Thursday, June 29, 2017
     

Columns

Saturday, January 30, 2016

See if you can tell what’s wrong with this conversation.

“How are you?” asked John.

“I just had back surgery,” said Joe.

“Oh, well I had my hip replaced last year,” said John. “It was awful.”

“Yes,” said Joe. “My doctor told me I need to stretch and exercise each day.”

“I had to go to rehab for weeks,” said John. “I still have trouble walking up stairs.”

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I just got finished reading a short essay I liked.

Lisa Kelly wrote the essay, “The Gift of the Ordinary,”based on a small snippet of life she glimpsed when she went to visit her mother in the hospital. At 84, her mother’s heart was problematic and doctors were working to stabilize it.

What Lisa noticed was that her mother and the other seriously ill patients weren’t talking about wanting a miracle to regain their health. Instead, they expressed longing for being able to do ordinary things.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

SPOILER ALERT: If you’re not a “Star Wars” fan, you might not “get” this column. So, good luck and may the Force be with you.)

In a galaxy far far away, lived a lovely princess named SilliLInda. (OK This is my fairy tale and if I want to be lovely, I can be lovely. So there.) She shared her beautiful castle with the man of her dreams, the ruggedly handsome and fearless adventurer, Hans Harry, and his furry friend, Chewbacca Sassy Sue.

It was a tumultuous time known as the Christmas holiday.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

This is the time of year when one question is prevalent: What do you want for Christmas?

I know there are plenty of people in this world who can come up with perfect gift ideas without asking.

I’m not one of them.

Once my daughters no longer went through the Sears Wish Book to show me what they liked, I don’t know if I was ever good at gift giving. I do know that for me it gets harder every year.

My dear friend Linda once commented that if you love someone and live with them every day, you should be able to come up with some gift ideas.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

“You paint a rosy picture about how friendly people are. I do join church and community activities, but what I find time and again is that people are caught up in their own lives. They don’t take time to be friendly with others,” she wrote.

If I’ve given the impression I think people are basically friendly, that’s because I believe they are. I find proof of that every day.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

It’s a mild October evening in 2014, and I’m sitting on a wooden bench at Rosemount campgrounds in the Lewistown Valley, tapping my feet as I listen to the Good Times Variety Band.

True to its name, the band plays a variety of songs, from sweet ballads to lively polkas.

The drummer, Bonnie DeAngelo, sets the beat that pulls people, from toddlers to octogenarians, to their feet to dance.

She moves smoothly from the hard, fast rhythm of an exuberant polka to the soft, easy tempo of a love song, her perfectly pitched voice mesmerizing the crowd.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Scrooge here.

Bah. Humbug.

Just thought you’d like to know there are only 26 more shopping days until Christmas.

I wanted to touch base with all you Happy Shoppers. I want to know what you’re drinking.

If anyone would have ever told me that there would come a day I would dread Christmas shopping, I would have said your Christmas bulbs weren’t screwed in tight.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

When my young grandchildren were asked to say grace while I was visiting, their idea of giving thanks consisted of seven hurried words: Thank you God for our food, amen.

I think each child had a contest to see who could say it the fastest.

I really hoped for more, at least at Thanksgiving, but I understood.

I understood that gratitude is something that grows with age. I also understood that most youngsters fail to appreciate the basic good things in their life because it’s not something they think about.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Years ago I had a conversation with a heroin addict that I will never forget.

It happened when I was at a drug rehab facility in Wind Gap doing an in-depth story on heroin addiction.

The facilitator of a group meeting asked participants if I could listen, provided I promised not to put any real names in the newspaper. They were willing and candid throughout the session.

But after I sat listening to their stories for a while, one young man turned to me and asked if I was addicted.

“Not to a drug,” I told him. “Just to food.”

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The photogenic scenes of the fall season are upon us.

For many of us, fall represents a beautiful time of year, perhaps the most serene from an aesthetic point of view.

There is just so much to see, and so much to do, that it seems as though there is never a dull moment.

Take, for example, the Tamaqua Historical Society, which on Sunday will present its 31st Annual Tamaqua Heritage Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Tamaqua.