Although the calendar still says winter, hope springs eternal, as Alexander Pope wrote, and by the end of January, most of us look forward to spring with hope for good weather.
The February calendar is already filling up, with Key Singers beginning rehearsals and the Key Peninsula Historical Society museum in Vaughn opening a new display Feb. 2.
Singers’ director Marianne McColley sent a note of reminder we’d start rehearsals “On Groundhog Day — or Candlemass.”
I knew nothing of Candlemass so I had to check it out.
Candlemass, or Candelaria, originated as a tribute to God’s light manifested in Jesus. The earliest known observance occurred in AD 496, at the time of Pope Gelasius. The focus of the celebration is based on Simeon’s prophecy declaring Jesus to be “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
During Candlemass, candles are blessed, lit, and borne in a procession, representing the light of Christ, which he brought to share with the world.
Feb. 2 places the Candelmass celebration 40 days after Christmas and continues the religious cycle that leads up to Easter Sunday. It’s also mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, the same day as Groundhog Day, which forecasts the coming spring weather.
The Singers’ rehearsals begin at 7 p.m. in the Key Peninsula Lutheran Church sanctuary. No auditions are necessary. If you love to sing and can carry a tune, you’re more than welcome.
Annual dues are $10, which helps pay for music and scholarships.
The KP Museum hosts a grand re-opening with new displays from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 2.
President Judy Mills says, “Be our guest, featuring Historic Hotels and Resorts of the Key Peninsula.”
Tea and scones are offered for visitors that day. The Delano Hotel and Resort will be the main focus this year.
“How Captain George Delano and his wife Edith arrived on the Key Peninsula and built this prominent hotel is a wonderful story that all began with a shipwreck off the Washington coast,” notes Cathy Williams, exhibit chairman.
Learn about this beautiful resort that opened in 1891 and operated for approximately 30 years. Learn about The Austria, that Delano piloted when it hit the rocks on Cape Alava and sank on a stormy January night in 1887.
See pictures of the hotel with an 830-foot pier that greeted guests as they arrived on various boats of the Mosquito Fleet. Read the guest register where the names of prominent people from our state and beyond appear.
Other hotels on the Key Peninsula included the Wauna Hotel and Lodge in Wauna, the Wyatt Hotel in Longbranch, Cooper’s Hotel in Lakebay and the Glencove Hotel, still in operation today.
Anyone who has photos or stories about any of these hotels/resorts are invited to bring them to the museum. Copies can be made to add to the display.
New display cases in the VFW room, purchased with a grant from the Ben Cheney Foundation, are being filled to show off some of the items from previous displays, including logging and early businesses of the area.
The museum is open Tuesday and Saturdays, 1 to 4 p.m. with free admission. Many books and other gift items are available for purchase. Call 888-3246 or visit www.keypeninsulamuseum.org or facebook.com/KPHistoricalSociety/?fref=ts for more information.
Lent begins early this year with Ash Wednesday on Feb. 10. My grandmother always recited “Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the 21st of March,” so it’s almost as early as possible; the full moon is March 23.
And who can forget Valentine’s Day? Only a couple of weeks away!