Local Commentaries

For the love of family

There’s nothing greater than family. And you’re never too high or too low to be reminded of that. I guess he was 12 or 13 years old when we met Mickey Moniak and his grandfather, Bill, at the Sugar Grove Rod & Gun Club. Not sure if anyone ate that night as a stream of family and ...

The art of communication

The average American aged 70 years of age has spent: 6 years eating, 11 years working, 8 years amusing himself, 24 years sleeping, 5-1/2 years dressing, 3 years talking, and 6 months in church! When I heard these facts on the nightly news, they certainly made me think. I guess the one that ...

In defense of mental health

With the recent conversations surrounding mental illness in the news, it is not difficult to understand why the concept of defending it might offend some. After all, when the actions of a mentally unstable person hurt people, forgiveness can be a bridge too far. But the stigmas surrounding ...

Keeping you on your feet

Fall has many connotations. For us, in northwest Pennsylvania, Fall is a beautiful time of year when ordinarily green landscapes transform into an array of stunning colors. Fall can also be a verb used to describe when you fall in and out of love! It can even be used as an adjective ... I ...

What does the Fair offer?

Years ago, I did the publicity for the county fair. I was busy all summer long working with radio and television stations as well as newspapers. Everything you heard about the fair originated from my home. Now, thankfully, I just have to consult the schedule and show up. I am looking ...

What do you stand for?

Paula P. Brownlee said, “To do good things in the world, first you must know who you are and what gives meaning in your life.” Sounds simple? It should be, but it isn’t always. In our teen and adolescent years, we tend to try to figure out what makes sense to us in the world, what we ...

What’s your currency?

... and here we are... Words and phrases seem to come into popularity out of nowhere. Recent ones are “It’s a thing.” and “... and here we are.” The most recent one that caught my ear after whizzing by it several times, I suspect, is “...your currency...” This last one suggests ...

High summer

I always think of this time of year as high summer. This is when we get the warmest temperatures, the highest humidity and the greatest amount of daylight — all the things that our plants need to grow and flourish. July is traditionally the month when our gardens are at their best. ...

Un-BEE-lievable ways to save bees!

The sun is out, clover runs wild, and bees of all sizes buzz about as I gaze around my lawn. A sight that may be disagreeable for some is a pleasant one for me. In part from anthropogenic causes and in part from climate change, native and managed bee populations have been in steep decline over ...

Ice Cream Month

Yikes! It’s over next week and I almost missed it. National Ice Cream Month arrived on the first of July and never crossed my radar until the 21st day of the month. Shameful. Particularly for me. For decades, we native New Englanders have eaten more ice cream per capita than any ...

Fun is good therapy

From Pennsylvania and Michigan to the British Isles and Japan, some people take their stone skipping very seriously. Each year, dozens of competitors launch stones into the waters of French Creek and the Allegheny River in Franklin during the Rock in River Festival. That is the home of the ...

The joys of a 2-car hike

During the many years that I have been a seasonal resident along the Allegheny River south of Warren, the times have been few that I've enjoyed the convenience of having two cars at the camp. However, through hikes and river trips I’ve enjoyed when I’ve had my wife drop me off at the ...

Getting it together

Once upon a time, there was this couple. She was an accomplished accountant. She just got certified as a financial planner, too, and was about to be named partner in a prestigious firm. She is driven by success and accomplishment. She is married to a high-wire electrician; one of those guys who ...

Summer dessert

What is your favorite summer dessert? Some of you may answer watermelon while others will say it is ice cream. If your favorite summer dessert is ice cream you are with the majority. This past weekend we had some swelteringly hot days. It was not fit for man nor beast. Now, here I am not ...

Who knew?

Last weekend a crisis was averted when I visited the walk-in health center. It started on the fourth but just kept getting worse. I know enough about allergies to know one when I see one. My rash started with a spot on my arm but progressed to both arms and my torso. I had no idea what I ...

Bringing home the bacon

So, I’m riding this bicycle, or it might have been a big tricycle, and I’m hauling this little trailer set very close to the ground. The trailer is round and just big enough to hold a plate. The plate is covered, edge to edge, and piled high with bacon. I have this sense I’ve been ...

A History Lesson

As I look at my kitchen it is a time travel through the years. I have collected things from all over, in fact, my first kitchen dishes were a collection of odds and ends that I inherited from many of my well-meaning relatives. I used those until I moved out of the trailer. My mother was a war ...

Mad About the Boy

Camp GoGo is a private camp that is open only one week a summer. This is the week. Malcolm, my 11-year-old grandson is the only attendee and he received a full scholarship to attend. He’s very talented. Regular readers of this column know that my grandmother name is GoGo and I have two ...

Is it or isn’t it?

“It is what it is.” When I hear that, I’m tempted to say “Thank you, Captain Obvious.” (I like to say that every chance I get.) But “It is what it is” really isn’t that obvious, I don’t think. This is similar to my friend’s genius-type demonstration of “the now.” ...