Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Where We Live

Saturday, January 11, 2014

It's 5 a.m. on a Friday morning, and I'm yanked from a sweet dream by the shrill ring of the old-fashioned windup alarm clock. The cats scatter as I fling off the covers; eight paws and two human feet hit the floor at about the same time.

It's about 12 degrees outside, and I see snow on the porch roof through the ice-coated panes of the wavy glass windows in our old farmhouse.

Trailed by the Fabulous Fur Folk, I shamble down the hall and into the bathroom to turn on the shower. The cats stretch out on the deep red area rug, awaiting chin scratching and morning praise.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

I have a little mental game I play when I'm doing a certain unpleasant physical task, which is shoveling dense, partially frozen snow and ice chunks from the bottom of the driveway. I pretend that I'm opening it up so that the Prize Patrol can make it up to the house.

I wouldn't be caught in an egg-splattered robe and hair curlers like some of the previous winners. No, the driveway would be cleared and I'd be dressed and ready to pose with my new-millionaire giant check.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of my Pop Pop's death.

It was strange because when he died, I was 9, but yet I can still remember every detail of the day we found out he went home to God.

My Pop Pop, John E. Zubek, was an amazing man to me.

He was short in stature, but had a big heart.

He was my buddy, and one who I wished I had more time with before I had to say my final farewell.

Growing up, we were close. He would take me for walks down Abbott Street in Lansford, where I would stop numerous times to play with a number of neighboring dogs.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

One day when I was a kid I was riding my bike in the neighborhood. I tried to fit between two cars and the end of one of my handlebars gouged one, a new black station wagon. I saw it, gulped, and left. I didn't say anything about it to anyone. But, the owner of the car had seen me do it.

He called my parents, and I was summoned to the kitchen table. My father was upset about the damage, but I think he was more upset about my deception. I was clutched by an upper arm and marched across the street, where I was made to apologize. I was grounded.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Receiving Christmas cards and letters is one of the most favorite parts of the holiday season in our family.

I look forward to checking our mail every day to see if any cards arrived. I will open them right away, read and place them in our card basket near the tree. On Christmas Eve after all the hustle and bustle of our family dinner is finished and everyone is gone and the house is quiet with just my husband and I, I get a glass of wine, sit down to relax and reread all our cards and Christmas letters. It is my time to reflect on family and friends near and far.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Irish have long been known for their love of the macabre and humor, even in death. The following was given to me by a friend who found it on the internet and the work of the IrishCentral publication.

The following is taken from gravestones in Ireland. These are not made up, only the Irish could find humor in death.

From Northern Island: "Erected to the memory of John Phillips, accidentally shot as a mark of affection by his brother"

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Being of a certain age, I'm having what is considered normal memory lapses. While my doctor assures me, these instances are not considered a warning for dementia, I worry about my mind.

I've spent many a moment wandering through my house looking for my glasses.

To counter the "missing keys" problem, I've learned to put my keys at the same place.

I've given up trying to remember names of acquaintances and have learned to admit defeat and ask them their names.

I haven't missed any appointments since I put everything into my phone.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

By its very nature, Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for what it is we have.

For many of us, that means our family, friends, home, job, and other things that bring us joy and excitement.

That especially rings true this time of year, with the holiday season in full gear and all the fuss that goes into it.

With so many things to be thankful for, it's easy for us to overlook perhaps the most important element of all: Our health.

Saturday, November 16, 2013



I have heard references to the 80s being the "Decade of Greed" where self-serving, selfish behavior characterized by movies such as "Wall Street" ruled the day. That decade was where I joined the majority and was able to vote for the first time. It was an experience and responsibility I accepted with pride and I've yet to miss an election.

Saturday, November 2, 2013



Role model, devoted father, hero.

These were only a few of the words used to describe Lt. Dave Midas when I scrolled through my Facebook feed last weekend.

As each friend posted about the 33-year-old Panther Valley alum, who took his own life unexpectedly in a scene that sounded like it had been scripted for a movie, I couldn't help but remember the man I knew through my work here at the TIMES NEWS.