Here we are smack dab in the middle of what on the surface seems like the dead season. Winter.

Here in Crossett that means gray skies, soggy ground, short days and a cold so humid it wraps around your bones — or it’s so unseasonably warm the temperatures just leave you feeling off. 

While that could make for the perfect season to hibernate, to retreat into our homes and out of our community, I challenge you to find things to do that are not on the beaten path. Find things to do that keep you present in your community and that keep your community pride growing. 

Since we can sometimes take our local resources for granted, I’ll offer you a few suggestions

Explore nature

Walk the Sand Prairie Trail out at Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge. It is two miles long. I hear it is home to native wildlife including an eagle. And close to that — for those who prefer water to land — is the Deep Slough Paddle Trail. This undeveloped canoe trail will take you underneath the U.S. 82 bridge and through Lapile Creek. Since both of these elements use nature as their stage, you have the added fun of never knowing what to expect. 

More than books

The Crossett Public Library is known to host Lego days, story hours, poetry and video gaming, among other things, and want to know what will bring you through their doors. Writing classes? Geneology? Book signings? Craft seminars? Board game nights? Cool item checkouts like telescopes, metal detectors or rock shining machines? Let them know what will bring you there. The staff is willing to consider almost anything. 

By the way, the poetry slams are so neat! The next one is Feb. 13.

Take the stage

Join the new community theater group, Ashley County Theater Company, or A.C.T. Company.  Run by four of our local arts teachers, this group aims at gathering up our neighbors who can — or want to learn how to — act, sing, apply theatrical makeup, build stage props, run lighting or sound, and create costumes, among other things. There are so many different talents needed to make this group successful. Reach out to them by emailing them at ashleycountytheatercompany@gmail.com

The next Parks and Recreation event to put on your calendar is The Dueling Pianos Show at the Crossett City Auditorium. Be watching our Facebook page for near daily updates on sponsors.

On that note, I want to give a huge thank you to those businesses and private entities stepping forward to make this event happen for you.  This show is your chance to be extra in your — as Angie Hayne’s mama put it during a conversation at Southern Spice last week — bling bling. Or stay comfortable in your business casual attire. I’m just saying, sometimes it is just fun to dress up and feel swanky. 

Tickets will be $10 at the Auditorium Box Office, which has the original register drawer still in it!. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. Valet Parking will be available. 

To accommodate our churches, the main event doesn’t start until 7:15 p.m. Local pianists like John Mark Lockling, Marty Phillips and his son, Nadia Young, and Sheila Moore will play while you buy your tickets, pose in our photo booths, find seats, buy your date a long-stemmed rose and visit with neighbors. 

Be sure and pull me aside to give me more ideas. They are always welcome!

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