Things were pretty quiet around the Olcott campus through Thanksgiving, but as soon as the holiday had passed, our maintenance team was hit with several big projects. First the snows and frigid temperatures catapulted us into the cruel reality of winter snow and ice removal. Of course there are some hardier souls than I, who seem to enjoy the cold, and even I have to admit to its magical beauty.
Soon afterwards, Maintenance Manager Mark Roemmich noticed a water pipe dripping in the boiler room. We were fortunate that Mark spotted the leak before it became a gusher and he was fortunate to get immediate response from our long-time plumber, Robert Bair. (Anyone who has dealt with old buildings knows how important it is to have a good relationship with a reliable plumber.) However, before the actual repair could begin, extensive removal of asbestos from the old pipes was necessary. The asbestos removal project prompted a major clean out of the boiler room (more than a whole dumpster full), and so the project grew. Next, the pipes, devoid of all that old insulation, began springing new leaks. Now, instead of fixing only the original leak, it was apparent that all of the water pipes needed to be replaced. Throughout the winter holiday season, our water service was sporadic as the plumbers moved along with the repairs. But that not so simple drip is finally fixed!
Our staff holiday party was held on December 20, with a grand banquet prepared by Jeff Gresko, Leon Frankel, and Diana Cabigting. Glenda Gingras, Information and Volunteer Coordinator, was pleased to be able to introduce eight of our conscientious volunteers to the group gathered for lunch. Christine Pomeroy organized a creative gift exchange, games, and entertainment for staff, guests, and our honored volunteers. The warmth and gaiety permeated our dining hall gathering.
At the early hour of 6:00 a.m. on December 31, our traditional meditation for World Peace began. Our participation in this world-wide meditation was coordinated by Young Theosophist, Kim McDuffee, and attended by twenty-seven people who contributed their energy and hope for a more peaceful world. Afterwards, the dining hall again became the center of pleasantries as we all gathered for coffee, tea, and morning treats before heading out to start the day. May the light of peace dawn in our world as 2007 unfolds in the coming months.
Winter Snowphoto's by Jeff Gresko
Olcott Christmas Partyphoto's by Eulalia Diaz