By Carol Meyer
Birds are singing, trees are leafing out, flowers are blooming, and I even saw a bumblebee recently -- a rare sight these days.
Looking back, what really caught my attention this winter was that even on some cold days, there were bird songs in the air. Despite the lower temperatures and the fact that spring at that time was weeks away, they kept on singing. Not often, maybe, but enough to remind us that warmer weather was coming and to help chase away the wintertime blues.
Then came COVID-19, which has caused many changes in our lives. We can't go out much, and we're wearing face masks. Stores close earlier, and some items are still in short supply.
That said, as I write this, the azalea bush my children gave me for Mother's Day many years ago is now HUGE and blooming with radiant pink flowers, the grass -- in our case, crabgrass!-- is starting to turn green, and it's almost time to put the screen in our front door.
We've had some tough weather this spring, but also some beautiful sunny days that lift the spirits despite what's going on around us.
For all these things I am truly grateful! Happy Spring!
By Carol Meyer
The Hingham Farmers Market -- the third oldest farmers' market in the state -- is back for another season, with a new format and temporary location.
Prior to the much-anticipated May 23 opening day, HFM fans with have an opportunity to learn all about the new “pre-order/pickup, drive-through” system that will be in place for the time being. All orders will be pre-paid to simplify the process.
Farmers' markets are considered to be essential businesses, with social distancing and other guidelines in place that were set forth earlier by Governor Charlie Baker.
While at first there will be no pedestrian traffic or on-site sales, eventually HFM organizers hope to be able to move back to the bathing beach parking lot -- where the market is normally located -- under the usual walk-through model.
The new temporary location until COVID-19 restrictions ease at the bathing beach is the Station Street parking lot, where the market first began its operation in 1977. The hours are 9 a.m. to noon.
Check out the ordering instructions and details about which vendors are participating on the Hingham Farmers Market website, www.hinghamfarmersmarket.org.
"This is a great sign of spring!" said Selectmen Chair Karen Johnson recently when HFM President Mark Cullings presented the board with the new plan. "The farmers market is so important to folks in Hingham and beyond."
The way the new system will work is that during regular HFM hours, customers who have placed orders from the eight current produce and protein (seafood, beef, poultry, eggs, and pork) vendors earlier in the week will be directed to drive through the market to their vendors’ stations. Orders will be placed in their vehicles by the vendors.
Signage will direct market patrons in and out of the lot, and maps will be provided to help them locate individual vendors. Customers picking up orders will be asked to display a sign with their name for easy identification by vendors from whom they have ordered.
There's a learning curve to the new system, so be sure to become familiar with it to ensure the best experience possible!
By: Carol Britton Meyer
HinghamLink is a volunteer service connecting people who want to help with people who need help during the COVID-19 crisis.
This service is available to seniors, as well as other residents, who would like to hear a friendly voice on the other end of the phone line when they’re feeling isolated, can't get out to pick up groceries, or who just need assistance in getting through the day. A trash removal service is provided for Hingham seniors.
Volunteers wanting to make calls or to lend a helping hand, as well as those looking for assistance or an encouraging phone call, can sign up on the HinghamLink website. It's quick and easy to do!
The website is also home to the Face Mask Task Force and the colllaborative Hingham Food Project, which was created to ensure that no Hingham resident who is struggling during this challenging time goes hungry.
All services are free, and more volunteers are welcome. Those requesting a call or services will be matched with a volunteer.
For more information, to sign up as a volunteer, or to receive a phone call or to request assistance, visit hinghamlink.com.
By Carol Britton Meyer
Now that it's spring, with summer fast approaching, one's thoughts turn naturally to the Hingham Bathing Beach in anticipation of swimming, sunbathing, and picnics while enjoying beautiful views of the harbor.
But because of COVID-19, including concerns about large gatherings and social distancing guidelines set forth by the state, the Bathing Beach Trustees are uncertain as to how the season will unfold.
Beach plans are in the formative stages, "largely dependent on the overlying state regulations and getting the appropriate approvals at the town level," Trustee Alan Perrault said recently.
While working cooperatively with various town boards and Hingham Farmers Market organizers in planning for the upcoming season, the trustees were awaiting word from Gov. Charlie Baker about whether he would extend the state's stay-at-home advisory beyond the current May 4 date. That happened recently, when it was extended to May 18.
"In a perfect world we'd open sometime in July," according to Perrault -- but that's not a given due to the COVID-19 crisis.
In the meantime, let's hope things settle down enough so that beach lovers will be able to spend at least part of the summer at the bathing beach.