Toasting 2022 with champagne and herring

By Joan Hadac

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(708) 496-0265 • [email protected]

Hello everyone. So, the holidays are over. How did you celebrate? I love Christmas because I get to see family, some of whom I haven’t laid eyes on since Christmas 2019.

New Year’s is a much quieter celebration. I have to admit, it’s hard staying up until midnight these days. If I do, I like to celebrate with a glass of champagne and herring in cream sauce. It’s something my mom used to eat every New Year’s at midnight, and I enjoy my annual treat. It brings back memories of when we were both younger. No one else in my immediate family is a fan of herring.

One thing I miss about the holidays is the decorations. They bring additional light to long, dark nights. However, since we are now past the winter solstice–which occurred on Dec. 21–I know the days are getting longer, second by second. It’s a nice thought.

Welcome home, Brayden!

You may recall in this column on Dec. 15, I wrote about the Zygadlo-Collopy family and how their home on the 5700 block of West 64th Street caught fire at about 6:05 a.m. Monday, Nov. 29—barely four days after Thanksgiving.

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Days before his release from a hospital, Brayden looks eager to return to Clearing and back with his mom and grandpa. –Supplied photo

Thanks in part to the working smoke detectors in the home, three of the four people in the house escaped with their lives; but firefighters found the body of family matriarch Susan, age 60, in a first-floor bedroom.

All three survivors were injured to varying degrees: Susan’s husband, John, 63; daughter, Melissa, 34; and Melissa’s son, Brayden, age 7.

Well, after a grueling regimen in a hospital burn unit, Brayden was at long last scheduled to be discharged a week ago (too late for my deadline) and head to a new home in Clearing. Neighbors and friends were planning a “welcome home” motorcade. Great idea! If I have a photo to share, I certainly will, next week.

New year, new leaders

The new year brings new leadership to the St. Jane de Chantal Senior Club (at St. Faustina Parish). The new officers are Linda Gracis, president; Theresa Aleman, secretary; Theresa Maurella, treasurer; and Corinne Filips and Arlene Slaga, sergeants-at arms. The program committee consists of Theresa, Corinne, Martha Monahan and Arlene Slaga. Rita Wodarski is the liturgist, and Jackie Mintal, Bernie Persak and Fred Persak are the trustees.

The group will not meet in January. Their next meeting will be held Monday, Feb. 7. I’ll give you more details when I receive them.

At the Garfield Ridge Library

Adults may head over to the Garfield Ridge Branch Library, 6348 S. Archer, and participate in the Games People Play at 2 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 13, 20 and 27. Beat the winter blues with other adults playing Scrabble, chess, checkers, cards, word-search puzzles and more.

  • If you want to get into the Mardi Gras spirit, find an old T-shirt and create a mask with a T-shirt sleeve–and you don’t have to know how to sew. This program will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 21.
  • Winter crafts are offered to youngsters ages 2 to 6. Your child can make a craft and then stay for playtime and games. Those age 6 and older can drop by at 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 11 and 25 for After School Crafts. They can make a craft to take home.

For more information on these and other programs, call (312) 747-6094.

At the Clearing Library

The Mahjong Club meets from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Fridays in January and February at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 W. 63rd Place.

  • Kids age 9 and older can attend a puppetry workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22. Registration is required due to space constraints. Please include the number of children and adults attending with you. The Marc Dunworth Foundation for the Performing Arts is presenting this basic class in puppetry with the intent to build on accumulated knowledge and experience for future classes. Each successive class will get more complex as it introduces all participants to various forms of puppets and puppetry.

The Marc Dunworth Foundation, located in Clearing, is a nonprofit organization founded to promote and encourage the performing arts, especially the puppetry arts through grants, scholarships, performances and education.

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Joan Hadac

For more information on these and other programs and to register for the workshop, call (312) 747-5657.

When attending library functions, pandemic guidelines must be observed, including wearing a mask and maintaining at least a six feet distance from staff and other patrons.

Also on the calendar

Two Holy Martyrs Parish offers you a chance to get out and mingle with other adults on Sunday, Jan. 16 in Flannery Hall at St. Rene Goupil, 6949 W. 63rd Place, to play bingo. Doors open at 12:30 p.m., and the games begin at 1:30 p.m. The cost is $20 at the door. For more information, call the parish office at (773) 767-1523.

Everyone is invited for a family meal and Christmas caroling when the St. Faustina Kowalska Parish Polish Club and the Zbóje z Gór offers a traditional parish family Oplatek, a Christmas gathering luncheon immediately following the 12:30 p.m. Mass on Sunday, Jan. 16 in Ward Hall, 5151 S. McVicker.

Tickets are $30 per person and children under 12 are $10. Tickets and more information are available by calling, Maria Horbal at (773) 842-4999, Stanisław Pępek at (773) 266-1333, Zoϔia Koszyłko at (773) 386-0842 or Józef Sitko at (312) 617-2243. Treat yourself to a wonderful meal and great conversation.

Have a great week and I’ll see you soon.

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