Spring may be in the air, the snowdrops blooming, the world warming, hope returning. But joy and hope are not in all hearts. Life often seems impossible to live through. If you are undergoing a time of sorrow, it may help a little to know you are not alone.

Forest Parkers are welcoming spring with music. Marion Davis sang the Chichester Psalms of Leonard Bernstein last Sunday at First United in Oak Park. Also on the program were works of Handel, and Ewazen. Along with Ms. Davis and the First United Sanctuary Choir, were the Chicago Choral Artists, the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra Orchestra and the Children’s Chorus of Oak Pak and River Forest, all under the direction of Mr. William Chin.

This Sunday, March 19 at 4 p.m., also at First United, 848 Lake Street, you can hear the Chorus and Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest as they perform the 9th Symphony of Beethoven. You are invited to come and hear this masterwork.

Tina Neubeiser had a surprise birthday party for Gary Neubeiser on his birthday last month. Among the guests were his Harlem Manner-Damen Chor friends, Ellie Clifton, Elfie Pett, Zeno and Georgette Jacquat, Fred and Debbie Funderwhite and relatives from New York.

Since this week is officially St. Patrick’s Day, I think it appropriate to include a couple of photos from our parade of two weeks ago. Here are the Guinness Bagpipers and “Partners in Play.”

Our famous Centuries and Sleuths bookstore made a national writers magazine this month. Byline, a periodical for poets and short story writers, had a big two page article with photo, praising Augie and this unique privately owned book store. Congratulations, Augie!

Time to say happy birthday to Vandria Stevens, Kathleen Pacudan and Jessica Conrad on March 16; on the 17th to Matt Lyons and Sarah Buzanski on the 18th of March to Ken Jasaper, Dino Panzani,Kevin Sailwaite and Katie Miller;March 19 to Joe Gianelli, Geoff Flight, Ed Huebner, Christil Freeman, Tara Cassiani, Dan Gallina, Steve Urban,;March 20 to Alexandria Reina, Lauren Haeger, Bob O’Brien, Ryan Mollo, and anniversary greetings to Janet and Elmer Mittelhauser; on March 21 Andrew Huebner, Grace Snyder, and Peter Zapotek; anniversary greetings to Mr. and Mrs. Greg Horvath; on March 22, happy birthday to John Huebner and Natalie Mazzon.

Jackie is a former Chicago and Elmwood Park schoolteacher with an undying love for music, friendly pets and a host of life's other treasures too numerous to list. She was born on the far southwest side...