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Local Commentaries

Uninspired inspiration

As a creative professional, the times are truly uninspiring. Going into this new year, I was so excited to have a fresh start. Things started off without a hitch, but then everything came to a halt, as we are all well aware. I didn’t really start feeling the effects of everything until ...

Those tricky sweet peas

I have always loved sweet peas, a flowering annual of many colors and sweet fragrance. As a little girl I helped my grandmother plant her presoaked sweet pea seeds against the lattice wall of the summer house. This garden tradition always took place on Good Friday so that the spring moon would ...

The funny bone that breaks our hearts

Irony. Something we might enjoy in a novel or movie. You know, an unexpected twist in a story. An almost-amusing turn of events. An online dictionary offers this example: “It was ironic that I was seated next to my ex at the dinner.” Depending upon one’s relationship with an ex such an ...

Where social distancing is impossible

We read that former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has reacted to the coronavirus pandemic to the extent of recommending that the Navy bring all its ships into port and quarantine crew members for two weeks until they were rid of any taint of the virus. After the crews were returned to their ships, ...

Uncertain growth

I was listening to a podcast last week that a photographer I follow hosted. She talked about how to survive and navigate these shutdowns, and how to continue making money without breaking any laws or social distancing rules. A lot of photographers believe that they are not allowed to ...

Rewriting the definition of 2020

2020 marks the beginning of a new way forward in more ways than one. It’s the beginning of a new decade, one of which that is already filled with many uncertainties. The year is defined by Wikipedia as follows: “The 2020s (pronounced “twenty-twenties”) is the current decade in the ...

Uncertainty

The recent month has brought a lot of uncertainty to our lives. There have been dates given and then those dates pass and we are left with nothing. I think the hardest part is the uncertainty of it all. If we had dates that everything would be opening and life would start to feel ...

To refund or not to refund

To refund, or not to refund. That is the question. With the COVID-19 crisis, more and more weddings are being cancelled or put on hold. People are being forced to delay their nuptials due to this virus. And both couples and wedding professionals are devastated. Months and sometimes ...

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 ...