Hi again. This is Philip, back at the Journal once more. I took a few days off the island this past weekend. Flew to Indiana to see Lou Ann. We had a wonderful time. It sure looks like Christmas out there in the mid-west! The snow was piled up nearly a foot high. Colored lights on evergreens peeked out from a blanket of dry, powdery snow, and on bright sunny afternoons the frigid air literally sparkled. We took the train into Chicago to see the Christmas decorations. Even discovered an authentic outdoor "Christkindelmarkt" downtown. It felt like I was in Bavaria. Even had a chance to practice a little German as almost all of the vendors were from Deutschland.
But I'm back home now. I've had a little vacation. And I've had a chance to transcribe a number of my Ocracoke stories these past few weeks. Everyone tells me I must publish them, so I've decided to work towards that. Maybe I won't get a book finished this winter, but at least I can make a start at it.
Last night the Ocracoke Civic & Business Committee hosted their annual pot luck dinner. As usual the fare was outstanding. At the meeting afterwards we learned more about plans to install hard-surface "sidewalks" along Highway 12 in the village (they'll be narrow and will be interrupted at times by trees, but they'lll be better than the half-buried concrete blocks we have now). We also heard more about a proposed bike & walking path through the National Seashore (to the Pony Pen, at first, and eventually all the way to Hatteras Inlet). None of this can come too soon, but we all know how slow governments can be. I guess we just need to be patient. Good things are afoot. There was also a report on Ocracoke's recent designation as a "Preserve America" community. It was a welcome honor-- and it will mean access to more government grants for preservation projects. All of this is good news for Ocracoke.
Look for more island news in our daily Journal. I'm back at my desk and ready to share on going holiday news from North Carolina's "Pearl of the Outer Banks."
Our current monthly Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Street Names, published November 19, 2005. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news111905.htm.