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Local Commentaries

Unexpected blessings

"Life is what happens when you are making other plans," said John Lennon. I really believe that. Those who are stuck in a rigid schedule frustrate when things go awry. Many times, if we are open to change, we may find that it is not so bad. It may not have been part of our plans, but it ...

Fourteen years

Monday was a heavy gray day. A woman walking toward me in the Walmart parking lot smiled. He swept her arm over her head and asked, “Marcy, are you going to write about this?” Not quite sure what she meant, but tickled that this stranger knew me, I replied, “What, the Walmart ...

Accident season: ‘Look out for the crazies’

Our polite neighbor on the river, Arlene, advised my wife and me one day last summer to “look out for the ‘crazies,’ there’s a lot of them” as we were about to drive back to our home in Boardman. Although Arlene and her husband, Ron, now live in California, they are from the ...

The Christmas cactus takes center stage

With my summer flowers composted and my perennial garden enjoying its winter’s rest, my attention turns to my house plants. Taking center stage right now is my Christmas cactus. Schlumbergera bridgessii is a winter flowering house plant that makes a wonderful addition to anyone’s plant ...

‘The Veteran’

“When I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for me?” And I said, “Here I am, Send me!” — Isaiah 6:8. “The United States of America, as a nation, sleeps peaceably at night because we as a military stand ready to do violence on their ...

Maybe it’s time for a GPS

Likely the situation with GPS is similar to that of high tech sonar when Lake Erie walleye fishing got very popular in 1980, a lot more people own them than know how to use them. Especially those among us who are not tech-heads, the hicks and the old. I am eminently qualified to write on this ...

This is my father’s world

When I heard our church organist play “This Is My Father’s World” as part of her prelude a couple of weeks ago it brought back vivid memories. When I was young, I went to church camp. Each morning and each evening we had a prayer service - they were called matins and vespers. The matins ...

A unique experience, to say the least

One of my Erie nieces was married to an Air Force veteran who spoke of having known fellow servicemen at Thule Air Force Base in northern Greenland who had become afflicted with what they called the "Thule Big Eye" caused by the lack of sleep they suffered due to 24 hours of daylight during the ...

We’ve seen a lot of changes!

My generation has seen a myriad of changes. When I think of all the things that have changed through the years it makes me tired - no, I did not say old, but I guess that is probably true as well. Take the telephone. When I was young, we had one telephone in the house. Grandma's was in the ...

A double-date back at school

I don’t think I’ve double-dated since high school but I recently got an offer I couldn’t refuse. The invitation had come in the mail earlier this summer and I’d put it aside – who needs to go to their 60th high school reunion when you made it to the 50th and 55th? I thought it ...

Change your perspective

How many times have you described someone as an "attention seeker"? How many times have you heard someone describe someone making suicidal statements as "only wanting attention"? How many times have you heard people say about a child, "we ignore such behaviors because he/she only wants our ...

First snow?

When will we get the first snow? I know for some that are a dirty word but it will come anyway. I do not mean flurries in the air. I mean real snow that stays on the ground. During the recent full moon, I woke one morning and was sure that it snowed. There was a white cast over ...

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I never thought much about getting a mammogram - that is until a routine mammogram revealed an abnormality. At first, I was mad! Not this again was my thought pattern. Ten years before this happened, I underwent a test, followed by surgery and nothing was wrong. I still have the scar to ...

Redheads have staying power

I recently read that redheads will not exist by the end of this century. Holy Clairol! The story went on to say that between one and two percent of the world’s population is redheaded. Well, if the current world population is approximately 7.7 billion, let’s say that 1.5% of that ...

A Tionesta Creek ‘swim’

Warren area residents are fortunate to live in a region where avenues for outdoor recreation are so readily at hand and certainly go well beyond the traditional outdoor pursuits of hunting and fishing. The region is also lucky to have an organization that helps the public to enjoy its local ...

Only a stone’s throw away

So, there I was, sitting at my desk, minding my own business (for once, I usually mind other people’s business when I’m at work) when I got an email from an unexpected source. The stone skipping World Record Holder reached out to me. I’ve heard from some pretty esteemed personages ...

A note…

...to the air of October 12 in the mid-afternoon. You are here. Finally. I forget that I miss you, that you fill me with gratitude. Carrying the scent of fading leaves, low sunshine, and the inaugural biting night of autumn, you wrap the season I’ve been waiting for into one inhalation. You ...

What’s in a name?

"Curiosity killed the cat," the old saying goes. I guess it's a good thing I'm not of the feline persuasion. I'll just admit it - I'm nosy. I like meeting new people and I have a bad habit that has served me well. I talk to people. I chat with cabbies and clerks and waiters and people ...

A visit up north (part 1)

A delayed honeymoon trip to Alaska was a treat. Both of us had been to Alaska before, but this time we visited Don's daughter, Melanie and her family. When he talked to her shortly before we left, she told us the weather up there was similar to what we were having so we took what we thought ...

‘Mean girls’

The teen years are filled with all types of mean girls; frenemies, fake friends, toxic friends and controlling girls. These mean girl behaviors often leave others feeling hurt, puzzled and distraught. Mean behavior is not “normal” girl behavior but is often excused as “that’s what ...