The Scene: January 2021

The Scene
By Jane Harrison

I will be so glad to see the backside of 2020!

That whole week of Christmas was very disconcerting. A surprise phone call from one of the Directors of S.T.A.R.S. on Christmas Day told me about the avalanche that caused considerable damage to The Grand Lodge at Belleayre. The photos (courtesy of the Belleayre FaceBook page) are shocking! But even so, the cascade of rock, snow and ice came to rest exactly in the portion of the lodge where she, I and the other Directors sit every year we attended the benefit for HEART OF THE CATSKILLS. The benefit didn’t take place this year due to COVID.

HEART OF THE CATSKILLS is a wonderful organization that operates a no-kill shelter. I adopted my Lefty and Missy Mags (not their names at the time) from them back in 2011. What impressed me more than anything was in addition to telling me about their shots and general health condition, they also clued me in on their personalities and the little quirks the staff had observed.

S.T.A.R.S. stands for Second Time Around Rescue & Sanctuary. This is also a wonderful organization, but of a most unique kind. They maintain a strict limit on the number of kitties and Cocker Spaniels in their sanctuary because of the vision of the group. They take in the elderly, the chronically ill, those suffering from badly healed injuries….in other words, the unadoptable. They give the unadoptable a quality of life. If you are on FaceBook, I suggest you check out the pages of both organizations.

It is not all doom, though. I spoke with MATT WILLIAMS, my writer friend from Canada, mid December because at long last, the third of the trilogy is being released.

I became familiar with Matt’s writing when we first became friends and I began following the articles in UNIVERSE TODAY. He is a scientific journalist specializing in anything to do with Astronomy. Astronomy always meant just the stars to me. Boy was I wrong. The more articles I read of Matt’s, the more I realized there was a lot more to it. Of all definitions I researched, the one from Wikipedia is probably the best I’ve found to explain exactly what this is, “astronomy is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain their origin and evolution. Objects of interest include planets, moons, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and comets.” Wow, who knew?

So here I am, extoling the writing of a SciFi trilogy that I would have bypassed completely were it not for my respect for Matt’s talents and knowledge. I would not have chosen SciFi to read BUT I am so glad I did. The writing is fluent and cohesive, but it’s how his lead characters hooked me from the first book, THE CRONIAN INCIDENT, kept my attention riveted through his second; THE JOVIAN MANIFESTO and I have no doubt will continue in the third in this trilogy, THE FROSTLINE FRACTURE, which was released this Christmas week and is available on I really am looking forward to reading this one, as well.

Get to know my friend at

I also heard from another wonderfully artistic friend last week, renowned in quilting circles around the globe, KATHARINA LITCHMAN, wishing me Happy Holidays and sharing her latest creation with me. This quilt is exquisite in the colors used and I’m awestruck by the precision adhered to in the cutting and piecing together. And that’s just the end game. There is also the selection of the fabrics, often among those specifically for the serious quilter. It’s all very much like the selection, cutting and piecing of stained glass, my business for several years, so I can appreciate the artistry. Her quilts are not meant for a bed, but to be displayed like the artwork they are. This one is 60 inches by 60 inches.

With COVID-19 raging in Sullivan County at 50 – 60 new positive cases per day, please continue to observe all safety guidelines.

Stay safe, stay strong.
Until next time.