With the north winds blowing and snow falling, it's a perfect time to get a head start on spring cleaning. While a pot of homemade veggie soup simmers on the stove, I am deep into the cave, otherwise known as a walk-in closet, working on a project that began two years ago. I am trying to make some semblance of organization in this collection of stuff from at least 60 years. I am not a hoarder, but I am a keeper. How can I throw away all the artwork and certificates collected by our five offspring who are all now grandparent age? Help!
Thinking spring helps during the frigid weather, so add this to your date book. The 11th annual Southern Illinois Boat and Fishing Show will be Feb. 2-4 at The Pavilion of the City of Marion. There will be vendors galore, with the latest in fishing and outdoor recreation supplies. There won't be any free lunch, but parking and admission are free, and food vendors will be on hand to satisfy your appetite. There will also be live musical entertainment on the second day of the event.
The Illinois Farm Bureau is holding an "Ag in the Classroom Night" at Culver's restaurant in Marion from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29. A percentage of the sales will be donated to the project, which is sponsored by the Williamson County Ag in the Classroom program and Williamson County Soil and Water Conservation District. Culver's is also providing a giving can during the month of January for donations for this project.
The Southern Illinois Opry at Herrin Civic Center is also a great place to be on a cold night. The next session will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20. A new group to the event will be Firebox, a quartet of well-dressed gentlemen, who play gospel and traditional bluegrass. There will be other groups performing as well. And Minnie Pearl of Grinder Switch, Tennessee, usually makes a welcomed appearance. Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is $12 for one or $20 for two at the door.
Little Egypt Arts Association is hosting its annual art show for local high schools until Feb. 11. Don't miss this showing of young artists from A-J, Benton, Carterville, Galatia, Goreville, Harrisburg, Herrin, Johnston City, Marion, Sesser-Valier, West Frankfort and Zeigler-Royalton. There is no charge.
For those brave enough to head out to the great outdoors, there will be an "Ecology of Spring Ephemerals" by Chris Benda at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, at Giant City Visitors Center. Call (618) 457-4836 for more.
Taking an eagle tour at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is a must. Tours, with guides and vehicles provided, will be on Jan. 27 and 28 and Feb. 3 and 4. There will be a choice of three time slots on each of those days: 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The tours are free, but reservations are a must by calling (618) 997-3344, ext. 1, The tours will begin at the visitor center on Illinois 148, following a short talk by one of the guides.
The Second Act of Southern Illinois Healthcare has promised a trip to the Fox Theatre in St. Louis in the near future. Stay tuned. There will also be a coach trip to Maine in the fall and a trip to Memphis, Tennessee, and Tunica, Mississippi, in May. Call (877) 480-4040.
Remnants of Christmas can still be seen hanging onto homes, since it has been too frigid to get out and take them down. But I did recently see an elderly man on Russell Street attempting to remove a string of lights off his porch by using a rake.
• DIXIE TERRY would like your community news from the Marion area. Contact her at (618) 995-2491, firstname.lastname@example.org or 101 Sidney Lane, Goreville, IL 62939.