Thanks for another successful lights contest |

Thanks for another successful lights contest

by Karen Brier
The Beards won first-place in last year's light contest in Ruhenstroth.
Special to The R-C |

Congratulations to Jim and Christine Beard at 1994 Mule Lane, the winner of our 2013 Ruhenstroth lights contest. Judges, Katherine Byington, 14, Grace McNalley, 13 and Jacob Brier, 11 were unanimous in their decision. The children also picked two other favorites: 1898 Wiseman at the corner of Highway 395 and the McCrosky house at 769 Pinto Circle. Everyone remembers last year’s winner Dave and Lisa Prosser at 701 Pinto who very kindly helped find judges again this year, but are ineligible to win again this year. A big Ruhenstroth thank you to Howie Althouse for making our sign for the last time this year, and to Fred Schnaare who has volunteered to help make a new, permanent sign for next year. For 2014 we will begin a new tradition of handing down the sign from one winner to the next.

I love driving into the neighborhood on dark evenings and being greeted by the decorated trees and fences and homes: it is such a balm for my soul and I appreciate all the hard work and creativity that goes into it. I even managed (with my friend Beth Francis’ help) to get up a few lights of my own this year.

I hope everyone has had a merry Christmas with family and friends. We did, though it wasn’t quite what we’d planned, which was driving to Atlanta to attend my nephew’s wedding and Christmas with my family. But the weather forecasts was for storms and even tornados all along our route, so we exercised common sense and stayed home. I’m sorry we missed the wedding and seeing my family, but it was nice to spend our first Christmas here. We have been pushing ourselves to finish projects for the house and school and work and we were more than a little burned out. It was nice to sit back and enjoy the beautiful weather and a little peace on earth here in Ruhenstroth.

I also enjoyed watching our neighborhood come together over the repair of the mailbox cluster area. I got so many calls and emails offering money and support. Our county commissioner, Barry Penzel even got involved and kindly made a few phone calls. He is investigating whether or not the county can apply a chip set to the area – not as permanent as paving, but should hold up pretty well. He is working to resolve the finger pointing going on between the county and the USPS because it seems more than a little odd to him that the easement doesn’t include maintenance.

A very special thank you to Jack and his friend Don who came in and leveled the area and filled in the holes with a load of gravel dirt. Also to all who donated or pledged: Roberta Ward, Nancy Rehfeldt, Doug Fong, Jeffery and Kristine Mallison and the Briers. Don assures me he will keep on eye out, especially along the edges where people tend to peel out and dig holes, so drive slower, please.

Reach Karen Brier at, or 790-0072.