FHA Newsletter 2021-12 December

FHA Newsletter 2021-12 December

The Belted Gazette Winter300LP


December 2021    Volume 40   Number 11

President’s Message

We have all heard the saying “It takes a Village to raise a child.” Since being elected to serve as your President of the FHA, I just keep thinking that “It takes a Village to run a Village”.

Our Village is now 45 years old. As we all know, as we age things start to break down, and we need to work a little harder to keep everything running smoothly. We are unique because our developer, Fitch Creations, is still building homes here and owns and manages the Village Center, Camden (or Jenny’s) Park, the pastures and farm animals, as well as a lot of additional property. We also have numerous service groups that help govern their part of the community, although over 400 homes do not have a separate service group. This can all be very confusing for residents, who often do not know who to call when they see something that needs to be addressed. Moreover, due at least in part to the pandemic, there has been more turnover of existing homes than usual, and a greater number of new homes have been built as well. So let me extend a warm welcome to all the new residents who may not have gotten to really experience Village life given all the concerns about Covid-19.

Having served two years as your Vice President, I learned firsthand that our community is an amazing place to live, but it takes effort to keep it that way. I was fortunate to serve with nine other wonderful individuals who took their duties very seriously and spent many hours fulfilling the tasks assigned to them as Board members. I was also fortunate to serve with great volunteers on our Long-Range Planning Committee, our Nominating Committee, and our Wastewater Task Force. Many other volunteers have helped the community by managing our website, scheduling events at The Gathering Place, organizing our Food Trucks, helping others through Fearrington Cares, and on and on and on. Heartfelt thanks to so many who work behind the scenes to make our Village the best.

As the incoming President, I do have some goals for the year ahead. First and foremost, I want the Board to figure out how we can implement many of the ideas that were identified through the community survey. I am also hopeful that we can address our covenants issues. Every home in Fearrington is part of the FHA, but the covenants for each phase are just a little different from one another. Moreover, a lot has changed since the original document was written in the 70s. My hope is to have one streamlined set of FHA covenants (the service groups will still have their own). We have formed a committee and retained a lawyer to assist us, but we could use more people to work on this endeavor. In addition, given all the development that is going on around us, I would love to see a group of residents come together to stay on top of the land use issues that may affect us all, particularly given the inadequate roads in our area and the lack of other infrastructure. I also want to strengthen the relationship between the FHA Board and the Service Group boards as well as with Fitch Creations. In other words, lots and lots to do.

The new website will go live soon. It should make it much easier to find out what’s going on in the Village and to volunteer. I hope to be able to meet many of you in person in the months ahead. In the meantime, let me wish all of you the Happiest of Holidays!

Rose Krasnow, president@fhaboard.org

FHA Board Members

Our Fearrington Homeowners’ Association (FHA) is a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to the health, safety, and welfare of residents. In addition to fostering resident participation, the Board is responsible for maintenance of common property and covenant enforcement. For additional details, including job descriptions, visit the FHA tab on our webpage fearringtonfha.org.

PresidentRose Krasnow
Vice PresidentAmy Ghiloni
SecretaryJudy Graham
TreasurerTony Daniels
CommunicationsTony Carroll
Community Affairs
Pam Bailey
CovenantsRic Frank
Grounds and LandscapingZachary Traywick
Health, Safety and SecurityWarren Ort
Infrastructure and FacilitiesMark Haslam

The Belted Gazette

Newsletter Staff:
Jan KowalProduction Editor
Ann MelchiorManager
Jenny Walker
Assistant Manager
Deborah Repplier
Features Editor, Copy Editor; & Proofreader
Jackie Walters
Features Editor, Copy Editor; & Proofreader
Leslie Palmer
Graphic Designer & Photo Editor
Gordon PitzTech Advisor; FHA Advisor
Printing and Distribution:
Carol KurtzBarbara Amago
This Month’s Contributors
Pam BaileyTad McArdle
Gordon Pitz
Leslie Palmer
Rose Krasnow
Deborah Repplier


Content deadlines are the 15th of the previous month. All persons submitting content will receive a confirmation email.

Email submissions to: editors@fearringtonfha.org.

Do you have content for an upcoming newsletter? Email us at the above address and we will send you the Newsletter Guidelines.

The Belted Gazette is produced by the Fearrington Homeowners Association (FHA), by and for the residents of Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, NC.

The Belted Gazette contains community news, reports from the FHA Board members, items of interest to residents, and announcements of club and neighborhood activities.

The Belted Gazette is published electronically eleven times a year (July/August is a combined issue). A link to the current issue is emailed to all residents who have an email address in the FHA Directory. A PDF copy of the current issue and back issues can be found on the FHA website (fearringtonfha.org).

Fearrington Preserve Update:  A Partial Victory

On Monday evening, November 15, the Board of Commissioners discussed the application from the developers of Fearrington Preserve (Congruus LLC) to add 184 acres of land that they own to the 2017 Land Use Map that outlined the area suitable for development under the Compact Community Ordinance (CCO).

I testified during the public input part of the meeting against the request, as did several others from Fearrington Village and Briar Chapel. Following a presentation by the applicant, Planning Board member George Lucier explained why that body had voted (8 – 3) to deny the request.

After a somewhat heated discussion, Commissioner Jim Crawford made a motion to approve the request. The Chair of the Board, Mike Dasher, asked for a second, and hearing none, made the second himself. The motion actually failed on a 3 – 2 vote, with Diana Hales, Karen Howard and Franklin Gomez Flores voting against it.

Unfortunately, our elation was short-lived. Since the motion to approve had failed, Karen Howard introduced a motion to deny the application. Diana Hales seconded, but this motion also failed, because Gomez Flores voted the other way.

When no one seemed to know what this result meant, the County Attorney stated that the matter was still on the table. He suggested that the various parties hold discussions in the days ahead to understand what information the applicant needed to provide that might break the stand-off, one way or the other. Mr. Gomez Flores made it clear that, at the very least, he wanted to see a conceptual plan outlining what the applicant was planning to build and where.

We do not know when this matter will come back before the Board of Commissioners. Hopefully, it will be after the holidays, but don’t bet on that. It was clear that all the comments received from the Planning Board, Fearrington residents, and others had a lot to do with the initial vote, but the eventual outcome of the meeting was very unusual, to say the least. We will do our best to keep you informed and let you know when it is time to make your voices heard again.

—Rose Krasnow, president@fhaboard.org

To Our Area and Block Contacts

Thanks to our area and block contacts who keep us connected! Through the efforts of several experienced contacts, we are rebooting the program to get back in gear after heroic efforts to keep going during Covid. Here is what you can expect sometime in 2022.

    1. Communications will be improved! We now have a contact group established in the FHA Board directory so that we can reach out with important information. If you have not already confirmed your continued interest in serving as a block or area contact, please do so by emailing your name and your area to community@fhaboard.org. We also plan to hold quarterly meetings to discuss issues and ideas. Hopefully, we can have these meetings in person soon.
    2. Training for contacts will be held. Vicki Field and Hilary Murray are in the process of developing the training which should be both informative and entertaining! We are targeting February for the rollout.
    3. We are making efforts to work in tandem with other groups that welcome and orient newcomers. More on that topic as plans start coming together.
    4. More on communications. We hope to set up a chat site for all the contacts where we can informally share news and experiences.

Finally, a reminder: Confirm your continued interest in serving as a contact by emailing your name and your area to community@fhaboard.org! And if you know of others who would like to fill this role, please encourage them to use the same email address to express their interests.

—Pam Bailey, community@fhaboard.org


Building a Community with The Belted Gazette

Stepping down from my position as Director of Communications, I reflect on two years’ experience with the FHA newsletter. Some major changes have taken place in that time. The most obvious is that it has become almost entirely an electronic medium. While many residents miss the paper copy, going electronic allowed us to expand the coverage significantly and include illustrations, while lowering the amount of your FHA dues devoted to printing it.

The growth of the newsletter can be seen in greater coverage of issues addressed by the FHA Board and in the inclusion of illustrated feature articles providing interesting and informative coverage of life in and around Fearrington. It continues to provide space for clubs and other groups, and it incorporates the monthly newsletter of Fearrington Cares because most readers want that newsletter to be there. Providing the newsletter with a name of its own, The Belted Gazette, symbolizes its growing importance in village life.

Credit for these changes goes first to a Board, led by President Carl Angel, that wanted to encourage better communication. The eventual success of the enterprise was entirely due to a new team of editors who have worked extraordinarily hard to produce an excellent newsletter.

If I have any regrets, it is that I have disappointed a number of residents with my refusal to include in the newsletter articles expressing their pet peeves. I owe them an explanation, although not an apology.

All of us see incidents that annoy us. Motorists complain about pedestrians walking or standing in the street. Pedestrians complain about motorists driving too fast. Some complain about people not wearing masks. Others complain about being required to wear masks. And everyone complains about dog owners failing to clean up their pets’ by-products. And a significant number of complainants demand that “something be put in the newsletter.”

I have steadfastly refused to allow The Belted Gazette to become a vehicle for complaints. To explain why, I quote an article devoted to HOA newsletters:

A newsletter that contains a long list of rules, warnings, and potential sanctions for violators will not build readership. Worse, it can undermine the development of a sense of community that the newsletter is trying to achieve.

Expressed in a different way, it does no good—it does nothing to mitigate the behavior generating the complaint, and it can backfire.

I could provide a long technical explanation with evidence for my claim. I’ll not subject you to it, although I’ll be happy to refer you to relevant sources if you ask. However, I’ll give a brief summary of why a complaint in a newsletter does little or nothing to modify the behavior in question.

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Some of you may recognize this as the title of a book by Daniel Kahneman describing a very influential theory of how people think. Briefly, when faced with a situation that demands a response, we can approach it in two ways. “Fast” thinking is rapid and automatic, based on innate predispositions and well-learned habits. “Slow” thinking is deliberate and careful; we use whatever we know that might be relevant. Because it is automatic, fast thinking is easy. Slow thinking is difficult and easily disrupted.

Now consider the effect that reading The Belted Gazette has on your behavior. You read an article about why you should wear a mask, or you read that state law requires you to walk on the left facing traffic if there is no sidewalk. The article provides information you can think about, if and when you feel so inclined. However, it cannot have an effect on automatic habits you acquired over a lifetime. The information may change your slow thinking; it will not alter your fast thinking.

Now look at the behavior that people are complaining about: walking (with or without the dog), driving, getting dressed, interacting with other people. All highly automatic. Where is your thinking directed as you engage in these behaviors? Probably towards anything other than the activity that annoys other people.

I am as concerned as you are about the dangers inherent in walking, driving, and interacting with groups of other people. My point is that if you really want to do something about behaviors that trouble you, focus on approaches that might be successful. There are ways to modify automatic behavior, although it is not easy.

Two approaches have been shown to work. One is to modify the situation so it elicits a different kind of automatic behavior from the one you are complaining about. The other is to adopt a long-term program to modify one especially important factor: the social norms that drive us all, i.e., the standards of behavior we take for granted.

If well designed, the first method works immediately. My favorite example is a method used by the City of Chicago for reducing accidents on a dangerous curve. In spite of warnings, flashing lights, and police cars, too many drivers took the curve too fast. The solution was to paint a series of white lines across the road, the gap between the lines becoming smaller as they approached the curve. This gave drivers the sense that they were driving faster and faster. Automatically, they slowed down.

Method two uses the idea that every message contains, somewhere, a reference to norms. A long series of complaints makes people think many or most residents behave this way. In fact, of course, Fearrington is one of the safest places to live in the country. Use this fact! The message should not be, “All these awful drivers”; it should be “In Fearrington, we drive carefully.”

Try it; you’ll like it. And The Belted Gazette will make for more enjoyable reading.

—Gordon Pitz, communications@fhaboard.org

FHA Board Election Result

At the annual meeting of the FHA on November 21, 2021, Fearrington Village residents elected a new FHA President and three new FHA Board members. Rose Krasnow, previously serving as Vice President, was elected President, succeeding Carl Angel who will be stepping down from the Board. Amy Ghiloni was elected to Rose’s former position of Vice President.

Also stepping down from the Board are Jesse Fearrington, Director of Grounds and Landscaping, and Gordon Pitz, Director of Communications. Their newly elected successors are Zachary Traywick and Tony Carroll.

At the annual meeting of the FHA on November 21, 2021, Fearrington Village residents elected a new FHA President and three new FHA Board members. Rose Krasnow, previously serving as Vice President, was elected President, succeeding Carl Angel who will be stepping down from the Board. Amy Ghiloni was elected to Rose’s former position of Vice President.

Also stepping down from the Board are Jesse Fearrington, Director of Grounds and Landscaping, and Gordon Pitz, Director of Communications. Their newly elected successors are Zachary Traywick and Tony Carroll

Also elected at the Annual Meeting were two new members of the Nominating Committee, Steve Gambino and Stephen Stewart. The Nominating Committee is charged with identifying and recruiting future members of the Board.



This Month’s Features

Scene Around Fearrington

All Aboard the Fearrington Light Railway

By Leslie Palmer

This month’s Scene Around Fearrington once again features a photographer’s captured images. While Jim Coplan’s photos are excellent, it is what he has created that will delight you.

Jim and Judy Coplan retired to Fearrington in 2016. Long before the move, Jim was already planning how to turn their backyard into a wonderland—a landscaped garden plus a garden railroad. Jim built most of the structures (which remain outdoors year-round), including a grist mill inspired by the Sudbury (MA) Wayside Mill and a covered bridge based on a prototype in Contoocook, NH. Jim also built all of the railroad cars from scratch. Trains are pulled by diminutive engines that work the same way as full-size locomotives, burning fuel (camping gas) to raise steam. Plants adjacent to the tracks include dwarf specimens and low-lying groundcovers, creating the illusion of trains running through a miniature world of their own.

Shortly after the railroad became operational, Jim began sharing his photos on Nextdoor. He recently created a group on Nextdoor, Friends of the Fearrington Light Railway, where he shares his creations and the changing scenes in the garden. “My goal,” he posted, “is to spread a bit of good cheer and give everyone a little mental respite. Ordinarily, I would have visitors in person, but times being what they are, for now, we will all have to settle for ND as a platform for sharing. Someday I hope to host guests again.” You can also see videos on YouTube or search for “Fearrington Light Railway.”

Jim grew up in Natick, Massachusetts. He is a retired pediatrician who specialized in working with children with developmental disabilities (www.drcoplan.com). His wife, Judy, is retired from a career in pediatric physical therapy. She is very tolerant of Jim’s activities, and one year gifted him with a sign that hangs over his workbench: “Still plays with trains.”



Chatham Artists Guild Studio Tour

By Leslie Palmer

The 29th Annual Chatham Artists Guild Studio Tour will welcome visitors into member artists’ studios on December 4th and 5th and on December 11th and 12th. Fifty-four members of the Guild will offer original works of art, including paintings, sculpture, pottery, photography, glass, wood, jewelry, and digital and fabric art. The Tour is self-guided, allowing for a relaxing drive through Chatham County’s rolling hills and pastoral farmlands. Visitors can use the map provided in the Tour brochure, which can be found in the November/December issue of Chatham Magazine, in local shops, or online at ChathamStudioTour.org.

Eight Fearrington artists will welcome you into their studios:

Studio # 20 Lee Kazanas      57 Stone Ledge 518-524-1323

Stoneware and porcelain pottery plus garden sculptures

Lee has been a Studio Potter for over 40 years, working primarily in functional high-fired stoneware and porcelain. His work has been featured in dozens of gallery shows, primarily on the East Coast. For many years, he owned and operated a regional craft gallery in the Adirondack mountains of Northern New York. https://chathamartistsguild.org/artists/lee-kazanas/

Studio # 21 Leslie Palmer     110 Creekwood 919-929-9268

Drawings, watercolor & mixed media paintings, giclée prints

Leslie’s drawings and watercolor and mixed media paintings present images of layered color, understated texture, and subtle brush movements. This visual poetry speaks directly in the language of the soul, emotions…of intuition. Her desire is to encourage reflection, quiet contemplation—a respite from life’s chatter. lesliepalmerfineart.com  

Studio # 21 Karen West        Tour Only: 110 Creekwood 919-457-8090

Home Studio, by appointment only: 923 Woodham 

Oil paintings and prints inspired by diverse subjects.

Karen began painting while an attorney engaged in international development finance. As a result, several of her paintings capture universal emotions—joy, wonder, dedication, defiance. She also paints landscapes, still life paintings, and animals in their habitats. KarenWestgallery.com

Studio # 22 Lani Chaves       167 Wintersage 919-414-6003 

Light-filled watercolors inspired by nature, giclée prints, greeting cards

Lani’s watercolor paintings reflect her goal to be completely open to all styles and every kind of subject matter. Her aim is to discover the essence of what she is painting. In her studio, you will find framed and unframed original watercolors of all sizes, plus a small selection of greeting cards and notecards. LaniChaves.com

Studio # 23 Forrest C. Greenslade, Ph.D.    149 Tinderwood 919-545-9743

Nature-inspired paintings and sculpture

Forrest was that kid you could always find turning over rocks in streams, looking for what wonders nature would disclose. This curiosity about the natural world led him to a serious life as a scientist and organizational executive. Now in retirement, Forrest is again doing what he did in grammar school—turning over rocks and sculpting and painting the wonders that nature discloses. organicforrestry.com/

Studio # 24 Eric Saunders    485 Beechmast 919-533-3030 

Photography—outdoor landscapes and architecture, natural and urban\

Eric’s preferred subject matter is pieces of outdoor landscapes and architecture, natural and urban. He sometimes uses digital manipulation of images. His work is oriented to “seeing” effective abstract compositions and communicating these compositions using whatever technical control is appropriate.

Studio # 26 Vidabeth Bensen           601 Stoneview 804-833-1401

Original hand-printed cards, t-shirts, framed and unframed prints, calendars

Vidabeth’s hand-pulled, original screen prints are created using stencils from hand-cut film, paper, or painted directly on the screen with drawing fluid and screen filler. Some of her work is printed on handmade paper and then collaged onto stretched canvas. Vidabeth’s recent work has taken a turn away from “edition prints” using more realistic subject matter toward “abstractions.” houseoflifeprints.com

Studio # 26 Minnie C. Gallman         Tour Only: 601 Stoneview 919-533-6616

Home Studio, by appointment only: 22 Speyside Circle

Photography and note cards depicting nature and eclectic subjects

Minnie’s photography is a creative outlet that encourages her to look at the world in a different way. While she enjoys photographing a variety of subjects—architecture, abstracts, people, boats, monuments, and old cars, her primary interest is nature photography. All her photos are printed on archival paper using archival inks. Minnie-Gallman.pixels.com.

Kindness, Pie, & a Strong Sense of Community

By Deborah Repplier

When you think about it, Fearrington Village is very eclectic, particularly in terms of neighborhood sections. Each neighborhood boasts its own unique character and charm, yet perhaps none more so than the OG—that is, the original section known as the “Historic District,” which covers Phases I – IV. The very first of these homes (a model house built on Benchmark) dates back to 1976, with the more recent houses being built in the mid-80s.

Architecture-wise, these homes retain a similar look and feel, with all being single-family dwellings offering a mix of one and two levels on wooded lots with sun-dappled trees. Some houses include garages. Many feature courtyards and screened porches. Property size runs from just under a half-acre to up to two or three. Where the diversity comes in is in the residents themselves. While much of Fearrington Village skews toward older adults with a median age of 72, the Historic District is home to all ages really, including a number of younger families with children.

Lucy and Sam Grist currently live in Phase I. They’ve sought out Fearrington Village twice as their home in the past 30 years. Lucy tells me, “We love the eclectic and maybe even eccentric elements of the Historic District. Nothing cookie-cutter about it, and the people who choose to live here are the same. We have neighbors in all ages and stages of life. It is so interesting to meet our neighbors. We moved in July of 2020 during the pandemic, and while we had met so many nice people in the neighborhood while just out walking, we were not aware of any neighborhood events where we could gather for fellowship. We wanted to bring our neighbors together just for the fun of it.”


The magnificent Piebald deer that inspired our Pie Parties Photo by Lucy Grist

The desire for fellowship is integral to both Lucy and Sam, perhaps stemming from Sam’s work as a Methodist pastor. While contemplating ideas for how they might inspire community to come together, they crossed paths while out walking with the elusive Piebald deer—a creature that has patches of white across the body due to genetic variations. Lucy was so wowed by this magnificent animal so rarely seen in the Village that it made perfect sense for the Piebald to become a mascot. And thus the idea of the Pie Party was born.

Party goers Grady Morrison & Betty Forbes enjoy the company & the pie Photo by Deborah Repplier

Yet while Lucy and Sam were the initiators of these neighborhood gatherings, folks have certainly stepped up to contribute, to weigh in on dates and times and frequency (Friday nights, quarterly)—and even to donate art, as one such gathering included an art swap. Turnouts have been a huge success. There’s currently a Nextdoor group called Historic District of FV Neighbors, where discussions about Pie Parties, pie recipes, and other things not even related to pie take place. Lynn Ferguson points out that the Pie Parties have been a “good place to meet new neighbors and to learn of all the ways to make special pies.”

Mary Charlton & Ted Ehrhard playing for pie Photo by Lucy Grist

The Pie Parties have been held at the bottom of Benchmark, next to the playground, picnic tables, and tennis courts. Participants have been varied, especially by age, and the events lots of fun. Musicians have volunteered to perform for pie. Kids play on the swings and run around racing and chasing. Well-behaved dogs on leash with tails wagging and eyes ever watchful for tidbits to drop meet and greet fellow dogs and humans alike. And the pie—oh my, the pie! There has been such a mix of platters appearing on the tables—and many liberal interpretations at that. From the most exquisite looking and tasting homemade endeavors (I’m thinking of Zora Maynard’s pear tarte—equally as eloquent as it was tasty!) to home-baked veggie quiches to store-bought apple pie to takeout pizza pie! And of course, there’s Grady Morrison’s now somewhat famous, highly requested chicken pie.

So many yummy pies to choose from Photo by Lucy Grist

Fearrington Village residents come from all over the country and beyond Photo by Lucy Grist

At the first gathering, there was a posterboard of a large map of the USA, and neighbors were asked to place a pin and write in the margins where they were from. Perhaps no surprise, people came from all over the country, some even born internationally—yet one thing they all shared: everyone feels happy to be living in Fearrington Village at this point in time! JoAnne Davis comments about the Pie Parties, “It’s been such fun, a nice way to meet neighbors and make them friends. I’ve been here almost 10 years and have not met so many neighbors in one place!”

Sam, Lucy, & brand new Historic District neighbors Edelle & Marcia Photo by Deborah Repplier

So far, there have been three Pie Parties with plans for a fourth sometime in early 2022, hopefully indoors at a south-of-Village-Way location. One day, we hope that Mister Fitch might come by. While the theme has and will continue to be “pie,” it’s not really just about pie, of course. These gatherings are a way for newcomers and old-timers alike to meet new friends. As Lucy explains, Pie Parties “offer people an authentic experience that is unpretentious and real, where they can let their hair down, visit intergenerationally, and, as we say in church ‘love on one another.’”

You’ll find more photos of Pie Parties and news about upcoming gatherings when on the Nextdoor group. This group was created primarily for the Historic District residents, but in the spirit of community and hospitality, all are welcome—especially if you love pie!

Originally from Massachusetts, Deborah Repplier moved to Chatham County in 2007—for the past 3.5 years, she’s called the Historic District of Fearrington Village home. More often than not, you can find her walking the trails with her two Standard Poodles.

A Change in the Weatherbend

By Tad McArdle

Rick & Sally Osmer. Photo by Tad McArdle

If you are among the many who have noticed some beautiful landscape changes along the north side of Village Way between Windstone and Beechmast, credit goes to Rick and Sally Osmer. The Osmers moved to Fearrington in the summer of 2019, just before Covid hit, and pretty quickly got to work on the large, wooded area that came with the house, with a back yard that widens dramatically as it approaches the Way. According to Rick, “We didn’t look for a place just in Fearrington; we had heard of Fearrington, but it was the house that attracted us. And now, as we learn more and more about this community, we tell ourselves ’We were so lucky we bought a house out here.’ We didn’t really know what a gift this village was. We just wanted a one-floor house so we could age in place as long as possible. And we really liked the house immediately. We had done a lot of gardening work in our yard in Princeton, so during the pre-vaccine Covid scare when people our age were very cautious about going out, we spent that time working on our property.”

Front garden with Hellebores Photo by Tad McArdle

Rick and Sally are ordained ministers who both served churches in their early years together. After attending Harvard Divinity School, Rick and Sally earned their Master of Divinity degrees at Yale. Then Rick earned a Ph.D. in Theology from Emory University. After Rick accepted an appointment as the Ralph B. and Helen S. Ashenfelter Professor of Mission and Evangelism at Princeton in 1990, Sally’s ministry turned to managing non-profits to help underprivileged people. She also served for a time as director of The Crisis Ministry, a large food pantry in central New Jersey. While Rick was teaching at Princeton, they built a house outside of Waynesville, NC, on the side of a mountain with “a bunch of good friends who lived in that area,” says Rick. “We always thought we would live there. But the problem was, we were 10 or 15 years younger than a lot of the people there, so when we reached retirement age, many of them had died or moved into care units. It’s not that easy to live on a mountainside. So we decided we would move closer to our daughter and our grandchildren, and you can see evidence of that scattered through the yard.”

Slope from Village Way with erosion-mitigation plantings Photo by Tad McArdle

Sally said, “We started in the front yard, clearing out a bunch of tree stumps and stinky mushrooms, and ended up with a nice rock garden, with lots of hellebores, some of which we transplanted to the bird garden in back. Our son gave us two Japanese Maples.”

Rock Garden Photo by Tad McArdle

According to Rick, one of the reasons they planted evergreens in the back yard was for privacy since they didn’t have screens on the bedroom when they first arrived. With a somewhat oddly shaped backyard sloping down toward the creek, erosion was a factor to cope with. “We were kind of driven to the planting. A lot of the water, even from up towards the Village, runs down. Some erosion was taking place, and so we had to do some stuff immediately. We built a baby rock wall, and I dug a little thing right behind it. Our next-door neighbor Dan Soileau has all kinds of equipment and knowledge. He’s been fabulous, has even done some things to his yard to help us out. So, we did that and then started planting stuff here to hold the dirt. The latest thing we’ve done is to build a little rock garden—we call it the bird garden, which is the final thing we built. That was over really leached-out soil, and last winter we planted some rye grass.”

Moss Path Photo by Tad McArdle

The creek area was totally covered with wisteria when they moved in. They had it bulldozed and covered in wood chips to keep the wisteria from coming back and to hold the bank in place. “We planted nandina and woodland holly bushes,” said Sally, “but they needed more sun, so we transplanted them. For the weeping cherry tree to turn red, we’ll have to wait till spring.”

Protective fencing Photo by Deborah Repplier

Rick and Sally have names for several of the yard’s intriguing features. Here is what they call their “Moss Path,” which started itself, moss being less critical of soil quality than most grasses. They have planted some winter grass, but it hasn’t come up yet, according to Sally. She is eager for the winter grass to get going and make the unplanted area prettier.

have had to install some protective fencing around some of their recent plantings because the superabundant Fearrington deer have been rubbing their antlers against the tree trunks to get rid of their summertime velvety covering containing a form of insulin that aids antler growth.

“The greatest thing about all this,” says Rick, “is that so many people stop and talk to us; they even stop their cars. You wouldn’t believe the number of people who stop by and say ‘You’re working so hard, you’re doing a great job.’”

The Osmers are fortunate to have found Fearrington, and Fearrington is no doubt happy to add these two thinkers and doers to its population. I once read of someone who dreamed that an entire army of theologians had appeared over the horizon, headed in his direction (can’t recall why). Considering the theologians I have met in Fearrington, including Rick and Sally Osmer, if that admittedly unlikely event should happen to me in real life, I would just grin and get my welcome wagon ready (“Coffee? Tea? So what’s it all about?”).

A native of rural western Pennsylvania, Tad McArdle has lived in Fearrington since 2010 and lives happily with his wife, Mary Roodkowsky, on North Langdon. Tad’s interests include writing, golf, the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Wallace Stevens, physical fitness, Latin and African percussion, and providing quick and simple solutions to the major problems facing humanity (any suggestions?).

old time food truck

More Food Trucks to Deliver Diverse & Delicious Takeout Dining

We continue to welcome visiting food trucks to the Gathering Place for your takeout dining pleasure. The growing diversity of vendors brings street food favorites from around the world conveniently to our neighborhood. The full schedule along with menus is always posted on our community hotspot page at www.streetfoodfinder.com/fearringtonvillage where you can sign up for a weekly email and also leave feedback for the vendors.

For the month of December, our schedule is as follows:

December 8 – Cousins Maine Lobster
December 22 – The Blue Window
December 29 – Chirba Chirba Dumpling

Online ordering is available through the hotspot page and most vendors begin accepting pre-orders the day before their arrival with one notable exception—Cousins Maine Lobster. To pre-order their lobster specialties, you must use their special app which is available from the App Store and Google Play. Also note that Cousins does not begin accepting orders until 3 pm on the day of their arrival. Additionally, keep in mind that all food trucks welcome walk-up orders, so please don’t be discouraged by technology or pre-order time slots being filled.

As we continue to enjoy this convenient and appetizing amenity in our community, please remember that food truck fare is not permitted in the Village Center. Kindly pick up your meal and let your taste buds travel afar while you dine at home.

This month’s Puzzler

Question: In the March issue of The Belted Gazette, Tad McArdle introduced us to CORA, the acronym for Chatham Outreach Alliance. As the Chatham Outreach Alliance prepares for the upcoming holiday season, this month’s puzzler asks: From what two languages could the name Cora derive and what are the meanings of those words:

Answer to November Puzzler:

Dawn Redwood: Fossil Tree in Fearrington Village

Dawn Redwood: Fossil Tree in Fearrington Village Photo by Carol Kurtz

Question: Where are fossil trees located in Fearrington Village and what is their common name?

Answer:  Metasequoia glyptostroboides is a mouthful, but the common name “Dawn Redwood” runs easily off the lips. This fossil tree can be found at the edge of the south pond in Jenny’s Park (aka Camden Park), along the edge of the pond at Village Way and East Camden and in Creekwood Path areas where they were planted by the Arbor Day Committee. At one time, this tree was known only in the fossil record and was believed to be extinct for millions of years. In the 1940s, an unlikely discovery of living specimens in a remote area of China prompted the collection of seeds. Since the climate and soil parameters were unknown for the tree, seeds were sent to a diversity of locations. Fortunately, the fossil tree is adaptive to a variety of zones and soils. In the spring, the flat leaves which resemble needles are soft as a feather. Now in the fall, the tree will turn a beautiful bronze color



Fearrington Groups and Organizations

Fearrington Democratic Club

Fearrington Democratic Club

The Democratic Club’s Zoominar topic on December 7 at 7 pm will be “The State of LGBTQ+ Policy in North Carolina.” It’s not just a talk about bathrooms! Rather, our speaker, Mr. J. Sailor Jones, will look back and ahead on state and local policy impacting North Carolina’s LGBTQ+ community. Mr. Jones is the Communications Director for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and an LGBTQ+ rights advocate.

To register and get the Zoom link, please use this link. This event will also be recorded and posted on the Club’s website: Fearrington Democratic Club – Welcome Page (fearringtondems.org).

TFearrington Duplicate Bridge Club

“Play duplicate bridge. It’s the ultimate social game for thinkers.” Join us FIVE times in December to unlock those “little grey cells” as Poirot would say. We will play every Wednesday in December (December 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29) at 1 pm at The Gathering Place. First time is free. Cost for playing is $7; that pays for use of the room, an accredited ACBL director, hand records, and snacks. See you there! Any questions, please contact Valorie Zentil, vzentil@gmail.com.

TFearrington Genealogy Group

December 14 meeting cancelled. See you in January 2022!
Happy Holidays!

TFearrington Green Scene

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has given us all a profound lesson in “flexibility.” Flexibility as in changing plans, often on relatively short notice, as information and conditions change around us. It is in that spirit and that reality that I write to inform fellow Green Scene participants that our previously discussed topic for our December 8 meeting—Fran DiGiano’s presentation, “What’s in Your Water?”—is now going to take place in January. Date and time to be determined. 

Our meeting in the large room of The Gathering Place at 11:00 am on Wednesday, December 8, will now feature a presentation by Shannon Culpepper, Recycling & Education Specialist, Chatham County Solid Waste & Recycling. Shannon will bring us up-to-date on the ever-evolving details of what is and is not recyclable in our community waste stream. Rules are constantly being recast as recycling processing technology advances. Come join us for an informative hour of “talking trash.”

—Jason Welsch, Moderator, Cell Phone: 914-806-4852

Fearrington Village Singers

Plans are on track for the Fearrington Village Singers (FVS) to return with a concert in May of 2022. Rehearsals are scheduled to begin on Thursday, January 6, 2022. Men rehearse together on Thursdays beginning on January 6 at The Gathering Place at 4:00 pm. Men’s sectional rehearsals are on Mondays. Women rehearse together on Mondays starting January 10 at The Gathering Place at 4:00 pm—with sectionals on Thursdays. New singers are welcome. No audition is required, but we do require that you be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. For more information, contact FVS co-president Kathryn Doster at kathryn.j.doster@gmail.com

Fearrington Yacht Club

Ahoy, Mates! Our ship is sailing again, and our first port of call is a “Happy Hour Mixer” for current and former members and for residents who might like to join. The mixer will be Friday, January 21 from 4-6 pm at The Gathering Place. Although the annual $15 per person membership dues are usually required for participation in FYC events, they are NOT necessary for this occasion. Membership applications will be available at the mixer, along with news about upcoming events. The FYC is a party and travel club which usually has two parties and two regional trips a year planned by members. NO YACHT REQUIRED! For event information and membership form, log onto the FYC page at: https://group.fearringtonfha.org?yacht. And click on the FYC logo or, contact Commodore Maggie Tunstall at 919-542-0031 or metunstall@nc.rr.com.

United Way Campaign Continues at Fearrington Village

The Fearrington Village United Way campaign is underway, and we are excited to report 34% progress toward our campaign goal of $83,000! A total of $28,422 has been raised to date.

As a reminder, the Fearrington Village Campaign has been separated from the Galloway Ridge Campaign this year. This will allow for both residential areas to be recognized in the broader community for supporting our local United Way.

United Way supports hungry children and families and Chatham residents who are struggling with homelessness, senior isolation, or accessing healthcare. Will you please help United Way meet these urgent needs in our community?

Donate online at www.UnitedWayofChathamCounty.org/Donate. United Way will track your online donation and attribute your gift to the Fearrington Campaign using a multistep form. This means that the online

giving process happens over four steps on your screen. Step 1 is deciding the amount you’d like to give; Step 2 is inputting your personal information (address, phone number, etc.); Step 3 is noting additional details about your gift like which neighborhood you’d like it attributed to; and Step 4 is adding your credit card or electronic check information. If the United Way receives a donation without a neighborhood listed, they will use the mailing address to determine the location of the donor and credit the gift to the correct campaign.

You can also mail a donation to PO Box 1066, Pittsboro, NC 27312, or call the United Way office at 919-542-1110 to make a gift over the phone.

Community Agencies

Chatham Connecting

Bringing together those who need help with those who can help.

December! It’s high season for visiting with family and friends, gift-giving, and counting our blessings. It is also the time when many Chatham County Social Service and non-profit organizations look to your support for children, the elderly, and families in need. You can find a list of over 100 of these organizations at the Chatham Connecting website, www.chathamconnecting.org/. A special Holiday Wishes button makes it easy to navigate Chatham Social Services’ two programs, Christmas Wishes and Christmas Dreams, as well as other non-profits’ holiday wishes programs. Christmas Wishes provides holiday gifts for children in foster care and/or receiving services through the child welfare system. For details about participation in the program, please call 919-726-6270 and leave a message with your name & contact number, or email donate2christmaswishes@gmail.com. Christmas Dreams helps disabled adults and other elderly in need; holidays are an especially stressful time for many of these adults. If you would like to donate with gift certificates or personal care items, please email chathamchristmasdreams@gmail.com or call 919-714-9392. Finally, CORA, a Chatham County food pantry which serves meals year-round, needs support during the holidays. Contact CORA at www.corafoodpantry.org. Thank you.

Continuing Education

Shared Learning Association of Chapel Hill

Get Ready!! Shared Learning Association of Chapel Hill is preparing for its 13-week 2022 winter semester of non-credit courses. The term runs from mid-January through mid-May. Classes will be held in a new location, Church of the Reconciliation at 110 N. Elliott Road in Chapel Hill. Classes will meet both in a classroom and online and will be conducted by eager member moderators who determine study topics based on their interests, travels,
expertise, experiences, and curiosity. A modest membership fee entitles members to take as many courses as they wish. The Winter 2022 Catalog includes a registration form with full course descriptions and schedule and will be available after the first of December at http://www.sharedlearning.us. To receive a paper copy, contact Alice Parsons, amparson@uci.edu or 919-642-0606


Fearrington Cares material is edited by their staff and volunteers. Direct comments or questions to them at (919) 542-6877 or info@fearringtoncares.org.

Carolyn & John Boyle, editors

This Month’s Announcements
Holiday Closure
Anticipating 2022
Ethical Decision-Making at the End of Life
Gift Wrapping Fun!
A Chance to Be an Angel
Movement Classes
Support Groups Meeting in Person
Health Services
Support Groups via Zoom
Remember AmazonSmile!

Holiday Closure

Fearrington Cares Center Will Be Closed at End of Business on December 17 and Reopen on January 3.

The Center may be closed for the holidays, but our volunteers will be busy providing transportation and handyperson services. If you need assistance with either of these areas of service, call the Center at 919-542-6877 and leave a message in the appropriate mailbox; a volunteer will be in touch. The general mailbox WILL NOT BE MONITORED; all messages left there will be retrieved when we reopen on Monday, January 3.

Anticipating 2022

As the Director of Fearrington Cares, I have the privilege of working with a stellar staff and more than 200 generous volunteers. I see our staff and volunteers give 110% with open hearts and ready hands in service. This past year has been particularly difficult as we provided mostly virtual services. It is our sincere hope that 2022 will give us the opportunity to return to our normal efforts and to better them.

There are signs of hope that, in 2022, we will be able to gather a bit more freely in public places. For sure COVID will be in our midst, but with more vaccinations (including boosters) and continued vigilance, we hope to see a drop in positive tests and a decline in hospitalizations. In the new year, Fearrington Cares plans to provide additional movement classes and additional small group seminars. We will also be piloting new ways to support caregivers among us. We are grateful for your continued support as we adjust our sails for the winds that may come.

Please remember Fearrington Cares when you plan your end-of-year giving this Holiday Season. We exist to help all Fearrington residents enjoy better, less stressful lives. To do this we primarily depend on your generous (and tax deductible) contributions. We know that you have many important causes to choose from during this philanthropic season. Visit Fearrington Cares and learn how your donations are put to work supporting programs to help villagers thrive in Fearrington. Any donations at this time of year will help position us for a terrific year of continued service in 2022. For those who have contributed this year, you have our deep appreciation. Best wishes to all for happy and safe holiday celebrations and hopes for a great 2022.

Continuing Series: Ethical Decision-Making at the End of Life

The first two sessions in this four-part series explored the ethical and legal context for end-of-life decision-making, from foundational “right to choose” cases that brought bioethics into public awareness in the 1970s, to the present-day landscape related to medical aid in dying. In November, we used this background and encouraged participants to clarify and articulate their values about care at end of life. In this final session we will explore the range of available options for translating those values into purposeful advance care plans.

Session 4: Helping Others Know and Honor Your Wishes

Thursday, December 9, 7:00 pm (via Zoom)

Deb Love, JD, MBA, MA (Bioethics), an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the UNC Department of Social Medicine will complete our series by discussing:

·       Advance directives and portable medical orders—benefits and limitations.

·       Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED).

·       Dementia advance directives.

·       Differences between palliative care and hospice.

End-of-life doulas.

Gift Wrapping Fun!

Noon-2 pm, December 15, Fearrington Cares Center

Would you enjoy some company while getting your holiday gifts wrapped this year? Bring ALL OF THEM and any paper you have and our Fearrington Cares elves will help you create masterpieces to share. Fully vaccinated individuals, please join us for a bit of holiday cheer.

A Chance to Be an Angel

Fearrington Cares is collecting new socks, underwear, warm hats, and children’s pajamas until December 15 at noon. Items for all ages, and especially children and teens, are welcome and will be used to help the agencies in Chatham County respond to immediate needs as winter approaches! Bring items to the Fearrington Cares Center and place in the box outside the door if the Center is closed. Not everyone reads the newsletter so please spread the word in your neighborhood and social groups.

Movement Classes at the Fearrington Cares Center
(unless otherwise noted)

  • Mondays, 11:30 am—Chair Yoga (Via Zoom; no class December 20, 27.)
  • Wednesdays, 11:30 am—Otago Fall-Prevention Exercises
  • Thursdays, 10:00 am—NEW Chair Tap Dance (Call 919-542-6877 to register.)
  • Thursdays, 11:30 am—Line Dancing in person, attendees must be fully vaccinated (At the Fearrington  Cares Center; no class December 23, 30).
  • FridaysRhythm Without the Blues. (Via Zoom;  no class December 24, 31.)

Support Groups Meeting in Person at the Fearrington Cares Center

  • Alcoholics Anonymous: Mondays, 10:00 am. (No meeting December 20, 27.)
  • Braniacs Memory Café: Every Wednesdays, 10:00 am. (No meeting December 20, 27.)
  • Parkinson’s Group: Tuesdays, December 7; 1:15-3:00 pm
  • Cancer Support Group: Tuesdays, December 14; 1:30-3:00 pm

Health Services Offered at the Fearrington Cares Center
(9:00 am—12:00 pm, Monday-Friday)

  • Nurse Consultation: Walk-in clinic open for fully vaccinates residents. Appointment required for unvaccinated residents, call 919-542-6877.
  • Foot Clinic: Thursday, December 9; appointment required, call 919-542-6877.

Support Groups via Zoom

  • Caregiver Support Group: Wednesdays, December 1, 15; 1:00 pm.
  • Living with Chronic Conditions: Thursdays, December 2, 16; 1:00 pm

Remember AmazonSmile When Shopping!

During this season of gift giving, many of you shop at Amazon. Fearrington Cares has registered with AmazonSmile so that if you shop there, you can choose to have AmazonSmile donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to us at no additional cost to you. Just shop at smile.amazon.com and you will be prompted to select a charitable organization from almost one million eligible groups. Please choose Fearrington Cares as your charity of choice! Then shop as usual. Whenever you return to AmazonSmile, Fearrington Cares will automatically be your charity. We have received $472 this year from Amazon! Shop as needed and benefit Fearrington Cares at the same time!



Fearrington Directory Changes

Welcome to New Residents

The following persons have been added to the Fearrington Village Directory between October 15 and November 14.  Want to reach out to your new neighbor? You will find their contact information on our community web page. Go to: FearringtonFHA.org (click Find People under the Directory tab).

Mary Bahr-Jones & Steve Jones
604 Stoneview
Lila Berry4030 South McDowell
Helen & Judith Bloomer318 Baneberry Close
George Thomas & Susan Mayhew (Susie) Devine
1322 Langdon Placest
Lily Grace4114 The Knolls Close
Glenn Gutsche & Janet Kolkebeck4414 Richmond Close
Eugene (Gene) & Hollingsworth (Holly) Hafer
C-302 C Wing
Sherry Henley & Ray Runyan38 McDowell (1084)*
Mary Hoffman & Daphne Owings8 Caswell (1138)*
Renuka Jain646 Spindlewood
Joyce Kline278 Claymoor
Charles Anthony & Laurette Lalonde LeprevostE-409 E Wing
Ellen & Steven (Steve) Minden
4246 Henderson Place
Mary Ellen (Mel) & Michael J. (Mike) Pasquale10 West Madison (1133)*
Jack & Zachary Traywick81 Creekwood
Denise Wolf595F Weathersfield

* Where house numbers and post office box numbers differ, the Fearrington Post # appears in parentheses after the street address.

Are you a new resident? To register your information in the Directory, please visit the FHA website at https://fearringtonfha.orgFrom the top menu choose Directory, then, in the drop-down menu, select New Resident. Complete the resulting form with your information.

To obtain full access to website features, you must also create a website account (available only to residents or non-resident owners).  Return to the website’s homepage and click on Login/Register in the left top menu. Click on the  Register and follow the instructions. You can find more information under For New Users on the top menu bar.

Are you an existing resident whose contact information has changed? Don’t forget to update your listing on the www.fearringtonfha web site. From the landing page, you can click the Directory item in the main menu and then choose Edit My Directory Info in the drop-down menu. When you update your contact information online, the updates will be included in the Fearrington Village  Directory & Handbook printed in January each year. Stay in touch with your fellow residents by keeping your contact information current.

December 2021 Calendar

All activities will be held at The Gathering Place unless otherwise noted.

Mask Requirement Continues: Due to rising infections and the unvaccinated, individuals using The Gathering Place must wear a mask when inside the building, whether or not they have been vaccinated. This is in keeping with CDC guidelines. If a club does not follow the rules, it will lose its use of the facility. Group leaders may decide whether to require their members to be vaccinated. Check the FHA web page for any updates to this policy.

December  3
Women of FearringtonLast day to pre-order for Holiday Bakery & MarketJo Bolig
December 3
10 am – noon
Women of FearringtonHoliday Bakery & Market
The Gathering Place
Jo Bolig
December 7
7 pm
Fearrington Democratic ClubZoom MeetingCheri DeRosia cheri_derosia@hotmail.com
Meeting weekly in December
Every Wednesday
1 pm
Duplicate Bridge ClubDuplicate BridgeValorie Zentil
Coming in January 2022
January 6
4 pm
Fearrington Village SingersMen’s Spring
Kick-Off Rehearsal
Kathryn Doster
January 7, 21, and 26
(See WoF website for times)
Women of FearringtonRoad Trips:
Ackland Art Museum
Mif Flaharty
January 10
4 pm
Fearrington Village SingersWomen’s Spring
Kick-Off Rehearsal
Kathryn Doster
WednesdayJanuary 19
1:30 pm
Women of FearringtonlGeneral Meeting
Ackland Art Museum Program
Adrienne Lallo