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Going somewhere new

Perhaps it was a social media meme, but the suggestion to try something new every summer was planted in my head in June. Last month, I found myself sitting with my children and my daughter's boyfriend at Mountain Springs Arena in Shartlesville, Berks County, for...

Remembering a sweet baby boy

A child's first birthday culminates the first 12 months of life. Those months hold myriad milestones. The first smile. The first tooth. The first steps. Maybe even the first word or words. For parents of children who make their way into this world but not to that...

Through the colored ‘glass,’ we welcomed summer

As summer arrived Friday (June 21, 2019), the sun shone brightly and a warm breeze blew. Thankfully, that warmth didn't include humidity, but it's sure to come between the raindrops that just don't seem to let up every few days. All complaining aside, the first day of...

You hope they’ll say no, and do well

The mournful tone of bells at the start of AC/DC's classic rock song "Hell's Bells" heard on Tuesday (June 18, 2019) took me back a few years. OK. More than a few years. I sat among students at an area middle school. In this particular classroom, two corrections...

Seeing them at the sea

The summer wind, came blowing in, from across the sea ... two sweethearts and the summer wind ... Those words from a song made famous by Ol' Blue Eyes himself, New Jersey native Frank Sinatra, just came to mind as this blog entry began. Of course, Frank had romance in...

Stop, savor beauty as often as possible

With my daughter preparing to receive the sacrament of confirmation next month, the time for her to attend a retreat arrived. I dropped her off the morning of March 10, 2018, at our parish center. Nearly five hours later, the confirmands' parents and sponsors gathered...

Memes generate memories, conversations

Who in the social media world doesn't enjoy a daily dose of reminiscent memes? "If you did this and survived, your childhood was awesome" blares around a photo of youngsters riding without helmets on three-wheeled Big Wheel bikes, or on metal monkey bars. "This is how...

Time to act, take a stand and say, again, ENOUGH!

The tragic school shootings in Parkland, Florida, remain at the forefront of the news. Well, bring on the copycats. People take advantage of calling in threats to schools and making threats within earshot of others and on social media. In response, schools close or...

Puzzles produce plenty of things

I received a 1,000-piece puzzle for Christmas in the fifth grade. Its picture showed the scene from the 1982 movie "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" where the beloved alien hides among the stuffed animals in Gertie's closet. The puzzle took a lot of time to complete. I...

Stay home or go to school?

When your child wakes up with a nagging bellyache, a bad headache or downright fatigue, do you keep him home? What about a fever, upset stomach with vomiting or a pink eyeball? The latter three symptoms would most likely prompt a parent to keep Junior home, and...

Manners start at home. Or they should.

Excuse me. Please. Thank you. You're welcome. I'm sorry. These simple words and expressions help maintain a level of respect for one's self and others around them. Three young boys were entering my daughter's school building as I was leaving it last week. Seeing me...

With sick student, cyber communication nice aid

Teachers often get flak for having summer breaks, holidays and weekends off (Please note, teacher friends, I know the work often continues at home after the school bell concludes classes!). They also get praise and thanks from colleagues, students and students'...

Why do they do it?

The name's Yuk. Mr. Yuk. Remember him? His circular green face featured eyes closed tight and a green tongue sticking out of an upside-down smile. That face, available in sticker form, was affixed to cleaning products, bug and weed killers, gasoline containers and the...

Movie theater memories

Monday (Jan. 15, 2018) marked a sad day for movie theater enthusiasts and the economy in Schuylkill County. Pearl Cinema 8, one of the Schuylkill Mall's last holdouts, showed movies for the last time and closed its doors forever. Those of us who grew up shopping with...

He likes it! Hey, Jakey!

Consider it a mom accomplishment when you get your child to try a new food and he actually likes it. Cue that classic commercial for Life Cereal: "He likes it" Hey, Mikey!" Ha ha. In my case it's, "He likes it, Hey, Jakey!" My son surprised me on Christmas Eve when he...

Farm show not only fun, but educational

What comes to mind when you hear about the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg? If you think of farm animals, equipment and a fair-like atmosphere, you've hit the nail on the head. According to the show's website, the expo features "nearly 6,000 animals,...

Too cold outside, what to do inside

It's safe to say, "Baby, it's cold outside!" That said, single-digit temperatures prohibit little ones from playing outdoors and staying inside. It won't be long before choruses of "I'm bored!" ring out -- or maybe they already have. They did over Christmas break...

Starting 2018, school year’s second half

Less than a handful of Schuylkill County school districts started their first day after Christmas break two hours later. The rest of us, business as usual. Waking before the 5:15 a.m. alarm I set to get a load of laundry containing uniform pants for my daughter done,...

Celebration and calm

The big day is here. It's time to count down to Christmas Day, the arrival of Santa, the observance of the arrival of Jesus as an infant into this world. I look forward to the calm of Christmas Eve Mass with my children and family, to a casual dinner at my parents'...

Christmas prep have dones and have not dones

Who's ready? Who is finished wrapping, baking and decorating? To all three, I say no. Yes, I had planned weeks ago to set goals and get things finished so all I had to do on Christmas Eve is assist Santa and fall into bed. Well, life has a funny way of throwing curve...

Hiding, watching and waiting

It's hard to believe that Christmas is just three days away (as of this blog entry). That in mind, the kiddos still need to be good, for goodness sake. Santa Claus is coming to town soon. For some youngsters, the Jolly Old Elf had an extra set of eyes with an Elf on...

Keep car safety in mind during holiday, all year long

The holiday seems to find us all hurried and hustling to get things done before Dec. 25, no matter how organized we are. With the hustle and bustle might come forgetful steps or hastily done ones. In this instance, we need to remember to buckle up when traveling by...

Reindeer reign this year

What good does Santa do on his Christmas Eve journey without his reindeer? After all, the eight tiny ones led by Rudolph guide the Big Guy's sleigh through the night sky. Reindeer play a big role in Christmas stories, holiday decor, treats, novelties and little gifts....