WILLOWDALE: New owners
Patients of the Eckman Family Dentistry office in Willowdale learned in an email this past weekend that the practice had been sold to Dental Health Care Associates, based in Aston. The office staff and hygienists will stay the same but the new dentist/owners will be Dr. Lance Panarello and Dr. Jordan Grant.
Dr. Eckman wrote: "I have confidence that the new ownership group will continue to serve the community with the same level of skill and compassion that my father, Joe Eckman Sr. (1943-2013), strove for in his many years as owner.... We are so happy that our family legacy will be passed on to another father-to-son dental family, and we are positive they will honor our legacy with our team and patients."
In a separate email the new owners told patients they plan to add additional days, hours and services to the practice.
SPRING: Changing of the seasons
Although the clock change was jarring, it's delightful to have sunlight in the evenings and warmer days. The snowdrops next to my deck have been in bloom for a few weeks, the daffodil and tulip leaves are showing themselves, and I just saw the first purple crocus and some very early monkshood leaves in the garden. The hellebores, alas, don't look so good.
In a nearby stream the green skunk cabbages, with purple stripes, are starting to appear, and the watercress is already thriving. I haven't yet heard pond peepers, but I'm sure they will start singing any day now.
On the downside, stinkbugs are emerging from their winter hiding places. My Bugzooka vacuum has been busy sucking them up.
NURSE: Fixing what ails you
A friend of mine is the nurse at a local middle school and keeps me apprised on the "bugs" that are going around.
"Today it was a stomach thing. I went through a lot of Lysol," she'll say, or "I had kids in my office as soon as they got off the bus! I was like, `Why did you even come to school?!'"
Like all good nurses, she is at once kind, down to earth and observant. She has some "frequent fliers" who show up like clockwork, "and always during math class."
And some of the kids, she says, "just need a hug."
RACES: Cheshire Point-to-Point
A reminder that the 73rd running of the Cheshire Point-to-Point Races will be held Sunday, March 31, at the Averell Penn Smith Walker Memorial Course at Plantation Field. I'm eager to see the new course layout, which was designed by Dixon Stroud. Gates open at 10 a.m. and the first pony race is at 11:30 a.m. Race 4, the amateur apprentice flat race, is named in memory of our friend Kathee Rengert, a West Marlborough resident who died this fall and is sadly missed. And I would guess that it's the first time in all of the race meeting's storied history that the words "no drones" have appeared on the parking pass.
Tickets are available on the Cheshire Hunt Conservancy's website. The races will go on despite rain or snow, and no matter what the weather spectators will show up, guaranteed.
STROKE: A good call
You probably read Fran Maye's dramatic piece in last week's paper about Linda Irwin's sudden neck pain and bad headache and how her husband, Danilo Maffei, initially didn't think it was necessary to call 911.
Thank goodness they summoned the ambulance! It turns out Linda was having a subarachnoid hemorrhage (serious bleeding in the brain). The Kennett Fire Co. EMTs rushed her to Chester County Hospital, where the stroke was diagnosed. She ended up being choppered to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where she stayed for 16 days.
Tilda sends her very best wishes to Linda and Dan.
HOCKESSIN: A keto wizard
Regular readers know that I make a point of praising people who give me excellent customer service, and this week's shout-out goes to David at Harvest Market Natural Foods in Hockessin. I had seen a tasty-looking recipe online for low-carb brownies, headed to the Harvest Market to buy the required ingredients -- and then forgot to bring the recipe with me. I tried finding it on my phone but couldn't get a good connection. I explained my plight to David and he quickly tracked it down for me online. We'll see how it turns out. I've never baked with almond flour or monkfruit sweetener before.
As we do every year, a bunch of us went to the "Friends of the NRA" fundraising banquet at the Red Clay Room. Proceeds benefit youth gun safety, hunting and target shooting programs. The organizers are very good at separating guests from their money, offering all kinds of raffles like the "Wall of Guns." Over the years, we've learned to bring a limited amount of cash and to leave the credit cards at home.
This event, which is always an almost immediate sell-out, attracts the full spectrum of people, everyone from guys in full camo with sidearms to hipsters sporting truly amazing beards. Almost everybody dressed casually, although I did see one woman in a miniskirt and high-heeled red satin sandals. At our table were three military veterans, a yoga instructor, an NRA-certified weapons instructor (a female!), and an investment advisor. At the beginning of the evening, when everyone in the room stood for the Pledge of Allegiance, the men removed their baseball caps or cowboy hats.
When I've written about the NRA dinner before, some readers have expressed concerns that I would write about and financially support a group they find immoral. My response is this: if I only attended events sponsored by groups whose philosophy and actions I agreed 100% with, I'd be spending a lot more quiet nights at home.
LITTER: A pickup game
The Brandywine Red Clay Alliance is sponsoring a spring road cleanup on Saturday, March 30, from 8 a.m. to noon, in conjunction with the Delaware Nature Society, the Kennett Area Park Authority, Mt. Cuba Center, Inc., and the Red Clay Scenic Byway Alliance. Volunteers are asked to show up at the Kennett YMCA outdoor pool, Anson B. Nixon Park, or the Ashland Nature Center in Hockessin. All necessary supplies (trash bags, gloves, reflective vests, etc.) will be provided. Groups of five or more should call the Alliance at (610) 793-1090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for route assignments.
Kennett Township is also hosting a road cleanup the same morning. The contact person is Roger Lysle at (484) 221-0897 or email email@example.com.
POLITICS: Go ahead. Make my day.
Dearest Partner was irritated to receive a fundraising letter from his chosen political party warning him that his membership was "lapsed" and he needed to send a donation to stay in their good graces and on their mailing list. He was savvy enough to realize that you don't need to pay to be a party member but felt the scare-tactic wording could well have misled some citizens.
Me? I don't even open political mailings.
Write to Tilda at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!