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Local Commentaries

Not the way we imagined

Around seven months ago when I started my senior year, I never would have imagined an ending quite like the one I have been given. Growing up and watching the classes before me, I have always looked forward to everything that senior year has to offer, including senior prom, the class trip, ...

Creativity for your health

There is power in creativity in the face of change. It’s no lie that social distancing is forcing a change of habit in all our lives. The expectation that everything will go back to normal after this is rather naive, and I personally look forward to what the new normal will be when the ...

The gap it left in our lives

As the coronavirus descends upon our nation, even striking close to home, and as the national death toll mounts and I advance in years and acquire a few health problems of my own, death somehow seems closer at hand rather than just out there in the infinite. The recent death of Jim Lehrer, ...

Responsible recreation

When I was fresh out of college, I worked on a trail crew in Arizona. During that time, I spent 10 days working the most heavily-trafficked trail on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Bright Angel Trail. We walked the two-and-a-half to three miles down every morning and back up in the late ...

Forsythia tells us it’s spring

Our earliest spring flowering shrub is the Forsythia also known as the Easter Tree. The Forsythia’s bright yellow flowers tell the gardener that spring is on the way. Like our Pennsylvania climate the Forsythia is a tough, scrappy and reliable shrub that comes into bloom just when we need it ...

Take advantage

A feeling came over me on Friday. I’ve felt this feeling before as a father, but I really didn’t like it this time. My son wanted me to rebound for him as he shot baskets on the backyard hoop, but I was busy... paying bills... then I had to get ready to work the night shift. That ...

We can all be true patriots

I have finally called off the search. Two weeks I spent looking through old boxes in search of the last copy of an essay I wrote in the eighth grade. It wasn’t just any essay, though. This thing won first place in the competition it was submitted to through my local V.F.W. when living ...

Words like life preservers

In these anxious days when virtually every sense of normalcy in life has been shattered, we suffer no lack of words. Words online, words in print, words exchanged from a distance, words texted, Tweeted, and Twittered, words from medical experts, words from governmental officials, words from ...

The teacher that made the difference

Believe it or not, I was the quiet kid in school. I was introverted and shy. I dreaded when a teacher called on me to read or answer a question. DREADED IT. But even the quiet, shy kid has a teacher or teachers that make a huge difference in their life. For me, it was Miss Dixie Clough at ...

I remember…

I remember... ...sitting in a large auditorium in Okinawa, around Christmas, 1965, along with 800 other Marines. The speaker was a Colonel, as I recall: “Look at your buddies, to your left and your right. Chances are, at the end of your Vietnam tour, one of them will not be going home ...

Blessings and lessons

When this whole COVID-19 outbreak started, 2 weeks ago, it seemed weird. It felt like people were overreacting and then it felt like the world was ending. My emotions have been up and then they crash down. I tell myself it’s fine and then I read something that makes me know it’s not. ...

In support of community health

First and foremost, know that your entire YMCA community is thinking of you, your families, and our community-at-large. We hope you are all staying safe, healthy, and managing as well as you can under the current circumstances. The efforts you have made to prioritize your health and well-being ...

Daffodils, the flower of spring

The star of the spring garden show is always the daffodil. One of the most dependable of the spring flowers the daffodil will bloom, multiply and thrive often with the complete neglect of the gardener. Even though the house down the road has been abandoned for many years, the hundreds of ...

The new healthcare

Self-care is the new healthcare. Self-care is any activity that we do in life in order to take care of our physical, mental, and emotional health. Taking care of yourself is the same as self-care. The challenge is identifying the different things that we need to do individually that make ...

I didn’t check the weather forecast

“One’s reach should not exceed his grasp,” is a truism I should have abided by a few years ago when I decided to expand my nautical endeavors by acquiring a one-man rowing scull. I’ve done a modest amount of rowing over the years, including when I had a sailboat moored off Presque ...

COVID-19: A college student’s perspective

As I’m writing this piece, I’m sitting in the middle of my bedroom at home, completely unpacked and moved back in an entire month and a half before I anticipated. More than half of the students on my campus have already vacated the premises since Chatham University announced the switch to ...

Nature: Inside and out

Nature creeps, crawls and slithers into our world every day. It is hard to draw a line between what we consider the human world and the natural world. Really, that artificial line doesn’t exist. The houses we live in are no different from the dens and nests of animals, aside from providing an ...

Education and common sense

Fear is defined as an unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined. Fear is an emotion induced by perceived danger or threat which causes physiological changes and ultimately behavior changes such as fleeing, hiding or freezing from perceived traumatic events. ...

To heal the divide

Before anyone starts yelling at me, I promise you I am not being flippant about a potentially-serious worldwide pandemic. People seem to be falling between one of two camps — those who lean toward keyword ‘potential,’ and those who lean toward keyword ‘serious.’ Whichever way you ...

And you will just know

Let’s talk about dating for a minute. Yep, I’m going there. In a culture where dating seems to consist of swiping left and right and random hook-ups, have we lost its true meaning? I mean, with all the different relationship scenarios these days, how does anyone go into a first date ...