Around Brimfield: Looking forward to the new year, and summing up the old

Best wishes for a happy New Year! Welcome 2024! There is a saying that “New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.” I am reminded of the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin when he said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

An oft repeated motto at our house is, “Blessed are the flexible, for we will never be bent out of shape.” Last week the necessity to alter circumstances presented itself when my husband came down with a severe case of Covid. We were looking forward to a perfect Christmas. All ten of our children and their families were going to be here, preparations were made to feed and house everyone, gifts wrapped, and all preparations were made. Suddenly, we found ourselves quarantined for Christmas. After more than a little pouting (mostly from me), we decided to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. We were not going to allow “the Grinch” to steal our Christmas. The beautiful weather allowed us to be outside and contemplate the “gifts” that we had been given (sunshine, trees, our ducks, a blue sky, family, and much more). On Christmas Eve, some of our grandchildren surprised us on the back patio with their re-creation of the nativity story, and we were invited to Christmas morning via zoom. It was a lovely Christmas. I hope yours was as well.

Around Brimfield and beyond

While the Balkan Bakery and Cafe is not in Brimfield, it is amazing and worth the short trip. Located in the center of Mogadore at 35 N. Cleveland Ave., the Serbian bakery and cafe offers homemade cakes, cookies, bread, soups, breakfast, lunch and dinner cuisine, specialty coffee and other drinks. Vegan and gluten free desserts are also available. The comfortable and nicely decorated cafe is inviting, the staff is very friendly, and the service is great. It has become one of my regular favorite hangouts. Business hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on Sunday and Monday. Phone number is 234-813-9210.

Brimfield Lions

Lions and Brimfield Community Food Cupboard Volunteers left to right: Darlene Metler, Mary Johnson, Bill Bissler, Jill Reitz and Rosalie Ellis

Jill Reitz excitedly reported that the Brimfield Lions’ 12th Annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot was a great success. The event offered a 1 mile or 5K walk or run, encouraging families to come out and “wobble before you gobble”. I walked (and ran) to keep up with two young grandsons. The Lions were able to present the Brimfield Community Food Cupboard with a check in the amount of $971 from monetary donations, as well as LOTS of non-perishable goods.

Looking ahead, the Brimfield Lions Club is sponsoring a “Solar Eclipse Information Program” at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Brimfield Methodist Church, 1235 Tallmadge Rd, Brimfield. McKenzie Villataro from the Portage County Emergency Management Agency will speak about how the upcoming solar eclipse can affect you. For more information, call 330-552-7240.

Portage County recycling

You may have already seen information regarding Portage County’s new recycling program, CHaRM (Center for Hard to Recycle Material). This is especially good news for Brimfield residents, since the recycling center is located on Mogadore Road. here in Brimfield. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the first Monday of each month (excluding federal holidays).

The center will accept appliances, electronics, tires, motor oil, scrap metal, paper for shredding, household hazardous waste and more. People intending to drop off paper to be shredded should remove all paper clips, binder clips, rubber bands, folders, and any kind of binding. ID is required to prove Portage County residency. Some items require a small recycling fee. For a complete list of items accepted and more information, check out portagerecycles.com or call 330-678-8808.

Young at Heart group

The Young at Heart group (ages 55 and older) will meet at Mike’s Place Restaurant at 10 a.m. on Jan. 15 and Jan. 29. Call or text Donna Rae Flanary at 330-592-4318 by the Sunday before to RSVP.

NEW: Monthly bag lunch.: Beginning January 12 and then every second Friday of the month, the Young at Heart Group will meet at noon at the Brimfield Community Center, 4538 Edson Rd. to chat and celebrate birthdays of members within the month. Bring a bag lunch and drink. Friends are welcome. Call Patty Yensel at 937-654-8333 to RSVP.

Brimfield Parks and Recreation events

Tues., Jan. 2 – Last day to vote for the Tour of Lights Contest at www.brimfieldohio.gov.

Fri., Jan. 5, 8:30 a.m.- Winter Waterfowl Watch at McGuire Park. Learn to identify waterfowl species while observing them in their natural habitat.

Fri., Jan. 5, 2 p.m. – Happy Bird Day to You! At Brimfield Community Center. In honor of National Bird Day, participate in a bird-themed craft open house and make a take-home gift for our bird friends.

Thurs., Jan. 11, 1-3 p.m. -Timeless Memories Scrapbooking at Brimfield Community Center. Cost $10 / Maximum class size 20 (Payment & registration required by January 8. Join a Creative Memories independent advisor to learn fresh techniques. Participants will make a two-page spread for their Thanksgiving/Fall photos. All ages and skill levels are welcome.

Sat., Jan. 20, 9:30 a.m. – Animal Tracking Family Adventure at the Brimfield Community Center. Craft at 9:30 a.m., Walk at 10:30 a.m. Discover the fascinating world of animal tracks. A craft session will be focused on animal tracks, followed by an exploration walk to uncover and identify animal tracks.

Thurs., Jan. 25, 6 p.m. – Full Moon Hike and Fire at Cranberry Creek Park. After the hike, warm up with hot chocolate and s’mores.


A few more thoughts to ponder as you begin a new year:

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” – William E. Vaughan

“Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.” – William E. Vaughan (and from experience, I would add, “Old age is when you can’t.)

“I never look back, darling. It distracts from the now.” – Edna, ‘The Incredibles’


Until next time. Got news? Share it by contacting Shirley Mars at 330-673-0241 or at [email protected]

Shirley Mars
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