The lights have come down. Stockings hung by the chimney with care have been torn down, ransacked and discarded. Santa is safely back at the North Pole in this time of increased Covid-19 scare

2021 has already presented new challenges but Ashvillians are poised with their solution-oriented strategies

Some people will miss work and lose income. But the good folks at Bulldog Diner will be handing out free hot lunches on Tuesday mornings from ten to eleven. They ask that, for safety's sake, people leave their trunks open. If not, the food can be retrieved from carts outside

Students are back at home virtual learning. But at Ashville Elementary School, free internet vouchers have been extended through June 30. Those on the free lunch program are automatically eligible

This is a one-time voucher good for one internet service. It includes equipment, installation and service. Recipients will receive no bills through June 30. For more questions, call 800-212-4998.

But not everyone is staying inside. Getting out of doors and into nature is the best way to get out of the house and have fun at a safe social distance for individuals, groups, couples and families.

And Visit St. Clair's My Adventure Challenge has many opportunities for one and all.

There is Hike 365, Family Trail Time, Waterfall Chasers and more. Adventurous and safe. Just be sure to bundle up.

It may not occur to natives to peruse tourist websites or magazines. But literature like Discover the Essence of St. Clair County and Visit St Clair are true treasures with a wealth of information and history. They are highly recommended for anyone finding themselves getting stir crazy. You might find something in your own back yard you had overlooked.

Also, on Visit St Clair is a virtual and in person tour of the libraries in and around St. Clair County.

All over the country, libraries are going the way of the horse and buggy. People are downloading books. Some even say the printed word is dead. Perish the thought.

In St. Clair County, libraries are expanding and improving. The citizens appreciate the feel of a book in their hands that has no battery to charge, no keyboard to guard from... anything. But libraries are about more than just the books.

They are a place for communities to gather. No matter how small the budget, everyone can afford the library. Take the kids to story time and McDonald's play place for a 99-cent ice cream cone. That's an afternoon of fun guaranteed to wear them out for exactly 99 cents.

Some libraries such as Pell City have book clubs for adults to read and discuss. Book clubs are like dinner parties with our favorite people: a pleasure of civilized life.

And, right now, Ashvillians needs-no Ashville deserve all the pleasures they can get.

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