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Winter Blues Got You Down? Join the Club

Ride out the rest of winter with this list of indoor activities around Moorestown, courtesy of columnist Marsia Mason.

Credit: Patch file photo
Credit: Patch file photo

Now that the Iggles have done their usual crash and burn, and most of Moorestown is down with a cold, bronchitis, TB or cabin fever, is there anything more January can do to us? We could stay in the Arctic-like freeze we were encased in last Tuesday, or we could have snowstorm after snowstorm. I'm just superstitious enough to worry that by committing such heinous thoughts to paper they might actually come to pass. It IS January after all.

Here on the edge of Memorial Field—where erosion has carried off half my backyard—I was awoken last Monday at the urging of my bladder to make my usual early morning trek to the facilities. I did what I usually do before dropping toasty feet to icy floor: I peered over the covers at the fluorescent green numbers on the alarm clock. No numbers. I turned sideways to look at the other alarm clock (one alarm is never enough to wake me up), and again saw nothing. It was then that I realized the comforting thrumming and thumping from the furnace was also missing, the house an eerie tomb of quiet cold. 

Looking out the window, our entire neighborhood was dark. I’ve been through several natural disasters, so you’d think I’d have a disaster preparedness kit, containing bottled water, battery-operated radio, a flashlight, dark chocolate nonpareils, some MREs, and the National Enquirer. But I had nothing. My phone, which also doubles as my flashlight, was downstairs.

As my eyes adjusted to the dark and my feet adjusted to not being able to find my slippers, I made it to the bathroom, where I pulled down the battery-operated wall clock and barely made out that it was 4:23 a.m. Great! Will I be able to go back to sleep or am I resigned to cleaning out junk drawers for the next three hours? (This of course, begs the question, “How many junk drawers do you have, Marsia?” At last count, every drawer in the house is now a junk drawer.)

It wasn’t until I got up several hours later, then stumbled downstairs to walk the dog, that I realized an overnight rain maelstrom was not only responsible for the power outage but had also melted all the snow. Except for a grouping of mysterious snow boulders that now sat in the middle of the large soccer field on Memorial Field—which I've dubbed "Snowhenge"—all the white stuff was now gone. And that, my friends, is how meteorologists can hold onto their jobs despite being wrong 99 percent of the time: Weather is unpredictable. One day, it’s 45 degrees—the next day, five degrees. 

January’s entertainment options are pretty much limited to indoor activities, so let’s compare notes. Looks like Perkins Center for the Arts' winter classes got started last week. Hopefully you’ve already signed the wee ones up for ballet or improv or something that will use up some of that excessive, youthful energy. Parents, if you’re feeling altruistic, Perkins has ongoing needs that can only be met if you lighten your pockets by making charitable donations. The 33-year-old roof needs to be replaced AND the carriage house needs to be restored.

Jean Gaasch, a former third grade teacher well-known to Roberts parents, passed away last February. What many people don’t know is that she was a co-founder of Perkins. Once the carriage house renovation is completed, it will be dedicated in her honor.

For the adults, there is an upcoming DeCafe concert featuring Lucy Wainwright at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17th. Contact Perkins for more information and ticket info. Also, if you beg and plead and offer mega-bucks, perhaps you can still get the young’uns into a class. Or five.

Over at the Moorestown Theater Company, Mark Morgan has all kinds of classes going on. I urge you to go directly to their website—www.moorestowntheatercompany.org—for information on classes, shows and all things related to the local performing arts scene, courtesy of Mr. Show Biz himself (who also doubles as president of the Moorestown Business Association). Does this guy EVER sleep?

How lucky we are to live in a town with not one, but two theater companies. MoorArts, the other nonprofit in town, operates a little differently than Mark Morgan’s gang. All you have to do is read their mission statement to know what this group is all about:

"MoorArts is an advocate for the arts in the community. We believe that arts should be regarded as a necessity, not a luxury."

Every single event sponsored by MoorArts raises money for student scholarships and grants to support arts-related projects in the public schools. Since 1991, MoorArts has awarded nearly 200 scholarships. Every single dollar that goes into MoorArts comes out in one form or another to support the arts locally. Some of you may have attended the Holiday Arts Festival last month. MoorArts does it every year, directly following the Lions Club Holiday Parade

But here’s the best news of all: On Jan. 17 (snow date Jan. 25), from 6:30-9 p.m., MoorArts—in collaboration with the Park and Recreation Department—is once again hosting MoorMotion, an evening of dancing, playing and active games for elementary students and their winter-weary parents. This is an inexpensive, annual event that encourages everyone to shed his or her winter blahs and get up on the dance floor. With DJ Chris from local company Sound and Light, there will be plenty of activities, lots of music, and snacks to keep the party going and hopefully wear everyone out. 

The cost is $4 for students and $6 for adults, with a maximum of $20 per family. And although I have no elementary students, I still like to help out at MoorArts events because I believe in what they’re all about. So don’t be surprised to see me there, leading the chicken dance. After which, I will pull the covers back over my head and wait out the rest of winter.

Mark Morgan January 16, 2014 at 11:38 PM
Marsia, I just caught up to your latest column. Thanks for the kind words! I may not sleep much, but I always (eventually) find the time to read your always-funny, always-informative columns. Thanks again for the MTC mention; I hope Moorestonians will sign up for our Studio Classes for kids or our Tap and Zumba Classes for adults, and buy tickets for our upcoming productions of "DIsney's Mulan, Jr. (March) & Princess Sing-Along" and "The Wizard Of Oz" (April).

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