DEAR SUN SPOTS: I grew up in Maine and have always used the term pine sprills, meaning pine needles. Recently, I learned many people have never heard of the word sprill, and I was surprised to find that it’s not in the dictionary. Can you shed any light on the origin of the word? – Janice Trapp, Madrid Township

ANSWER: Sun Spots did not find sprill at, but she did find a mention of it at a site called The site lists all sorts of unusual little sayings, including sprills, which are defined as pine needles no longer attached to a branch: “My carpet was covered in sprills after we took down the Christmas tree.”

Many of the words or sayings are from New England, such as the common “wicked.” One of the oddest ones was from the south: “Licked up one side and down the other.”

The poster wrote that it was heard from a female coworker describing a really busy day. “It sounds suggestive, but I’m convinced she meant it in a negative way: ‘This day was so terrible I feel like I’ve been licked up one side and down the other.’ Strange.”

DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Hartford Community Church Clothing Center is one of our area’s biggest secrets. Located on Church Street in Hartford, it is easy to find and has a multitude of fashionable clothes for all ages, especially a large selection of high-quality children’s clothing for less than $1 an item.

In addition to clothing, there are various items in several categories, such as toys, shoes, materials, etc. all in good condition and at very reasonable prices. Starting this month, our winter hours are every first and third Saturday of each month, 1 to 2:30 p.m. We are open to the public.

Directions from Route 4: Take Route 219 west and turn right onto Church Street. Continue for about two miles . The Clothing Center is directly opposite the Hartford Community Church. Come one, come all and take advantage of a great way to increase your ward

DEAR SUNSPOTS: I am looking for adolescents, ages 12 to 18 years old, who have had a parent or close relative diagnosed with cancer to participate in a focus group at Bates College. The focus group would enable adolescents to talk about their experiences with cancer and explore the possibility of future support groups for teens.

This group meeting will only last around an hour and each teen will receive $10 for participating. Please e-mail me for more information. — Chelsea Pennucci, [email protected]

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I belong to an organization called The King’s Daughts and Sons. We loan geriatric medical equipment at no coast to those who need it. We are currently looking for a large-size wheelchair. We already have several small- and regular-size wheelchairs. Please call me at 897-3625. – Shirley LeSuer, Jay

DEAR SUN SPOTS: could you give me information on Tom Chisholm, the weatherman for Channel 8. I heard he may have had an accident. I noticed Roger Griswold has been taking his place. Would you have an address where we could send him a card? Thank you. – No Name, Chesterville

ANSWER: The following update on Tom’s condition was posted on on Oct. 1:

“News 8’s Tom Chisholm is back home recovering from his moped accident.

“Tom was on his way to work on Sept. 14 when the accident happened on Washington Avenue.

“He suffered 13 broken bones, including a broken hip. He had surgery on his hip the day after the accident. On Thursday of this week he had surgery on his hand.

“He is back home resting comfortably. He is undergoing physical therapy and hopes to be back to work by the second week of November.

“He wants to thank everyone for their well wishes.”

You could send a card to Tom at Channel 8: WMTW-TV, 99 Danville Corner Road, Auburn, ME 04210.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to [email protected]

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