Local Commentaries

It’s not scary

I went to Dryden, N.Y. last weekend to see the My Little Pony movie with Shanell and her kids. And my kids. I mean, obviously. I wouldn’t go see My Little Pony without my kids. Of course. She told herself. Anyway, Dryden is this weird little town that was a perfect place to ...

My own family

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years writing about other people’s families. From the French and Indian War in colonial times up to the Vietnam conflict, I’ve written more stories than I can count about people’s experiences and about the experiences of past ...

The ups and downs of life

My day began with driving rain and intense fog as I traveled to a meeting out of town. Actually, I was thankful for the rain because it made having to spend my day indoors a little less deadly. We listened to people tell about their faith journey, then talk on a bible passage that they ...

Grandma gets the gimmes

One of the benefits of the little house in Grand Valley is the children's books we found there. William became a huge fan of the Berenstain Bears just as his mother had been 30 years before. I really enjoyed reading those familiar stories out loud once again. Every book has a lesson to ...

How we roll

Gigantic rock formations are cool. Bad planning is much less cool. Spending time with the people who are important to us is very cool. Of the impressive rock formations in the county, I have visited Rimrock and Jakes Rocks many times, Bakers Rocks once, and Gardners Rocks probably once, ...

A fall treat

According to the National Board of Popcorn Growers fall is the season when popcorn is enjoyed the most. In spite of the fact that the National Day of Popcorn is in January, the fall is the season for making popcorn. The National Board has a website that is based in Chicago. On that site there ...

‘Tiny drunks’ dressed up for Halloween

Shanell wrote to me earlier this year, to ask me if I’d ever heard of James Breakwell. I was pretty sure I hadn’t. Then Shanell asked me hadn’t I ever seen those funny conversations with kids that get posted on Twitter. And I told her, unapologetically, that I had no idea what the ...

Take me to your leader

I am not a robotics expert. I use computers to type words, look up information, and play games. That’s about it. So, when the multi-hundred-thousand-dollar explosive ordnance disposal robot is around, I’m worried about crashing it. I didn’t. The helpful U.S. Army sergeants who ...

Dealing with the alternative

My computer dictionary defines an alternator as “A device that generates alternating current, especially in a car.” What they leave out in the definition is that the alternator works, like most machines, when it is in the mood. Mine got moody last week . . . in fact, severely depressed. ...

Center of the universe

It seems seeing negativity in the world around us has become just as common as taking a breath. But is that a reflection of society changing or is it more so that we are not looking in the right places for happiness. Granted it is becoming more and more difficult to keep focused on anything ...

Afterthoughts

An occasional collection of vignettes from events and public meetings in Warren County that never make it into news stories because...well, you’ll see. Keep up Keeping the minutes at a public meeting is an important task. It can also be challenging. Being a part of the meeting while ...

An autumn to remember

The beautiful weather of September and October have made an autumn to remember. The calendar tells us it is time to put away the lawn furniture but we listen to the weather forecast and we give it another week. While some of my containers have been composted, others look wonderful, with ...

Squirrel guns

Several years ago on this outdoors page I argued with myself over the perfect squirrel rifle. After using .22 rimfire rifles for decades, out came a couple of new .17 caliber rimfire cartridges, the .17 HMR and the significantly shorter .17 Mach 2. I bought one of each, both with heavy barrels. ...

Autumnal recrudescence

Bluebirds murmur as they investigate the nest box, their solemn songs melodic in the morning fog. A White-throated Sparrow joins in from the edge of the pasture, clear and crystal. Faintly a Ruffed Grouse drums, and the peepers call with gusto from the pond. Dandelions appear scattered on the ...

‘Do it’: Make kindness your default setting

Take a moment and think about all the little ways that having to boil water for a few days has affected your life. Now take another moment, and realize that there are people who are grateful just to have a dirty or an inconsistent water source at all. People for whom its very presence, ...

The lamp

“later that night i held an atlas in my lap ran my fingers across the whole world and whispered where does it hurt? it answered everywhere everywhere everywhere.” A Kenyan author, Warsan Shire wrote those words, and boy do they ring true to me as I write this. We’ve had ...

Only a kid

I am not a political person; whatsoever. When anyone wants to discuss politics, count me out. Politics shape our nation, but they are pure stupidity. No one can do anything right it seems, and politicians are childish. There has been a lot of chaos happening in the world right now; ...

The world is the grass carp’s oyster

So now the grass carp has make its way into Lake Erie. Between April 30 and July 12, representatives from the U.S. Geological Survey, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the University of Toledo collected eggs from the Sandusky River that later were confirmed to be the eggs of grass ...

The farm can be a dangerous place

When my son was close to being one-year old the materials needed to build a new silo were delivered to the farm by the Unadilla Silo Company. An addition was put on the barn to increase the space we had to hold our cattle. A foundation had been poured and smoothed to be ready for the ...

Seeking new experiences

Rarely does a photo on Facebook make me jealous, but one of my friends put one up last summer that made me drool with envy. She was in a creek with a bunch of other people lifting a giant rock to find one of the most elusive salamanders in the area, the Hellbender. This giant salamander ...