff will be available by telephone only by calling 570-693-1364.
Keep up with all activities on the library’s Facebook page.
St. Barbara’s Lenten food sale
St. Barbara Parish will once again hold its Lenten food sale in the parish center, Rear 212 Memorial St., Exeter. Due to the pandemic, the sale will be takeout only.
Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, potato pancakes only will be sold from noon to 6 p.m.
Every Friday in Lent from 3 to 6 p.m., the full menu will be offered, with potato pancakes, $1 each; pierogi, six for $5, and halushki, $6 per quart. Orders are cash only at the door. There are no pre-orders.
There will not be any raffles or tickets sold this year. The hall has been rearranged for seating while you wait for your order to allow for social distancing. Face masks must be worn and 6 feet distance between others must be maintained at all times.
In case of a snow storm, the sale will not be held.
Wyoming Borough sanitation bills have been mailed and are in face period until May 14. The price is $250. Late fee of $50 will be added as of May 15. A senior discount is in effect until May 14, with senior fee being $240.
There are no exceptions. Vacant properties are not exempt from fees. Rental property owners, not tenants, are responsible for trash fees. Cash will not be accepted. Check or money orders should be made payable to Wyoming Borough Sanitation. Bills can be paid online at wyomingpa.org using credit card or e-check. A small transaction fee will apply.
Exeter refuse stickers
Exeter refuse stickers are $170 for residents under 64 if purchased by Feb. 28, then $200 until March 31. For seniors 64 by March 31, 2021, the rebate price is $130 until Feb. 28 and then $150 until March 31.
Mail or place check or money order in the box marked refuse, taxes and zoning and a sticker will be mailed to you. Include a self addressed, stamped envelope, business size No. 10. The mailing address is 1101 Wyoming Ave., Exeter, PA 18643.
There is no admittance to the borough building until further notice.
Call 570-654-3001, ext. 2, with any questions.
Barbara Bullions writes about Exeter, Wyoming and West Wyoming every week. To list an item, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570-301-2185 by Monday.