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A new generation learns the hard way

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Does the word “relief” bring anything special to your mind except a slogan for an anti-acid? Probably not, unless you grew up in the Great Depression, and there are getting to be fewer of us as the years fly by. “Relief” was a government program to assist jobless families whose savings were gone, whose homes […]

The noise level around us keeps rising

Thursday, July 23, 2009

All through the night, especially during those nights when sleep isn’t quite sleep but a semi-consciousness, sirens wail. The emergency room of a huge hospital is just a country block south of me. Sirens scream 24/7 as law enforcement and fire department personnel do their dangerous duties. During the day, there are loud motorcycles, cars […]

After Fourth of July, summer flies by

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Once the Fourth of July is history, the rest of the summer seems to break all speed records in racing toward the end of the year. Just last week, someone had the temerity to remind me that six months from that day would be Christmas! I did not thank her for that information. But in […]

I am blessed with wonderful friends

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What with 4 1/2 inches of rain one afternoon and a severe colic or twisted gut three days earlier, I’ve come to the conclusion that Mother Nature has decided I need to be taken down a peg or two. Or three. One thing about the rain, though, I can once again see the pond. The […]

Tell Mother Nature it’s summertime

Thursday, June 11, 2009

In just a minute or two, the longest day of the year will dawn and summer will officially arrive. Someone had better tell Mother Nature, though. If her rendition of summer is as cockeyed as that of spring was, don’t expect the rhapsodic example of which Henry Wadsworth Longfellow gushed: “…then followed that beautiful season…summer…filled […]

Is it Decoration Day or Memorial Day?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A dear young friend — she is 45 and to me that is young! — and I were discussing the upcoming holiday weekend and I asked if she had any plans for Decoration Day. “For what?” she asked. “What’s that?” and I corrected my question to Memorial Day. Which got me thinking about the last […]

Horseback riding happens after all

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yes! Yes! Yes, I did go horseback riding — not on my exact 87th birthday but 10 days into my 88th year! I know this is not the most important happening I should write about — like the fragrant blizzard of pink and white blossoms now blowing across the driveway, like the two darling goslings […]

No birthday horseback riding this year

Thursday, April 30, 2009

No, I didn’t go horseback riding on my 87th birthday, the first time in many, many years I haven’t observed that tradition — but only because no “suitable” horse was available. Last year, there was a darling mare, Angel, visiting at Judy’s during one of her dressage clinics, and I was privileged to ride her. […]

Book stirs up memories of canal days

Thursday, April 16, 2009

If you’re not from the tri-county — Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana — area, you might not find this column of interest. On the other hand, if you have a hankering to know what it was like to live in the early 1900s in a small community along the Sandy and Beaver Canal and the middle fork […]

It’s about time, Mother Nature!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It’s about time, Mother Nature! You must have finally been paying attention to all the hoopla about “Going Green” and decided to give it a try because everywhere there is, indeed, green! Not all at once This hasn’t happened all at once. I watched the barberry hedges begin to sport a filmy veil that gradually […]

What I didn’t know about cows

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Never having lived with a cow, I know almost nothing about cows — and I truly believe that unless you actually live with an animal, even another person, you know next to nothing about them. It’s that day-to-day contact, not necessarily under the same roof, but better if that’s possible, which lets you “see” into […]

Cat woman: There’s a new girl in the house

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Full-figured Bingo is not quite sure where she is just yet. But, with typical feline curiosity, she is exploring every corner of every room, every cupboard, every closed door, every possible hidey-hole. In fact, this morning — her first here, having arrived only yesterday — I almost panicked because I couldn’t find her anywhere. We […]

My dear cat, Lisa, will be remembered with love

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I do not want to write this column. But I must. February has once again taken a beloved member of this family. Beginning in 1965, February took my mother. Through the years it took a dear Dalmatian, Maggie; my father; my sister; my Arabian, Pinkie. And now, my Lisa. She spoke to me Lisa came […]

Good food helps us get through winter

Thursday, February 12, 2009

If there is anything more rib-sticking, more delicious, more comforting, more warming to the cockles of your heart in these continuing assaults by King Winter, it has to be honest-to-God, old-fashioned buckwheat cakes served with honest-to-God maple syrup and either bacon or sweet sausage. (According to my Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, cockles are puckers and […]

Nothing nice about snow and ice

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where is global warming when we need it? And what happened to a January thaw? I think bears have the right idea. In fact, for one solid week, I copied them. I hibernated. Literally. The Friday that the Abominable Snowman was huffing and puffing to get a good start, I went to the store and […]

Take heart: Spring is six weeks away

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Take heart, friends, take heart — Groundhog Day approaches! And whether or not the furry rodent sees his shadow, spring is just six weeks away and while King Winter hasn’t reigned very long by the calendar, it only seems as though the season has been here forever. Those folks who decorate extensively for Christmas had […]

The year 2008 was really a bummer

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Let’s just come right out and say it: 2008 was a bummer. Actually, that is one of the kindest things one might say about the not-so-dear departed year. The welcome to 2009 is bound to be more subdued than usual. The state of the world, the state of the economy, the state of just about […]

Here is heaven on Earth for animals

Thursday, December 18, 2008

There is a sweet 1834 painting by Edward Hicks titled The Peaceable Kingdom showing animals of every description relaxing together, and I have a book by the same title, which is about the various animals at the Philadelphia Zoo. In the preface to that book, a noted author wrote, “In a world older and more […]

Post-its are a big help with all the lists

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Now the endless lists begin. What did we ever do BP — Before Post-its — because the list never happens to be where we are. Or is it beneath the living-breathing (I’ll swear) pile of papers, envelopes, CDs, notes that remind us of something we were supposed to do yesterday that accumulates and grows at […]

Bluebirds finally find my small refuge

Thursday, November 20, 2008

October’s fabled bluebird weather has long since flown, but while blending into grey November left memories that will help us survive the looming winter. One of my sweetest memories will be the morning of Nov. 8 when, to my absolute jaw-dropping disbelief, I saw, perched on the rim of my bird bath, a real, honest […]


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