Wednesday, September 17, 2014
     

A woman's perspective changes with age.

That was reinforced for me, once again, as members of one club sat at the beach and caught up on each other's lives.

One woman admitted she was feeling "more than a bit lost" because her last child just left the nest. For the first time in decades, it was just her and her husband, and she said she is unable to adjust to the change.

By BOB URBAN rurban@tnonline.com Memorial Day. It's my favorite holiday weekend of the year. Everybody feels patriotic. The weather has finally warmed up. School's almost out and summer has unofficially begun. Enjoy it everyone. It only comes around...
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On a recent trip, my son, Paul, and I had just finished one of several of our long philosophical discussions when he turned to me and said, ``You know, Dad, for an old guy, you're pretty cool." I was startled, because I stopped worrying about...
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A woman's perspective changes with age. That was reinforced for me, once again, as members of one club sat at the beach and caught up on each other's lives. One woman admitted she was feeling "more than a bit lost" because her last child just left...
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It's 4 p.m. on a gloomy Tuesday afternoon, and I'm sitting in the dentist's office, waiting to have a crown installed over a broken molar. I'm pretty relaxed this dental practice is known for its gentle manner and I'm soon drawn in to the real...

Claire:

Once upon a time, watching television was for Philistines. The uncultured masses would tune in to watch the latest sitcom every night, blissfully ignorant, while the intellectuals would sit in their ivory towers reading books, or at the very least saving their money for a subscription to a network like HBO or Showtime, where all the "artsy" television supposedly dwelled.

That's how the joke goes, anyway. These days, though, a few shows have me questioning the old adage that television is just for dummies and couch potatoes.

Jim:

Our most faithful fan does not live in Lehighton or Jim Thorpe or Tamaqua, or anywhere in the hard coal region.

No, he lives on the other side of the world. Dan Bloom is a freelance writer and ex-patriot, who resides in Taiwan where, he says, he is "buffeted around by Pacific typhoons every summer." Maybe that's why he worries a lot about climate change.

Jim:

There's an old saying: "They treat me like a mushroom. They keep me in the dark and feed me B.S." I know I'm a mushroom and hope that, at least, I may be a Portobello.

First off, there's the cosmic mystery. Where did the universe come from? If it's expanding, what is it expanding into? These questions give me butterflies in my stomach. I try hard never to think about them. I have butterflies right now. Let's change the subject.

Claire:

Writing down one's dirty secrets and posting them all over the web is de rigueur these days. It's hardly edgy or shocking to read the intimate details of a person's sex life, mental issues, or weight problems.

Heck, not too long ago a woman live-tweeted her miscarriage yup, that means she was writing about it on the Internet literally while it was happening.

JIM:

So Bradley Manning wants to be called Chelsea. I wonder how Chelsea Clinton feels about that.

Fort Leavenworth prison officials say he'll get no hormones and no surgery. Manning's lawyer calls this cruel and unusual punishment and vows to sue.

Advocates of transgender convicts claim (per recent news reports), "Self-castration, suicide and waves of desperation are byproducts of the denial of sex hormones to inmates yearning to switch genders." Sounds pretty grim, doesn't it?

By SHERI RYAN

tneditor@tnonline.com

While engrossed in my work at the office the other day, I answered a rather frantic phone call from one of my kids.

"Where is my volleyball uniform shirt?" the panicked voice bellowed on the other end.

My daughter was waiting to be picked up by a teammate to go to an away game in Bangor, and of course, at the most possible last minute, proceeded to gather all of the necessary elements of her uniform so that she could play.

"I told you last night to get your uniform together," I chided.

Are you a nosy neighbor?

Do you enjoy peering out of your curtain to see what's going on up and down your street?

Are Big Brother, the CIA and NSA jealous of your uncanny ability to know everyone's business?

Or, do you suffer from insomnia and long for something productive to do while everyone else in your household is sleeping?

Have you grown weary and perhaps even broke from watching too many late-night infomercials and feel the need to redirect your energy to something more exciting and less expensive?

I see those four words in my Facebook news feed every night.

Every night for over a year now.

It is a message to an angel in Heaven that my friend Jim posts each night since the passing of his beautiful daughter, because he misses her terribly and his heart still aches for her.

Thirty-year-old Jennifer, who had a smile that "brightened the darkest days," waged war against cancer for three years before her body succumbed to the disease.

I can't believe that the kids go back to school next week.

While waiting in line at WalMart this afternoon, I noticed several people with their shopping carts loaded with uniform clothing, binders, crayons, markers, organizers, colorful book covers, snazzy lunch bags, snacks and well, just everything, and I'm standing there thinking to myself "Well I think I have some leftover pens, pencils and paper from last year."

Summer seems to have just zoomed by me and the commencement of the new school year has caught me quite off guard and quite unprepared.

As I write this column the world is all aflutter over the "sudden" and "tragic" death of gifted actor and comedian Robin Williams.

Nearly every Facebook post I have seen has been about him and how sad it is.

Stories of his life and subsequent death dominate the media.

While my heart goes out to the family and friends that he has left behind, all of the hoopla makes me shake my head, especially when I read that people who never even met the man are crying and "beside themselves," and here's why: Mr. Williams was an adult man who made a choice to leave this place.