Dear Sun Spots: I was hoping to find out where there are free places to take my kids sledding. We used to go behind the Holy Family Church on Sabattus Street, but they seem to be doing construction now, and we can no longer go there. I have asked around, but nobody seems to know. There must be a few places to go. Any help is appreciated. Thanks. – No Name, Lewiston.

Answer: Education reporter Lindsay Tice believes the reason for the construction is likely the work on the parking lot as part of getting the school ready for Fairview staff and students to move in February.

In the meantime, several co-workers kindly provided Sun Spots with the following listing. Perhaps other readers and sledders also have some favorite sledding spots and would be willing to share them.

The big hill from the parking lot at Sherwood Heights School in Auburn leads down to the area where they play field hockey. It’s steep and then flattens out, according to this co-worker.

One of the nighttime staff recalled sledding down Davis mountain at Bates College as a child. Photographer Daryn Slover also noted Pettengill Park in Auburn as a popular free sledding spot.

Dear Sun Spots: Many years ago, some friends and I got together and filled a truck with toys to help some children out at Christmas. We visited these children, who were very sick, two days before Christmas Eve. I dressed up as Santa and appeared out of the back of the truck. The kids were thrilled. One was a 9-year-old girl with tubes down her throat. She was so sick, but she jumped onto my lap. She asked if there was really a Santa. I told her, “Yes.” We all went back two days later. She had died. I couldn’t get her out of my mind. At 2 a.m. I was still thinking of her and ended up writing the piece I’ve enclosed. I’ve tried to get this published by the paper and elsewhere for several years but have been unsuccessful. It would mean so much to me to see this in print. I lost my father when I was a child. – Stephen May, Lewiston.

Answer: Sun Spots spoke with Stephen, and while the column does not typically publish poems, she was so very touched by Stephen’s story of this young 9-year-old child whose death still brings tears to his eyes that she felt other readers would like to read Stephen’s creative piece. Please have a safe and peaceful holiday season, column readers.

Christmas Has Come At Last

Christmas has come at last

Another year has passed

It takes 365 days to come around.

Santa comes for the kids

But it’s a toll on Mom and Dad

Because they remember the things they had

Things change over the years

Little kids’ fears, and Santa’s reindeers

All things come to pass every year

Christmas comes but just once a year

Never fear!!!

He’s real quick going throughout the world,

giving toys to all the little girls and boys

that’s old Saint Nick.

When I was a small lad, I used to listen to the stories told by my wise old dad when he said:

If you’ll be a good boy and go to bed,

Santa will come with his sled.

So fill your head with good things that Santa would bring

So, son, good night, sleep tight.

And maybe, just maybe

Santa would stop at our house tonight.

So being a good boy, I tried to put my head to rest

But on Christmas Eve it was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life

Knowing that Santa could pass this way tonight

On his sleigh and hoping that he could make a quick stop at our house

just for a minute, you understand

to drink the milk and cookies for that great old man

And if he felt like it, maybe just maybe next year he’d be back

But Santa has so many kids to see

I hope he won’t forget about me.

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