Holiday Open House Tomorrow

Joy Hafford photo  Visions Speaking Rock Shop and Emporium, and all the Pine and Strawberry merchants will open their doors for the 14th annual P/S Merchants Holiday Open House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,

Photo by Joy Hafford. |

Joy Hafford photo  Visions Speaking Rock Shop and Emporium, and all the Pine and Strawberry merchants will open their doors for the 14th annual P/S Merchants Holiday Open House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,


Why wait for Black Friday? Kick off the holiday tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 17 at the 14th Annual P/S Merchants Holiday Open House. The area’s antique shops, boutiques and galleries will open their doors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for holiday shopping, specials, goodies and good cheer. Experience warmth and nostalgia P/S style at quaint shops with unique gifts, relics of the past and hand-crafted treasures. Come rediscover your favorite shops, welcome new merchants and join us in Pine and Strawberry for the Merchants Holiday Open House and the best shopping day of the year on the mountain.

Local artists give back

Holiday shoppers can support the P/S Arts and Crafts Guild and see the work of local artists and crafters at the annual Christmas Boutique this Saturday, Nov. 17, and on Nov. 23 and 24 at the Community Center on Hwy. 87 in Pine.

The P/S Arts and Crafts Guild display the spirit of “thanks” and “giving” in year-round efforts to help the community. Like many local groups founded in the spirit of charitable giving, the artists and crafters formed the Guild more than 30 years ago to promote the arts and bring revenue to the area.

This month the group donated the profits from its 2012 Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend festivals. Grants totaling $7,775 were presented to CERCA, Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library, P/S Firefighters Association, P/S Food Bank and Tonto Rim Search and Rescue. Funds also went to the Sheriff’s Posse for traffic control and security services to protect crafters and customers during the festivals. In addition, they donated booth space valued at over $500 to the firewise trailer so that P/S Fuel Reduction Inc. could get out their fire prevention safety message.

The Guild thanks all who participated and serve the community in so many ways. “Your work makes it worth our effort,” said Ruthellen Mason, president of P/S Arts and Crafts Guild.

Please come out tomorrow and support the artists and crafters who use their many and diverse talents to lend a helping hand to the community.

P/S Food Bank

However you plan to spend your special day of gratitude, please remember to reach out to the less fortunate.

The Ponderosa Market in Pine has once again provided a freezer where folks can drop off a ham, turkey or other perishable goods. Food boxes for non-perishable items are also set up at the market and the Pine Post Office. Monetary donations can be mailed to Pine Strawberry Food Bank, P.O. Box 1534, Pine, AZ 85544.

Light up the Sky

Rick Kubiak of Strawberry wants to brighten your holidays. After planning on paper all year and working non-stop since Oct. 1, he will flip the switch and light up the Strawberry sky Thanksgiving night with more than 100,000 lights. Everyone in the area is invited to witness the lighting of the spectacular display that is a testament to the spirit and meaning of the season and Rick’s gift to the community.

If you enjoyed last year’s Fishing Santa and the display that won first prize in the 2011 holiday decorating contest sponsored by the Payson Roundup, wait until you see the surprises he has in store this year! Bring the kids and grandkids to watch Santa attempting to get down the chimney and see the house aglow with starbursts and twinkling lights. Be inspired by the cancer survivor’s path and Nativity. It’s all happening at sundown, Thursday, Nov. 22 at 8720 W. Tonto Rim in Strawberry.

What are you thankful for?

The countdown is on — just six days until Thanksgiving. I asked a few of the special folks in the community what they are most thankful for this Thanksgiving.

From Michael Clark, principal/superintendent, Pine Strawberry Elementary School District, “Many thanks for the wonderful support the school district has received over the past eight years that I have had the privilege of being your principal/superintendent.”

Becky Waer, of Pine Public Library, said, “I am thankful for the love of my family and friends. Without them I wouldn’t be the person who I am today.”

Food Bank Manager Marti Heinert is thankful for all the wonderful volunteers at the Pine Strawberry Food Bank. “They always show up to help and work very hard,” she said. “Also to all the people with the donations of food and toys that they give. Thank you to our wonderful community.”

Candy Bridges, Breath of Life Retreat House, author (Meet Me In The Mountains), calligraphy artist and picture framer: “I am so thankful and blessed to live and work in Pine. The surrounding natural beauty of the mountains, forest and wildlife never cease to amaze me.

“My husband and I both feel Pine is truly a piece of heaven on earth and there is nowhere else we would rather live. We are also thankful for our family and are excited to have them up here for Thanksgiving!”

The Rim Country Literacy Program helps people obtain GEDs and more. Marilyn Horne said, “All of us at Rim Country Literacy Program are thankful for our volunteers and tutors, our partnerships with Payson Unified School District and Pine-Strawberry School districts, and all of our supporters! Each makes a unique contribution to help improve the lives of the adults we serve.”

I’m thankful to be part of this community and for the opportunity to meet you, attend your events and share your inspiring stories. Thank you for sharing your news, ideas and feedback — and for setting me straight when necessary!

Please join me next week for more of the things “Pine and Strawberry-ites” are thankful. Let me know what you’re thankful for and send events to


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