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September 01, 2014
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It’s a wonderful life

Song stylist Donna Singer entertained Mr. Fox, Dharma and the crowd at the Bethel Woods Holiday Market.


To that end, (and gift list in hand) I left the pooch at home (suffice it to say that she needed a bath) and made my way to Duke Pottery (www.dukepottery.com) in Roscoe, NY to check out Carolyn Duke’s annual “Handmade for the Holidays” explosion of artistic expression. Featuring more than 20 artists, Duke’s salute to “gifts, food and merriment” was (IMHO) just that, and as I admired the assortment of pottery, jewelry, paintings, handbags and vintage clothing, I tasted some of the pastries (www.flourpowerbakery.net) and schmoozed with neighbors doing the same. “This holiday marketplace was created to be a destination for those who wish to ‘shop local-buy local’ and support the partnership between Sullivan County artists working together for a common cause,” Duke said. “During these two weekends, we donate a portion of the proceeds to ‘Farmhearts’ (www.farmhearts.org ) whose mission is to ‘lend a hand to the hands that feed.’”

Supporting our farming community is so important and I’m constantly waxing rhapsodic (to anyone who will listen) about how wonderful this life is. Putting my money where my (loud) mouth is, I stop by local farms on a weekly basis to procure my eggs, bacon and fresh-from-the-cow milk. In addition, I take advantage of the many opportunities to (grocery) shop local, (www.sullivancountyfarmersmarkets.org) which also serves as a chance to catch up with my friends doing the same.

Taking a moment to catch my (visible) breath and bathe the dog, (as Aunt Ethel would say—“don’t ask!”) I selected a winter coat to donate to the Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless (SCFH) (“like” them on Facebook) and ran back to Bethel (www.bethelwoods.org) to participate in the “Toys for Tots” drive, meet Santa and assist Dharma in greeting the kids, while passing out pawtographs. Observing the children delight in the holiday market and all that it has to offer was magical, and another reminder of how wonderful this life in the country truly is. This year The River Reporter is one of many drop-off stations for the toy drive, and there is plenty of time to donate a new, unwrapped toy at our office in Narrowsburg (93 Erie Ave.) to help make a child’s dream come true.