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I’ve been noticing during my meal break at work that it is gradually staying brighter later and later each day. Where once it was dark by 5 p.m., it is now pushing 5:45, almost 6! Call me an optimist. I know that old man winter may still have a few tricks up his nasty sleeves, but spring is on its way.

Another sign that spring may be lurking nearby is how my father spends his late Saturday afternoons. On Saturdays during the winter, the old man frequently can be found chopping wood until the sun starts to go down. This past Saturday he came in about 3 p.m. He had his afternoon coffee with lunch and was reading his book. He seemed to be taking his time. I asked him what else he had on deck for the day. He replied by saying something that made me so happy that I couldn’t handle it - one of the surest signs that spring is around the bend. He was going to be in the basement starting to plant the seeds that would become his garden. Much to my mother’s dismay on Saturdays in late winter the kitchen is full of the epic guitar solos of The Grateful Dead emanating from the floor below us. In the cellar is my father. Dancing around. Playing one mean air guitar. And tending to the seedlings that will become a beautiful garden.

It seems that I’m not the only one trying to focus all my energy on the warmer weather that is in our future. The West Pittston Parks and Recreation Board is proud to announce its calendar of events for 2018. It all kicks off on the day before Earth Day, April 21, with a park cleanup. Also on deck is the 41st annual Anthracite Run on June 2, the Fun Run on July 4, a movie in the park on Aug. 25, a senior citizens barbecue on Sept. 9, a Halloween parade on Oct. 27, and the annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 2. More details for all these terrific events will be available as the dates of each draws closer.

Here’s what else is happening around town this week.

Corpus Christi Parish news

The parish youth group presents Living Stations on Good Friday evening. Participation is open to boys and girls of all ages. There are both speaking and nonspeaking parts. If you are interested in participating in Living Stations, you must contact Jule Anne Klepadlo at 570-430-1470 or jklepadlo@wyomingarea.org.

The Social Concerns Committee is planning a homemade pasta dinner “A Taste of Italy” on Saturday, March 10, in Immaculate Conception Church hall.

Corpus Christi Church is looking for donations of any non-perishable foods to fill the food pantry shelves for spring. Canned fruits, vegetables and beans are especially needed. Donations may be left in the vestibules of the churches.

The parish’s daily Lenten Mass schedule began Ash Wednesday and will continue with daily Masses at 7:30 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Church; 8:30 a.m. at Holy Redeemer Church and 5:30 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church. To serve in the daily Mass during Lent, lectors should contact Paula Panzitta at 570-388-6129 or ppanzitta@msn.com and EMs should contact Teresa Crossin at 570-357-3985 or tacross5@comcast.net.

The public is invited to gather for Lenten Soup and Scripture programs as members of the parish enjoy a simple meal of soup and sandwiches provided by volunteers in various ministries of the parish. Each Tuesday at 6 p.m., the meal will be followed by Lenten reflections from a guest speaker. Please contact Joyce at 570-654-2753 or jcecconi50@gmail.com if you are able to participate.

Stations of the Cross will continue at 6 p.m. Friday evenings, March 2, 9 and 23 in Immaculate Conception Church. Families and/or individuals are welcome to participate in the Stations each week. If you wish to participate, contact Joyce at 570-654-2753 or jcecconi50@gmail.com.

In addition to the parish’s normal 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon confessions, during Lent, as part of the diocese’s The Light is on for You program, Monsignor John Sempa will be in the confessional at Immaculate Conception Church from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Mondays Feb. 26 and March 5 and 12 and at Holy Redeemer from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, March 19.

Save the date! The parish will hold its annual car show Sunday, May 27. Rain date is Monday, May 28.

Trinity Episcopal Church news

Trinity Episcopal church will hold noon prayer every Wednesday during winter months in the lower level chape.

West Pittston First United Methodist Church news

West Pittston First United Methodist Church holds Sunday worship at 10 a.m.

Children and youth Sunday school is at 10:15 a.m.

Library news

LEGO Club - LEGO Club will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb 27. Registration for this free event must be done in advance either in person or by calling 570-654-9847. The library does not take registrations through Facebook.

Winter Reading Program - Kids have been dedicated all winter long to reading and completing weekly LEGO challenges. In this last month, to wrap up the reading program, participants of the winter program only will be getting together once a week to show off their mad LEGO skills! Each week, the library will offer free play (with project ideas) and time at the end of class for show and tell. At the last LEGO Club gathering, the reading and drawing winners from the winter reading program will be announced.

Tax reminder

West Pittston Tax Collector George L. Miller wishes to inform property owners that the 2018 county and West Pittston Borough tax bills have been mailed. Rebate period will end April 11, 2018. Anyone not receiving a tax bill should call the office and a new bill will be sent. During the rebate period, office hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. For appointments, call 570-655-7782, ext. 232. When mailing and a receipt is requested, please send the complete tax bill and a self-addressed envelope.

Recycling

The recycling containers located at the Public Works Building on Delaware Avenue are open to the public from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

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. To include an item in his column, email jbubul@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2187 by Monday.