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New Year’s is a time of celebration of all that was and all that we hope will be. Fresh starts do not frequently occur on this earth — it’s not as though we could simply set the reset button and be back where we began whenever we like. New Year’s is the closest thing that we have to a reset button. It’s a chance to be hopeful for our future.

Every New Year’s Eve since I have been in grade school has been spent with my best friend. We would hang out in his basement, we would talk, we would make some stupid videos, and overall, we would just really enjoy the company of one another. Our hangouts became rarer when he moved to just outside of Philadelphia, and even more painfully rare when he moved to Chicago. There’s a big difference between getting in a car and driving an hour and 45 minutes and getting on a plane.

This New Year’s Eve will be my first year in a very long time without him.

Every year in North Carolina my favorite band The Avett Brothers plays a concert on New Years Eve. These shows are gold for an Avett fan. They often pick one or more great opening acts, and when they themselves hit the stage they play about 30 songs. Whenever YouTube videos are uploaded by those fortunate enough to be in attendance, I always sigh and mutter to myself “maybe next year.” By the time you read this I will be several hundred miles away fulfilling a dream. While you and your loved ones are preparing for the big night, I’ll probably be taking a nap in a hotel in North Carolina to ensure that I don’t end up falling asleep before the concert is over.

And when the clock strikes midnight and I celebrate with balloons and confetti and several thousand like-minded Avett Brothers fans know that my body may be in North Carolina, but my spirit will be in that picaresque town right along the Susquehanna River that I am fortunate enough to call home.

From my family to yours, have a happy and healthy new year.

Corpus Christi Church news

Christmas wafers are available in the sacristy of Immaculate Conception and Holy Redeemer churches. Donation is $2 for a pack of four wafers.

Corpus Christi Parish will celebrate the Sacrament of First Reconciliation at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, in Holy Redeemer Church. The Sacrament of First Eucharist will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 5, in Immaculate Conception Church. All boys and girls in second grade and older who are students in a Catholic school or who are attending religious education classes in the parish are eligible to receive these sacraments.

The next communal baptism will take place at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, in Immaculate Conception Church. This ceremony is made special with the addition of music, the presence of the parish’s Baptismal Ministry Team and gifts for each child, including a personalized bib and baptism candle, baby afghan (a gift from the parish’s St. Clare Sewing Ministry), and a Baptism book (a gift from the Holy Name Society). If you wish to have your child baptized on Jan. 28 or any other day, please call the rectory.

The 2018 parish calendars can be found in the vestibules of the churches. Take one home today.

Save the date! The parish’s annual Night at the Races will be held Saturday, Feb. 10, in Immaculate Conception Hall. The first planning meeting for the event will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3, at the rectory

Library news

Movie Mania: “Despicable Me” — at 1 p.m. Saturdays in January. Spend those cold winter weekend afternoons at your cozy local library enjoying a movie. For January, the feature is the “Despicable Me” series. There will be popcorn for the whole family to enjoy. Jan. 6 is “Despicable Me;” Jan. 13 is “Despicable Me 2,” and Jan. 20 is “Despicable Me 3.”

Cross Stitch Your Own Bookmark — 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 8. Did you make a New Year’s resolution to read more books? Or to learn a new skill, create something new or promise to stop dog-earring pages of library books? Well, you can check all those off your list plus make new friends at this workshop. Kendra will walk you through how to hand-stitch a beautiful bookmark and you will leave the library feeling accomplished, confident and with a can-do attitude for the new year. Registration and pre-payment of $5 is required.

Arm Knitting — 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9. Create your own infinity scarf out of chunky yarn with just your arms. Summer Belles will teach you all the skills you need to leave with a completed scarf. Bring two or three skeins of yarn, the chunkier, the better. Registration is required by calling the library.

Why We Gain Weight And How We Lose It — 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18. While a nutritionist focuses on what foods have to offer, the Aretaeus Wellness Center focuses on how your immune system reacts to those foods in your diet. Learn how food intolerance and sensitivity testing can help determine what foods are making you gain weight. Rozell’s Center specializes in the testing and managing of food sensitivities and their role in weight gain and chronic disease.

Registration required.

Coding with computers — 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23. It is important for today’s children to learn coding, but the fundamental thinking process behind the codes comes long before they’re ready for a computer. Crucial coding skills like critical thinking, problem solving, thinking from different perspectives, decomposition and abstraction are needed to adapt in an ever-changing field. Best of all, these skills can be taught at home (or the library!) without a computer. During this class, kids will engage in fun games and activities that will reinforce all these skills, preparing today’s generation for the jobs of tomorrow. Even little ones will enjoy coding with Bee Bots, Codeapillar and Cubetto. Ages 10 and under. Registration for this free event must be done in advance and can be done in person or by calling 570-654-9847. Registrations are not accepted through Facebook.

Recycling

Recycling containers at the Public Works Building on Delaware Avenue are open to the public Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon.

Curbside collection of recyclables remains the first and third Thursday of each month.

The Public Works Department asks that residents place their recyclables in front of their homes Wednesday evening prior to recycling collection on Thursday morning.

See you around town.

John Bubul writes about West Pittston every week for Greater Pittston Progress. To include an item in his column, email jbubul@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2187 by Monday.