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Work is ongoing to try and save as many of the Community Park ash trees as possible. The trees were damaged by the emerald ash borer.

The town was able to get good pricing on the preservation of the trees, because the town piggybacked on other contracts for other municipalities.

Last year, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources identified 270 ash trees in the park. Of this amount 74 were determined to be “hazard trees” due to the damage that was caused to them by the emerald ash borer.

“It’s not the feeding on the leaves by the adults that damage and kill the trees, it’s the egg-laying process and then the nymphs when they hatch and they’re feeding under the bark and cambium tissue,” said Chris Klimas, with the Davy Tree Expert Company. The damaged trees can’t get enough water to replace what they lose due to evaporation, and so they die.

Not all of the hazard trees need to be removed. Forty-four trees were initially recommended for treatment, which involves injecting trees with Arbormectin. It takes about three days to disburse through the tree and will protect it for two years. Klimas said that the 44 trees that were treated are “looking very good.” They won’t need to be reinjected in 2018.

Some trees still need to be removed, but far fewer than originally expected. “A lot of the other trees are still hanging in there pretty good, which really amazed me because of the mortality on the other side of Route 15 on the mountains,” Klimas said.

However, he pointed out that the trees will soon start dying. The town has a six-month window once the trees start dying to remove the trees with climbers, rather than removing them with more-expensive means. So far, 48 trees have been removed.

Treatment will also be expanded to another 73 trees that can be treated and possibly saved. These trees will need to be retreated in 2019.

Some trees will eventually need to be removed, but treatment also helps with these trees by delaying their deaths. This will allow the town time to spread out the costs of removing the trees.

Klimas also recommended that the replanting of the lost trees start this fall. It was pointed out that the town has already replanted 75 trees in the park.

“I would definitely go with very diverse species,” Klimas suggested.

Some of the species he suggested include red oak, pin oak, maple, and tulip poplar. He said that two-inch to four-inch diameter trunks would probably be the best size, because these smaller trees survive transplant shock better.

On Saturday, May 20, 2017, family and friends gathered to help Eugene Zacharias (pictured right) celebrate his 100th birthday. “Zach” was born on May 18, 1917, just outside of Emmitsburg, and lived there until he joined the U.S. Marine Corps in early 1935. He served in the Marine Corps for over twenty years, rising to the rank of Master Sergeant. After he retired from the Marines, he went on to have a successful career with RCA. He has been married to Anna Kugler Zaracharias since 1949, and has two daughters, two grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

He is an around-the-world traveler and is still an avid reader. He also enjoys jigsaw puzzles. For years, he was a collector of antique and children’s sewing machines and was considered so knowledgeable that he was invited to give talks on the subject.

Zach is a Life Member of VFW Post 6658 of Emmitsburg, and his wife, Genevieve, is a Charter and Life Member of 6658 Post Auxiliary.

Zach’s party was held at Oakcrest Village, the retirement center just outside of Baltimore, where he has lived since late 2015. In addition to the well wishes of friends and family, Zach was remembered with a card or letter from Maryland’s Governor Hogan; Senator Cardin; Senator Ruppersberger; the Commandant of the USMC; and Brooks Robinson, the great Oriole third baseman who shares a birthday with him. A third-year midshipman from the U.S. Naval Academy was also on hand to congratulate Zach and thank him for his service.

Attending the party were Post 6658 Life Member, Tom Hoke, and his daughter, Becky, Auxiliary Post 6658 Member and Gloria Bauerline, Charter and Life Member Post 6658 Auxiliary.

The successful planning and coordination of merging the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company (EVAC) into the Vigilant Hose Company (VHC) is ongoing.  As indicated earlier in press reports and public meetings, the effort remains an open process with all stakeholders and interested parties welcome to offer input or request information.

Many meetings specific to planning and coordination have been occurring among and between leadership of both the EVAC and the VHC, as well as with county and town governmental personnel.

The two on-duty career Emergency Medical Technician/Firefighters began working from the Vigilant Hose Company facility (25 West Main Street / Station 6) at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 8, 2017.  Both ambulances were transferred to Station 6 at the same time. Full administrative transition will be effective midnight December 31, 2017, as it is simpler and easier to make final legal changeovers at the start of the new tax year.

All aspects of emergency and non-emergency services and community support will be seamless. Fundraising functions like the always popular bingo events and social functions (wedding receptions, meetings, business luncheons, and so on), will continue and likely will be increased. Right now, the focus is on providing the best possible emergency service delivery for all in the greater Emmitsburg area to include the general public, businesses, institutions and agencies that have so generously helped over the years.

VHC members as well as EVAC members wish the community to know how much they value the wonderful and comprehensive way all are embracing this significant undertaking.

The Guardian Hose Company of Thurmont and the Vigilant Hose Company are working on a joint Thurmont and Emmitsburg Fall Cash Bash fundraiser that will take place on September 23, 2017, from noon-5:00 p.m. Information will be on the company’s websites and Facebooks.

The Town of Thurmont and the Catoctin Area Civitan Club hosted a dedication of the East End Park Inclusive Playground on Saturday, June 17, 2017. Community members, club members, and town and county representatives gathered at the playground, where Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird gave a welcome and announced the completion of Phase I of the playground’s installation. He also announced that funds for Phase II are already in place, as well as funds for an ADA-compliant restroom in an existing building at the playground.

Catoctin Area Civitan Club members attended a town meeting and proposed the project, which took about a year and a half to complete to this point. The playground provides a space where physically and developmentally challenged individuals, as well as those without physical challenges, can have fun and play in the same place. Club President Ginger Malone explained that the Civitans help people with physical and intellectual disabilities. The national organization is celebrating its 100th year of service this year. Malone thanked the team who made the inclusive playground project come to life, including Jeff Barber, president of Playground Specialists, the company that installed the playground.

The totally inclusive playground is one of the first for the Frederick County region. Phases II and III will add a glider for children in wheelchairs, a cocoon for children with autism, and a music station. Malone thanked the residents of Thurmont for supporting the Civitans with fundraising from the blue toilet campaign. “If you get the traveling blue toilet, please make sure the recipients support it,” said Malone.

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner had a good time trying out the zip line. Gardner said, “I think this is a great accomplishment for all of you, because it’s really important to the children of this town and Frederick County.” She presented a certificate of appreciation to the Catoctin Area Civitan Club for taking the lead to find the funding.

Mayor Kinnaird prompted Jeff Barber to express how great the town of Thurmont is. Barber explained that Phases II and III will tie in the pavilion with the playground. Barber explained, “Inclusive playgrounds feature pieces of equipment that are accessible to everyone and can be accessed at transfer height. So both challenged individuals and non-challenged individuals can play together.” He added, “The playground pieces need to be ‘cool’ enough to be fun for everyone. This will actually be one of the coolest and best playgrounds in all of Frederick County for all kids.”

Julie DeRoner, a Thurmont resident, is a parent of children with disabilities and works with children with disabilities at the Frederick County Developmental Center. She expressed that the playground, “is an excellent opportunity for inclusive play.”

Town of Thurmont officials, Frederick County officials, and members of the Catoctin Civitan Club are shown cutting the ribbon for the official opening of the Inclusive Playground in Thurmont.

The Optimist Club of Frederick held its eighth annual Fish with a Cop program on Saturday, June 3, 2017, at the Camp Airy pond in Thurmont.  There were twenty-seven boys and girls from across Frederick County who took part in the program. Officers from the Sheriff’s Department, Maryland State, Frederick City, Brunswick, Thurmont, and the Department of Natural Resources Police participated in the program.

The officers picked up the children from their homes and transported them to the pond. They were then given a Zebco combo rod and reel, along with tackle from the Optimist Club. The officers and club members worked with the kids to help them develop or to further their fishing skills. When the fishing was done, the Optimist Club held a cookout and fish fry for the children and the officers. Following the cookout, the officers took the children back home.

The following sponsors contributed to this wonderful program: Safeway Foods, Food Lion, Wegman’s, Weis, The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock for stocking the pond with trout, Camp Airy for use of their pond, Camp Airy Director Tim Olson for all his assistance, Zebco for the fishing equipment, and Frederick County elementary schools. Because of these sponsors and policemen who volunteered their time, the children had a very memorable experience. The Optimist Club would like to extend a huge “thank you” to all who helped with this program.

For more information, contact Pat or Craig Taliaferro at 301-663-8116 or smbass47@aol.com.

Pictured from left are: (top row) Tr. 1st Class Nick Farioli, Ofc. Tim Duhan, Master Trooper Matthew Crouse, Lt. Mike Lee, Alexis Gray, Ofc. Sara Evans, Aux, Ofc. Dylan Owens, X’Zavier Rollins, Detective Jeff Putman, Ofc. Mike Conover, Sgt. Angela Waechter, Ofc. Joe Constanine; (second row) Patricia Taliaferro (chair of Fish with a Cop), Malachi Prather, Haven Miesner, Logan Heims, Jared Clair, Jack Wilkins, Luis Barrera, Allen, Jorydn Brown, Juan Duran, Brigido Reyes, Dunique Allen, Brandon Hoalim, Braydon Bagent, Deon Melvin, Earl Gamber President, Tony Martin Optimist member; (third row) Cpl. Christopher Handler, Ofc. Laura Albrecht, Cpl. Brad Lowe, Cpl. Jerimy Tindal, Cpl. Josh White, Tr. Adam Oleyar, Sgt. Paul Schur, Tr. Kyle Knowles, Major Tim Clark, Cpl. Dan McDowell; (front row) Albri Teran, Allen Lane, Wayne Jenkins, Dylan Baker, Lacie Hughes, Will LeGore, Alexandria Geiger, Vincent Napoli, Dustin Thomas, Austin Zembroski, Joseph Fritz, and Jaffet Palacios.

 Emmitsburg citizens and businesses are planning on participating in Recovery Awareness Week, September 11-16, 2017, to call attention to the drug problem in Frederick County.

“In Frederick County, there are drug overdoses every day,” Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs said during a business appreciation breakfast in May.

A variety of events and activities are planned for the week, including the viewing of an FBI film called Chasing the Dragon and perhaps a private screening of Conrad Weaver’s newest documentary about the opioid problem in Frederick County. There will also be a 5K run to raise funds for the Up and Out Foundation.

“We are asking for the community and business leaders to get behind this,” said Weaver.

Cory Shorb tried to give the attendees at the breakfast an idea of the personal impact that drug addiction can cause. Shorb grew up in Emmitsburg and was arrested in a 1993 raid, after his father turned him in. He told a story of how his uncle had let him use his grandmother’s car, and someone he owed drug money to shattered the windows and sliced the tires of the car.

He explained that his addiction had him “violating my standards faster than I could lower them.”

Shorb said he was lucky enough to go through drug court, which kept him on a “tight leash” that kept him clean. It allowed him to kick his habit, and he has been clean for nine years.

It is something he works at maintaining. “Recovery doesn’t take breaks,” Shorb said. “My addiction didn’t take breaks, so my recovery doesn’t.”

Weaver said the goal of having a Recovery Awareness Week is to rally the community about the problem and engage them in stopping the sale of heroin in town.

Take a look at the photo below. It shows Emmitsburg’s very own money that was created by the Corporation of Emmitsburg in 1840 in order to purchase items within the town. Ernie Gelwicks of Emmitsburg shared the currency that he’s been collecting for several years. Shown below is a 50 cent note, a six and a quarter cent note, and two variations of one dollar notes. Each shows various images. Ernie is missing the twelve and a half cent note that will complete his collection.

Ernie shared, “In 1837, President Andrew Jackson closed the banks. There was no money. With the exception of Thurmont, every city in Maryland made their own money.”

The much-anticipated annual Vigilant Hose Company Spring Fling was held on Saturday, June 10, 2017, on the grounds of Mount St. Mary’s University. The event featured live music, food, tip jars, games, and prizes. “Our annual Spring Fling was a great success. The weather cooperated, and we hope everyone had a great time again this year. We greatly appreciate the continuous support we receive from our community,” stated member Tim Clarke.

Each year, $30,000 worth of cash and prizes are given away. At 6:00 p.m., all of the prizes that were not assigned to winners were redrawn until a winner was determined. This year’s grand prize winner of $4,000 was Pam Gigous.

Vernon French grilled hot dogs all day during the Spring Fling.

Bobby Ott (center) is shown with TJ Burns and Dave Bunce, enjoying the meal during the event.

Steve Valenine and Tommy Vaughn had the long job of drawing the winning numbers during the Spring Fling; behind them to the right, Patty Kykendall is shown at the computer where winners were identified.

These men (from left), Randy Myers, Herb Click, Vance Click, and Chris Ryder, are a few of those whose job it was to slice and marinate the various meats for the event. Denny Stahley’s yummy barbeque recipe is used for the seasoning.

Vigilant’s Chris Stahley greeted Frederick County’s Chief Alcoholic Beverages Inspector, Harold DeLauter, to the event. This was one of Harold’s last assignments. He retired in late June from a long career in law enforcement and government service. He is also a Vietnam Veteran.

Gloria (Joy) Bauerline and Shannon Boyle fully enjoyed the Spring Fling!

Steve Yingling is a pretty big guy. He took a break from grilling to perch in this huge lawn chair. He mounted the contraption using a step stool. In it, he appeared small.

Deb Spalding

Accompanied by various friends and family members along the way, Roger Martin of Thurmont completed a 330-mile bicycle ride, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D.C., along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal, to raise funds in support of mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

This ride, and accompanying fundraising campaign, were in honor of Roger’s son, Taylor, who took his own life. The ride started on Taylor’s birthday, Thursday, June 8. Taylor deeply enjoyed spending time outdoors and this memorial ride characterized his love of nature and his enduring spirit. Roger said, “Day one of Taylor’s Ride was awesome. Thank you to Patrick from Kentucky, who offered a wonderful prayer for us at our start in Pittsburgh. A perfect way to begin our journey. Rode 62 miles in Taylor’s shoes, drank water from his camelback, was kept warm by his sleeping bag, and dry by his tent.”

On Roger’s Facebook page, he said, “What an awesome feeling completing Taylor’s Ride on Day 6! It was another perfect day. We covered the last 49 miles to Canal Mile Marker 0 in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., without a hitch.

Believe what you will, but I just can’t explain or attribute all of the fortunate and positive things that occurred during the trip to anything except Taylor’s spirit being along for the ride. I want to thank all of my family, friends and those of you who supported and contributed, in one way or another, to the cause of raising awareness about the importance of maintaining good mental health. Your contributions will go directly to fund crisis intervention and suicide prevention.”

You can see more about the progression of the ride on Roger Martin’s Facebook page or visit www.YouCaring.com to make a donation. Once there, search Taylor’s Ride.

Roger Martin is pictured after completing Taylor’s Ride at C&O Canal Mile Marker 0 in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Families can pass along many traits through the generations. Eye color, facial structure, even a propensity to bear twins. Unfortunately, they can also pass along diseases.

Sue Clabaugh’s family has been in the Thurmont area for hundreds of years. One line of her family tree goes back to John Jost of Wittgenstein, Germany. It is through his line that a genetic disorder called hATTR amyloidosis has been passed. It is also known as “Eigenbrode Disease,” named for descendants of Jost, who are also part of Clabaugh’s family tree. It is a mutation in the transthyretin gene that causes misfolded proteins that accumulate in tissues around the nerves, gastrointestinal tract, and heart. There is no known cure.

“Many people, including doctors, have never heard of it or ignore it,” Clabaugh said. “I know I have a lot of relatives in areas who don’t know testing is free.”

She was diagnosed with the disease only seven months ago at age seventy-three. “It started with a horrible burning in my feet. Then I would get sharp pains at night that would go up my legs.”

The symptoms vary from person to person, but once they appear, they generally continue growing worse. Although it tends to strike senior citizens, Clabaugh has met people as young as thirty with the disease.

Her brother, Bill Eyler, was diagnosed five years ago. “Now he’s sixty-eight and in leg braces because he has no feeling in his legs,” Clabaugh said.

While there are some treatments available, they aren’t always effective. Once Clabaugh realized what the disease was, she remembered seeing family members at family reunions as a child. She thought even then that a lot of them had trouble walking or were in wheelchairs.

“I had no idea that it was amyloidosis until I became a nurse,” she said. “Even then, I never thought I would be on that list.”

Her father died at age fifty-six. “He used to have to change gears with one hand and push with the other because he had no feeling in his fingers,” Clabaugh said. Because the disease isn’t common, it is often misdiagnosed as neuropathy or lime disease. However, Clabaugh urges anyone in Central Maryland with those symptoms to be tested for hATTR amyloidosis. Some of the family names that have members with amyloidosis include Smith, Boyle, Munshouer, Martin, Fitz, Scott, and Eyler. The testing is free, and you can find out more information at www.alnylam.com.

Since being diagnosed with the disease, Clabaugh has been trying to learn all she can about it and get the word out to raise awareness about it.

“If I reach one person with this information and they pass it on, and they get some help, it would mean so much to me,” expressed Clabaugh.

She also wants doctors to be aware of how the disease manifests, because many of them aren’t aware of it. Doctors should be asking patients with foot, leg, or hand problems if other people in their family have the same problem. If so, then consider the possibility that it might be hATTR amyloidosis.

Vigilant Hose Company Member Elyssa Cool was awarded the prestigious Silver Spring Fire Prevention Trophy on June 20, 2017, during the 125th Anniversary Conference and Convention of the Maryland State Firemen’s Association in Ocean City.

The award is the highest fire/rescue prevention-related recognition in the State of Maryland and is presented each year at the MSFA Annual Convention to an individual who does the most in fire prevention for his/her community.

The award is for an individual effort rather than a group or department effort. Commenting on the award, VHC President Frank Davis said, “We are very proud of Elyssa and her great work helping our community and neighboring communities with safety messaging and presentations. She enjoys the support of our entire organization as she helps our personnel to successfully reach out to the public with numerous year-round fire and life safety initiatives.”

This year, the fireworks at Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day are in honor of Robert “Reds” Hance, who passed away unexpectedly early this year. “Bob was such a proponent for Heritage Day and was such a leader in the community that the Lions, Heritage Day Committee, and community, felt it would be fitting to dedicate the fireworks to him,” said Jennifer Joy of the Heritage Day Committee.

Bob was tireless in his support of many organizations and charities in Emmitsburg. It is hoped that many in Emmitsburg will come out in force to show their appreciation for him at the fireworks. Of course, the fireworks are the final event that finish off a day full of fun, sun, and family activities that begin early in the morning on June 24, 2017, beginning with the annual Vigilant Hose breakfast, followed by the Lions Club field games. Also planned this year: lots of delicious homemade food, including the Lions Club Famous Chicken BBQ; fun sports and activities for all ages; great live music from local artists; special vendor/craft exhibits, kid’s games, and rides; the Lions Club Memorial Event and Art Contest awards; Art Contest Exhibit; Library book sale; K-9 dog and emergency service demonstrations; horse-drawn carriage rides; historical tours, featuring author James Rada, Jr.; Grotto and Seton Shrine tours; car, truck, and motorcycle show (dash plaques also dedicated to “Reds”); annual parade (starts earlier this year at 5:00 p.m.); and evening entertainment with music from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, with Stewart Chapman and Michael Pryor Productions.

To keep abreast of all the news and schedule of activities on Heritage Day, please visit www.EmmitsburgEvents.com and check out its Facebook page: Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day.

The Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day Planning Committee would like to issue a special thanks to all who have contributed to the success of the Heritage Day festival including: the Sons of the American Legion, Knights of Columbus, Lions Club, VFW, EBPA, local churches, businesses, and all the residents, for their hard work and dedication to the community.

If you have not already donated to support the Fireworks display, and you would like to, there is still time to contribute. All donations received will support the Fireworks and the Heritage Day Festival. Send check payable to: Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day c/o P.O. Box 1182, Emmitsburg, MD 21727.

James Rada, Jr.

Kim Andrew of Emmitsburg was awakened one morning because the smell in her house was so foul. The smell wasn’t coming from anything in her house, though. It was coming from the wastewater treatment plant lagoon that the town rents to Enviro-Organic Technologies (EOT) during the winter.

The lagoon had not been used since the new wastewater plant went into operation. EOT currently hauls the town’s sludge, but it was in need of a place to store food process residuals from mid-November until the beginning of March. An agreement was reached, and EOT paid the town $80,000 to use the lagoon, which was to be used towards some of the operating costs of the new wastewater treatment plant, at least for the first year.

The problem is that the material stored in the lagoon has been creating a hydrogen sulfide type of smell.

Mary Ann Wivell of Emmitsburg told the commissioners that she is afraid to hang up her clothes to dry outside for fear that they will pick up the smell. She and other residents attended the May town meeting to ask the commissioners to do something about the smell, which has been noticed in the east end of Emmitsburg since March.

“We have a beautiful town, and I’m concerned that you have people that come here, and that’s all they smell,” Wivell said.

Andrew said that she fears she goes to work some days smelling of rotten eggs. The material in the lagoon is a nutrient replacement that is spread on fields, but new state regulations don’t allow this to happen in the winter, so the material must be stored.

Residents also wondered if there were health hazards associated with the smell. In particular, could it affect people with asthma?

Phil Snader, EOT vice president, said that Maryland Department of Agriculture regulates the material and that it is a wash water product from processing poultry.

He said that he believed the smell started when the material in the lagoon was stirred. This broke the crust on the surface and allowed the smell to escape.

Snader suggested some things that could be done to reduce and hopefully eliminate the smell: (1) A biological odor-control agent can be added to the lagoon once it is drained of material; (2) Mixing can be reduced so as to not compromise the crust; (3) Material can be removed through PVC pipe under the crust to keep it intact; and (4) Straw can be placed on top of the material that will help a crust form more quickly.

However, Snader cautioned, “I can’t guarantee there will never be an odor.”

The commissioners are willing to give Snader’s solutions a try. Also, EOT stopped using the lagoon in early May.

Based on how well the implemented solutions work, the commissioners may not want to rent the lagoon for the same use this winter.

The view out of Rachel Mohler’s kitchen window is so picturesque that it should be a painting—in fact, it is a painting. Or, should we say, it is many paintings. Rachel has painted that ever-changing view nearly a hundred times since her resolution to complete a painting-a-day started on January 1, 2017.

Her New Year’s Resolution had no real rules, so Rachel kept it seemingly simple, painting the view from the picture window in her new home on the mountain in Sabillasville. Each day she paints a unique rendition of the scene on a new 2×3 inch piece of gesso board.

The goal of a resolution is often measured in quantity, like counting calories or losing weight, or an absence of quantity, like stopping a bad habit or abstaining from eating a certain food. Rachel’s resolution seemed to be of the first variety, simple arithmetic—a painting a day.

In fact, Rachel’s resolution took on a life of its own, complete with the emotion of changing moods in the weather; the changing perceptions of the scene by Rachel, her children, and her husband; and the lessons of attention to detail: appreciation of nature, awe of the grand order of the world, rhythm and changing palette of the seasons, ebb and flow of life, happiness about being part of something grand, and peace in new inspiration.

Rachel has captured the scene at the birth of sunrise, the rest of sunset, the blanketing of snow, the cloak of fog, the bathing of sun, the cleansing of rain, and amidst the demand of storm. She said, “Sometimes the fog goes on for days, but then you realize, the color of the fog is changing depending on what’s going on above the fog.”

In the first two weeks, she painted with her usual watercolor but couldn’t quite capture the beauty of the images as well as she wanted, so she switched to oil paint. Feeling somewhat intimidated by oils, Rachel told herself, “Just do it. That’s how you’re going to learn.” So, she completed her first-ever oil paintings.

As the days progressed, Rachel noticed involvement by her children. “They’re seeing when the clouds are pink, the sky is green, there’s a rainbow.” At one point, her daughter Saige (turning five in June), joined the project and completed her own watercolor paintings on small pieces of hand-torn paper.

With a five-year-old (Saige), a three-year-old (Atlas), and a one-year-old (Wren), the mom artist was bound to battle the demands for her time, and family comes first—as it should. This winter, one family member after another battled sickness, as strep, flu, pink eye, and fever swept through the family. Because of this, Rachel was not able to meet the painting-a-day demand.

Reconciling what could be construed as a failure, Rachel was able to give herself a break after talking to her husband, Brian, and her mother, Linda Faulkner, who are very supportive of her. Her mother, who is also an artist, told Rachel, “If you had a friend who went on a diet and fell off the wagon a bit but still was making progress, would you call her a failure?”

Rachel surmised, ”If I can just give myself some grace, it’ll be okay.” So, she paints when she can.

Having never done a daily or a long-term goal project, Rachel quickly streamlined her painting processes. She takes photos of the view with her phone. Her choice of 2×3 inch gesso boards was really a matter of convenience. With three youngsters, she needed her studio to be at-the-ready when the opportunity to paint presented itself. Therefore, she owns a small travel portfolio case that, when unzipped, has all supplies handy, including pens, pre-cut boards, her brushes, and a small old tobacco tin that she purchased from the Emmitsburg Antique Mall, used as her paint box so her paints don’t dry out.

The many paintings that Rachel has completed so far are displayed on the wall next to the family’s dining room table. Some look like photographs. Each painting is different.

There is one painting that Rachel does not like. She has repainted it several times. The image was from Valentine’s Day morning. Rachel explained, “It was the most beautiful sunrise ever. The sun shone like a spotlight into the sky on the clouds. I just cannot capture the light of the clouds. I can’t even count how many times I’ve started that one over. I just don’t have the skill to capture it yet.” Undeterred, Rachel aspired, “It will make me feel better once I’ve conquered it.”

Read more about Rachel’s story and her painting-a-day resolution results at the end of this year in The Catoctin Banner Newspaper. To see postings of Rachel’s paintings visit Instagram.com/rhmohler and facebook.com/rhmohler.