Are you about tired of clouds and rain? I sure am, and I’m sure you are as well. You can take all the Vitamin D (sunshine vitamin) you want, but it’s still not as good as experiencing the effects of that big orange ball in the sky. Like many people, I’ve noticed since the rain began weeks ago my get up and go often times feels like it got up and went.

For years, I had Dr. Garrett Rosas on my radio show. He’s a Doctor of Psychology and has always been my go to guy for stuff like this. We chatted last week and he affirmed what most of us thought. The weather can bum you out. He tells me cloudy, rainy weather does affect our moods. I asked if the lack of sunny skies and gloomy weather makes some want to hunker down, hibernate, and isolate ourselves from others, and if extended periods of rainy weather cause us to be melancholy, sad, and angry, even affecting our day to day well-being?

His answer to those questions was “yes.” He says Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a very real kind of depressive disorder. He explained we mostly think of SAD affecting people in the fall and winter months, but some people do experience the depression in fall and summer months as well. Rosas says a change in normal weather patterns can also change our internal clocks. He says according to a study done in 2013, a link was found between rainfall, high ambient temperatures, and aggression. As temperatures rose, researchers noted that inter-group conflicts also tended to jump some 14 percent (a significant jump). Scientists also found interpersonal violence rose by 4 percent. It wasn’t just the heat; it was also rainfall (especially areas that don’t receive unusually high rain amounts). The more it rained, the more aggressive some people got. Rosas pointed out that it is not at all clear that weather causes these things to happen, but scientists point to a certain growing understanding of the link between weather and certain behaviors. He says there are different weather personality types. There are summer lovers, summer haters, rain haters, and people who just aren’t affected by the weather. The doctor says he has some advice for those whose mood hits the skids because of the rainy weather. Rather than turn off the lights and crawl back into bed during that rainstorm, turn the lights on. There is research that light boosts serotonin which elevates the mood. Although science isn’t perfectly clear on the subject, Rosas encourages those in his practice to go outside even if it’s cool or rainy and doesn’t seem like it is very light outside. He says you will still get exposure to some UV rays which science does show helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm (your 24 hour body clock) and boost your mood. Seek out social or pleasurable activities; maybe watch an uplifting movie, play a game, do arts and crafts, or even read a good book. And never lose faith that maybe that sun will come out tomorrow. Thanks Garrett for the advice.

It appears the inaugural edition of the Gettysburg Christmas Festival scheduled for Saturday December first has the makings of an overwhelming success. Gettysburg Borough Manager Charles Gable tell me hotel bookings for that weekend are nearly sold out locally for the all-day festival that includes Breakfast with Santa, themed neighborhoods, carolers, a Christmas Parade, and much more. Those are people who plan to stay for the weekend. There’s no way to count the expected day trippers at this point, but Facebook responses indicate a lot of people will be in town. Gable says if you plan on having friends or family staying for the event and weekend, you may want to have them explore accommodations soon unless they like your couch. A complete schedule of events can be found at: www.agettysburgchristmasfestival.com.

Charles also mentioned the kiosk parking pilot program is now three months old with some interesting statistics. Of the 33 meters being monitored 40 percent of patrons pay with credit card, and the combined cash/credit card total for the meters was nearly $26,000. Gable says the parking department has not heard much from the public about the kiosk program and encourages users to let the borough its thoughts on them.

I contacted Commissioner Randy Phiel late last week for an update on Oak Lawn Cemetery. He tells me Adams County and Cumberland Township have formed a joint Oak Lawn Cemetery Action Team. He says the respective boards have asked their solicitors to identify sustainable options for the continued care of the cemetery. He tells me there is no easy or simple solution but he remains hopeful the owner will do the right thing, but says both boards are planning and preparing to utilize all tools available to ensure compliance. Despite the owner making an initial effort to maintain the property in May, it gradually became neglected again. Thanks to a recent volunteer community effort by five lawn and maintenance companies, the cemetery was brought back to a respectable condition.

Let’s head “Around Town:”

The United Way of Adams County 2018 Day of Caring is right around the corner with this year’s theme: “Sound the Alarm Save a Life.” Focusing on keeping families safe in our community, UWAC is partnering with the American Red Cross to install life-saving smoke alarms in some 100 residences in the Gettysburg area on Saturday, Oct. 6. Volunteer teams of two will gather at the Gettysburg Fire Department from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., and along with a trained Red Cross volunteer, will fan out across Gettysburg neighborhoods to install smoke alarms with 10-year lithium batteries in an effort to save lives. Every day 7 people die in home fires around the country, most do not have smoke alarm.

A week prior to the distribution of the alarms, 12 teams of 2 people are needed to distribute door hangers and signs in the surrounding neighborhoods announcing the event. The teams will gather Sept. 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Gettysburg Fire Department. If you would like to volunteer for this important effort call the UWAC offices today and sign up at 717-334-5809. If you cannot volunteer, please consider a donation to help offset costs for this lifesaving effort. Cash or checks can be dropped off at the UWAC offices at 123 Buford Avenue in Gettysburg.

You don’t want to miss the annual Pippinfest two-day event in Fairfield Sept. 29 and 30. The event began in 1980 named after the red and green pippin dessert apple. Saturday is Yard Sale day with a wide assortment of food vendors on hand. The Kids Corner next to the Fairfield Fire Company is offering games, pony rides, and amusements for children both Saturday and Sunday. The Sunday Street Festival offers great food, craft vendors, a quilt show, car show, lots of music and so much more. Another highlight of the festival is Honest Abe’s Root Beer Float Stand located in front of the Battersby Law Office. Abe will be on hand serving up the delicious treat both days. Proceeds from the float sale will go to the Fairfield Food Pantry. Last year the sales generated more than 2 thousand dollars to the pantry to help our neighbors. Please stop by.

This year, the New Oxford Harvest Day & Parade will be held Saturday, Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The parade will begin at 3 pm. Craft vendors who make or sell handmade goods are being sought, and registration is currently open for the parade. Organizations, families, and individuals are welcome to sign up, and owners of antique vehicles and tractors are also encouraged to register as well. Contact the New Oxford Chamber of Commerce to sign up at 717-624-2800, or go online at: info@newoxford.org.

The Adams County Literacy Council Yard Sale has again been rescheduled because of the rain. It will be held Thursday, Oct. 4 and Friday, Oct. 5 from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the ACLC offices, 1685 Baltimore Pike. All proceeds will benefit the literacy council programs. Unsold items will be donated to the community aid bins at Gettysburg schools. Make plans to stop by.

The Gettysburg Community Concert Association will open its 2018 season on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Gettysburg Senior High School. Featured artist will be pianist Philip Thomson. For tickets and information about the upcoming season please go to their website at www.gettysburgcca.org.

If your non-profit club, group, or organization has an upcoming event, be sure to let me know about it. My contact information can be found at the bottom of the page. Please allow at least 2 week’s prior notice to the event.

Finally:

Yes, the dirty thieves stole her lawn! A San Diego woman says thieves stole a 650 pound roll of turf from in front of her house before landscaper’s could lay down her new lawn. Police say a surveillance camera showed two men dragging the lawn onto the bed of their pickup truck and speeding away with a trail of dirt flying from the truck. Police were able to follow the dirt trail for about a block before it ended. No arrests have been made.

That does it for this week. Stay safe and I’ll be back next Tuesday.

Fred Snyder is a Gettysburg Times columnist. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper. Contact Fred at fsnyder@gburgtimes.com or 717-334-1131, ext. 2850. “Around Town” is published in the Gettysburg Times every Tuesday.

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