Hi Everyone. It’s me, Scoop the Cub Reporter from The Shady Pines Gazette.

The rule of thumb this time of year is that you have to brace yourself and know things are going to be hectic. The holiday season ushers in an even faster pace to our already busy lives. Somehow the list of things to do, is longer than the number of available hours and days to get it all done. And, maybe it’s because of the chaos, that people get a little bonkers and things are a bit out of whack.

Let me give you an idea of the news I’ve been covering in just the past day or so. First, I get a call from the guys at the volunteer fire department. They say the number of calls coming in, is off the charts. And, some of the so-called emergencies have been stranger than normal. They responded to one hysterical lady’s call that she had a fire out of control. When the fire truck pulled up, with the guys in full gear, they didn’t see anything. They did hear the screaming. Once inside, it turned out the woman had a new gas stove and the flame from one burner was shooting higher than it should. She’s yelling and fanning the flame with a towel. They calmed her down, took away the towel, and figured out the dial got stuck in the HIGH position. She was very grateful to them.

Over at Maggie’s Diner, one of the gals who works the counter, reported to the police that the supply room had been trashed and all sorts of items were missing. The diner’s back door was open when she arrived for her morning shift. When the cops got there, they talked to a number of people. But, upon closer inspection, it turns out Maggie forgot to lock the door when she finished doing her paperwork late, the night before. And the bag of flour that tipped over and spilled onto the floor revealed something else. The thieves had clawed feet! We’re still not sure if the culprits were cat burglars, or raccoons, but they sure weren’t human. Case solved. Again, everyone involved was thankful that the situation was not serious. Whew!

It’s enough to keep this reporter hopping, that’s for sure. Wait, breaking news is just coming in. Over at the Shady Pines Community Center the gratitude project is getting underway. This has become a holiday tradition that the center’s director, Rita Mallena, came up with a couple of years ago.

I’m learning that the kids from the grade school next door are building a gratitude tree. They’re being helped by adult volunteers at the center. The adults build the pine tree out of wood. Together, the kids and the adults, assemble paper cutouts of pine cones. Each person writes what they’re thankful for in their lives on a paper pine cone. The messages dangle from the branches. You want to see for yourself? Let me find my camera and my reporter’s notebook and we’ll head over there. You’ll be able to read the full story HERE 

See ya soon!  -Scoop, the Cub Reporter