Sunday, December 30, 2007

the eve of the big eve

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and everyone will be having a party or pretending their having a party or going to a party.
As if there is something special about the night.
Well, there is still Dick Clark... sort of.
But I remember New Year's Eve 1999, when everyone was sure the world was going to come to an end or all the computers would stop working and our lives would come to a halt.
Some people had stockpiled food and water and money -- all ready to fend off the rest of the world .. and their neighbors... for months.
We all had to work that night at the paper, so if anything HAD happened, we wouldn't even have been with our loved ones.
Of course, nothing happened. It was a big letdown.
All of the hype, all of the buildup .. and nothing happened.
Hey, isn't that sort of what New Year's Eve is like every year?
Perhaps I'm just too jaded.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


So the year is waning and many people are thinking about their New Year resolutions.
I've never been very good at making, or keeping, them, so most years I figure, why bother?
I do, however, always admire those people who make resolutions and actually work hard to achieve their various goals.
There are those who diligently diet and exercise; others who finally quit smoking; or perhaps they head back to college or change careers.
There are so many areas where I could resolve to change my life that it's hard to pick just one.
But I'm trying to narrow it down before New Year's Day. Perhaps it won't be so much a formal resolution, as simply a resolve to begin to make a difference in at least one area.
Like I said, there are many from which to choose.
I wonder if others are having the same dilemma?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve 2007... I sit here as another Dec. 24th wanes and think back to the many Christmas Eves I have seen.
WAY back when, my three sisters and I could hardly contain ourselves on Christmas Eve; we giggled and whispered and wondered what Santa would bring.
As the years passed, the wonder faded a bit, but family Christmases were just as important.
In our first years of marriage, my husband and I would head to church on Christmas Eve, spend the evening just the two of us, and often head to my parents' house on Christmas morning.
More years passed and then we were three -- and our daughter brought back that innocent wonder once again. Oh, and the Christmas Eves of putting toys together and wrapping last-minute presents, as we raced against the clock.
More years flew by, our daughter married and it was just the two of us again.
Now, in 2007, it is just the two of us once more, but this time my daughter and I are the "two."
My husband passed away nearly four years ago; my father, nearly eight. My mother died this year; my daughter is no longer married.
But still it is Christmas, and new traditions are created and old ones observed.
So many memories; some sadness, but happiness nonetheless.
May all your memories be happy ones.
Merry Christmas.

another thing...

There is one thing about the holidays that has really been bothering me. I noticed it several times leading up to Christmas, when stores had special "men's nights" to cater to men who were "so overwhelmed" at the thought of Christmas shopping.
The stores were open only to the men, they gave them food and libations, some offered neck massages and various other goodies.
All because "men are so busy and can find shopping so confusing."
Give me a break. I know there are men who truly do help out at the holidays, but I hear many more tales of women who buy, address and sign the cards; do all the shopping and cooking for the holiday meal; do all the cleaning and special laundry; basically do all the decorating (perhaps a man will put up the tree or even put the lights on it); and wrap all the presents except for their own, plus mail those that have to go a distance.
Yes, in far too many cases, the women still are doing just about everything to make the holidays special.
And then the men get special treatment to lure them into stores?
What's wrong with this picture?
Santa, it's time to bring more equity into this equation.

Is that Santa?

Can it be Dec. 24th already? Are your stockings hung by the chimney with care?
I look out my window here at The Reporter and it could be almost any time of the year.
The sky is pure blue, few clouds in the sky, a bit of a breeze.
It doesn't really look like winter, much less Christmas Eve.
So far it's been fairly quiet on the police radio -- probably most people are shopping or on their way for a holiday visit.
Let's hope the quiet continues, for everyone's sake.
I don't think the "magic" of Christmas Eve ever sets in for me until I'm at home, with the Christmas tree lit, perhaps some holiday music playing quietly and the packages, neatly wrapped, are under the tree.
Well, at least they're wrapped. I won't pretend to be great at creating beautifully wrapped presents.
For now, it's work; then a test at the hospital -- can you believe it, on Christmas Eve? Then home to kitties and family.
Here's wishing you a quiet, peaceful lead-up to Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

it's almost time

Dec. 23... Festivus for some. The day before the day before for many others of us.
Baking those last cookies, wrapping presents, bustling around doing some cleaning, and, finally, sitting down to watch "White Christmas" with my daughter -- one of our yearly traditions.
Yes, it's a sappy musical, but I can't help but love it.
For one thing, much of it takes place in Vermont. Yes, I know it doesn't REALLY take place in Vermont, but I can pretend.
And it's a tale where everything works out in the end; everyone ends up in love; everyone ends up happy.
How many movies like that do they make today?
So, we watch it, repeat a lot of the dialog, sing with some of the songs ... and note the bad editing at places.
In short, we love it.
Year in, year out.
It's one of those Christmas movies that's a must every year... just like "The Ref."
Talk about a world of difference in movies!
But each has their place.
Enjoy as we reach those final hours before Christmas Day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

bad drivers!

I had the day off today... from work... in order to take care of some medical appointments. so that meant, of course, driving around the area.
And, of course, that meant once again taking my life into my hands.
I counted no fewer than four different drivers at four different lights who just barreled through lights that were dead red.
No just turning red; not yellow.
Full red.
One of these offenders was a tractor-trailer.
I was thankful that the drivers who were first in line for the green lights didn't make the mistake of trusting the light and starting through. Otherwise, there would have been a few families whose holidays would have been marred, possibly fatally, by accidents caused by these idiots.
What is wrong with drivers in this area?
Yes, accidents happen.
But these incidents were pure arrogance.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oh, the weather outside...

OK, it's not frightful today, but I can't STAND the wind that we've been having lately.
Or the ice.
On a few recent days, the trees next to my driveway have been so ice-laden that their branches have almost touched the ground ... and these are TALL trees. It scares me to think that one morning I'll come out and the trees will no longer be standing.
But it's the wind, that howling wind, that disturbs me the most. I can't even say why, but I hate it. It's far from the breezes of summer and fall that filter through our wind chimes and soften the heat and humidity.
I know, in the summer I can't wait for autumn. Then I look forward to colder weather.
Now I'm complaining about the wind.
Some people just can't be happy with the weather... guess that includes me.

Monday, December 10, 2007

days gone by

I got a call from my college roommate Friday evening. She lives in Nevada now, and before that lived in California. And before that lived in Mass. So over the "few" years since our days at Shippensburg, we haven't been able to see each other that often. But boy, we sure can still talk.
And every time we chat, we remember some of those good, goofy times when all we had to worry about was going to class. And passing the tests. And our dorm housemother. And the endless papers... when, you get the idea. But there also was so much fun. And the holidays were always part of that.
Everyone always decorated their dorm rooms, the doors, the halls -- you name it. And going around to see the other dorms was always part of the fun.
Of course, one of the "sweetest" memories was when the guys from our brother dorm came over to sing Christmas carols one night, standing out in the snow and the cold. Naturally we all were appreciating all of this from our open windows -- and it was really a fun experience.
Until our sweet housemother got on the PA system and demanded it all come to an end.
We were not to "hang out of the windows, and make this dorm into a brothel!"
I'm not kidding... that's what she told us. At least part of the "housemother" description was accurate.
But I won't go there -- it IS the holiday season.
And, I suppose in the end, she helped make that occasion unforgettable.
It would be great to be able to go back to that time, if even just for a few days, and recapture some of the fun that was part of holiday college fun ... and to be young again with all my friends and to have "only" the worries we did then.
Older and wiser? Perhaps.
And still lucky enough to have friends from those days to remember some of those special times.
I hope you do, too.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

the blues

Does everyone get the blues around the holidays? It seems that way, based on a lot of people I've talked with lately.
I'm no exception, I admit. This is my first Christmas since my mother died in April. My dad died almost eight years ago; my husband died almost four years ago, and sometimes it just seems a bit too much to deal with.
Thank goodness for my daughter, the rest of my family and my friends.
Still, when I hear "I'll be home for Christmas" or some of the others that were favorites of my late loved ones, the tears come.
Gee, what an upbeat post for this December Sunday evening.
And I shouldn't be so gloomy. My decorations are up, my cards are sent, most of my gifts are purchased. There aren't many to buy for immediate family, but I've found that it's fun and fulfilling to participate in "angel trees" and similar projects.
So it's time to snap out of it, I suppose.
Loved ones no longer with us will never be forgotten; they'll always be missed.
But I want to honor their memories with love and happiness, not gloom and doom.
Hope I'm successful.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I'm into therapy -- physical, that is

For several weeks now I've been heading to physical therapy three times a week.
I've had problems for years and years with my neck and right arm... unfortunately, I'm right-handed.
A car accident decades ago, a herniated disk 10 years ago -- and old age -- have all combined to once again through problems at me. Numbness and tingling in the thumb and fingers, sometimes going up the arm; pain and stiffness; weakness in my hand.
Gee, isn't age wonderful?
But therapy does seem to be helping, and I have the wonderful people at the Physical Therapy and Wellness Institute in Lansdale to thank.
NO, this is NOT a commercial. But sometimes people deserve some recognition.
I wish I was making faster progress, because I don't want to feel like an old lady just yet. But I'm feeling stronger, and plugging away at my home exercises, too.
So, here's hoping.

snow, snow, snow

Yes, December is officially here. Anyone who wasn't sure got a wake-up call today with the snow, freezing rain and other nasties that Mother Nature threw at us.
I could have lived with just the snow -- even a few more inches. It looked beautiful this morning, and it was a pleasant reminder that yes, we DO still have seasons. Sometimes you wonder when it's November and it's over 70.
So now comes the big question: Will we have a white Christmas? It would be great to see the snow start falling around 7 p.m. Christmas Eve and wake up with a few inches of the white stuff on the ground. Not enough to ruin anyone's family plans, but enough to remind us what Christmas SHOULD look like.
Anyone disagree??

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tis the season

It's Sunday evening, the weekend has vanished... BUT today we went out and bought our Christmas tree. We don't go the artificial route -- just wouldn't seem like Christmas to us.
Once we had it home, the usual Christmas jig ensued. Trying to get it into the holder, trying to get the tree straight, trying to get the bolts tight enough so the tree wouldn't topple.
And then, of course, adjusting everything once we got it into the house.
And then, of course, the cats had to inspect everything, drink out of the tree holder and spaz out under the tree.
We put up the lights... the rest of the decorating, we hope, will get done this week.
But it's also so pleasant to turn out the lights, except for the tree, and just enjoy how beautiful it looks.
Happy tree hunting, everyone!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Whatta day

It's Nov. 24, it's full moon and it's cold -- hey, it's November!
Today was a great day, getting together with some family members I don't get to see nearly often enough.
My late husband's mother and his sister, plus her daughter and HER two daughters -- add in myself and my daughter and it was a great ladies day
Since my mother-in-law lives near Hershey, my daughter and I decided to stop in at Chocolate World first to do a little Christmas shopping. We somehow avoided the 5 busloads of people that also were early birds and even decided to take the ride through
"chocolate making," since it had been quite a while.
The weather was beautiful, the stop at Chocolate World was fun and it was so great to spend time with family and get caught up on our lives.
No, we didn't exchange expensive presents or stop in at a fine-dining restaurant, but we couldn't have asked for a better day.
Yes, I'm tired now that it's evening and the trip is over, but it's a good kind of tired.
Not the "oh, I could have killed those people at the mall" kind of tired.
It's the kind of day you file away for future smiles.


Well, were you among the billions who gorged themselves on turkey and all the trimmings, dazed in a comatose state as football droned in the background, and then hit the ground running around 3 a.m. --- or midnight -- so you could smash your way through crowds only to discover that ONE sale item you had tortured yourself was was sold out? Actually, it seems the store had only one to begin with and that was promised to the manager's daughter.
Some of us lucky ones had a quiet family get-together on Turkey Day -- and since we're vegetarians, there was no turkey to prepare -- and that had to work on Friday (not in retail, thank goodness).
When did this gotta have stores open on Thanksgiving; gotta have them open at midnight madness take over us?
Where is the fun and anticipation of getting to the store at a normal time, chatting with other shoppers, no promises of HUGE sales (on just one item) to throw everyone into a feeding frenzy?
It's not fun to shop this way; the only memories being made are hateful ones.
I'm glad I had to work on Friday.
Then I could come home, pull on some flannel jammies and shop on the Internet.
Now about that Christmas tree......

Monday, November 19, 2007

was that really snow???

Yes, we actually got some snowflakes on Sunday and Monday. Nothing to actually "see" on the ground, but they did fall from the sky... and on the week of Thanksgiving. It provides hope that summer is finally, officially over. Perhaps we'll have some colder weather before winter sets in!
Having been up in Vermont recently, I like to check the newspaper in Stowe, and saw this past weekend that the road that snakes over the mountain at Smuggler's Notch has been closed for the winter because of snow and ice -- impassable! Yes, it happens every winter, but it was cool to see the photo they published and to think of snuggling in at a cabin for the winter.
A nice fantasy, but not very realistic.
Still, it's fun to dream.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

are you ready?

You know it's early November when all of the shopping centers put up their outside holiday lights.
Guess they have to though; after all, Santa arrived at Montgomery Mall Friday evening.
Now kiddies can start lining up and begging for all those high-priced items they simply MUST have.
And parents can start to feel guilty.
Really, though, the white lights do help pierce the gloom of the long nights, and that does help in some respects.
But certain people around the office are already talking about wrapping their Christmas presents.
I haven't even thought about buying any yet.
I think this year I'll just skip it... of course I threaten that every year.
Eggnog anyone?

Friday, November 9, 2007

thanks for voting

No, I didn't run for office.
And no, the voter figures were hardly records.
But I wanted to thank everyone WHO voted FOR voting.
Obviously it resulted in many changes at the local and county levels.
And regardless of what party you lay claim to, it was good to see so many candidates and some change.
It will be interesting to see how some of this plays out in the years to come.
So, now that the election is over, you can all get down to the really important stuff.
Like holiday shopping.
Hey, I'd rather be voting.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


OK, it may be rainy and a little dreary this morning, but don't use that as an excuse not to vote.
You go to work, you head out to "fun" events, you go shopping, you hang out with friends regardless of the weather.
So don't try to justify blaming the weather for you laziness.
This is an important local election -- make your voice heard.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Ready to vote?

OK, it's Sunday evening. It's been a gorgeous weekend and probably a lot of you have been busy, as I was, prepping for winter.
You know, tidying up the yard, stowing away summer furniture, saying goodbye to flowers zapped by the frost.
But did you spend any time thinking about Tuesday's elections?
I certainly hope so.
This Tuesday will be an important election for county and municipal voters, especially.
County commissioner, district attorney, row offices, school boards, borough councils, township boards -- come on, people.
Turn out on Tuesday and make your voice heard!
You know you spent time on your yard and house... now make time to vote!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

the countdown begins

Halloween is past and, with the start of November, comes the start of all things Christmas. The commercials have begun; of course the stores have been putting out holiday-related items for months. The catalogs are clogging my mailbox.
I can remember when the day AFTER Thanksgiving was the "official" start of the holiday feeling. My mom would take us shopping -- a big treat, because there were no malls and we didn't go shopping on a routine basis for "frivolous" items.
But it made it all the more magical. You knew that month would be filled with baking cookies, sending and getting cards, buying presents, looking at the "wish book" over and over again, praying Santa and your parents would get the hint.
There was always the big party at school, and of course the decorations were made with our own little hands.
I know we didn't get tons of presents; we were far from rich, but everyone else was basically in the same boat so no one expected a TV or dozens of gifts.
But it was a wonderful time of year and filled with anticipation.
That was long before radio stations went "all holiday" in November; holiday ornaments debuted at card stores in July; and mega malls were THE place to shop.
It may be only the beginning of November, but for far too many people, the dreaded race is on.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Halloween... even though this holiday has become WAY too commercialized, I still love it. Of course, I love the days way back when... when you pulled a costume together from something you had around the house; when it was safe to trick or treat anywhere; when school didn't have rules about what was "allowed" as part of a costume.
Oh, those were the days.
And those vintage Halloween cards and decorations were the best! Who thought blow-up Halloween decorations for your front yard -- or for Christmas, for that matter -- was a good idea?? Ridiculous!
Yes, going as a ghost or a hobo or a witch; just loved it!
Anyone else miss the good old days??

Monday, October 29, 2007

a bit of a change

I haven't posted for a bit because of a trip out of state -- literally out of Pennsylvania and also out of the stress of the everyday.
Vermont is my haven, it seems, for many reasons.
Sometimes the trips are for vacations, sometimes for much-needed "rests" and sometimes for more personal reasons than need to be relayed.
I won't go into all the reasons for this most recent trip, other than to say it was needed on many levels and for more than just myself.
We all know how quickly time away seems to race by. Can anyone out there relate? It doesn't have to be a trip to Vermont or even away from your home; sometimes a multitude of factors collide and make a "retreat" necessary.
During my travels I witnessed everything from a man trying to escape the rain by wearing a plastic bag on his head, to another pleading for food at an interstate exit, to a work crew trying to figure out how to "tame" a huge boulder that had tumbled down the side of a mountain.
Wonder if anyone else has a tale to tell?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

what good home?

I couldn't believe when, on my home from work Friday, I saw the sign again, hanging outside a house in Franconia.

"Free kittens to good home."
Several times a year this appears. I always cringe.
Do they actually get "good" homes? Do these people care? Do they really think THEY are providing a "good home" by allowing their cat(s) to constantly reproduce?
I can't tell you how many times I've been tempted to stop and ask to "borrow" their mother cat for a few days.
I'd be happy to take her to my vet and have her spayed, to save her from this terrible, never-ending cycle of kittens, kittens, kittens.
And I'm sure the vet would be glad to explain to these people the health benefits of spaying and neutering.
Don't tell me that cats have to have "at least one litter"; or that it's cruel to deprive them of reproducing.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
If nothing else, please tune into "The Price is Right." Drew Carey may have taken over but he's still sending out Bob Barker's message -- spay and neuter your pets!

Friday, October 19, 2007

say what??

You may have heard of the recently released British study that says, basically, let the expletives fly at work.
It's a good way to let off steam, these researchers have concluded.
Anyone who works at a newspaper didn't need this study, suffice it to say. Deadline pressure, ornery computers, sources who won't talk, too much work, a slow day -- we just aren't happy with anything some days.
So, if you happen to drop into the newsroom, you more than likely will hear a few choice words.
We seem to take it in stride ... it just seems natural to deal with the pressures and the all-too-often dark side of our news by employing a colorful vocabulary.
Does it offend some people? Maybe... but jeepers, it's better than lashing out physically....

Monday, October 8, 2007

heat wave

Wouldn't it be great if "Heat Wave" were only a song title ... and not a description of what we've been suffering through? They say it's almost over... we can only hope.
It's been that much more miserable for me because of a nasty cold... or something ... that I've been plagued with for more than a week now. First the sore throat and fever, aches, runny nose, now the coughing... and just exhausted.
I keep hoping that it's almost through with me, but I fear others in the office are starting to feel the effects.
It's the old saga ... there's too much work to do to stay home, but you feel like heck.
And then, eventually, everyone else seems to catch it.
All of this has been compounded during the past week plus by the fact that several of my cats ALSO have been getting ill.
I can't even remember how many times I've found myself at the vet's office in the past few weeks. I may as well be on staff!
But I'm hoping the end is in sight -- of my illness, of my cats' illnesses and this HOT weather!!
What happened to autumn?

Monday, October 1, 2007

drivers can be a menace

OK, since I recently complained about bicyclists, I have to give equal time to motorists.
Today on my way home from work, heading up Allentown Road nearing Inglewood Elementary, I witnessed one of THE stupidest, most obnoxious, most arrogant drivers.
The traffic light turned green, and a woman headed toward Lansdale was waiting to turn left at that light. A man behind apparently was in more of a rush, so he went around her on the right, then pulled in front of her out in the intersection. As I passed by her, the look of horror on her face was apparent.
As I glanced in my rear-view mirror, sure enough, he was making his left turn, while she had to wait behind him.
What is wrong with people? I've seen some rude drivers, but this takes the cake!
I would ask this guy to respond to this post, but doubt if he can read.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

last of september

Sunday evening, a cool breeze blowing, the full moon just past... it's great to think that autumn might actually arrive some day.
I know, this week may see us climbing back up to 80 degrees, but in my mind it's going to stay fairly cool, no humidity, crisp and clear.
I love fall, but it is bittersweet. My dad's birthday is in September, but we lost him to cancer in 2000. My mom's birthday is in October, and she just died in April. So the months do bring back a sense of loss, but many happy memories as well.
The leaves are starting to change -- and starting to fall as well.
My cats are starting to snuggle more in the evening now that the cool weather is here.
I actually brought in my plants this weekend during that wonderful Saturday weather. I still am trying to keep some of my mom's Christmas cacti alive and figured this weekend was the perfect time to bring them in from the chillier evenings.
I don't have a green thumb at all, but I'm trying.
So happy October, everyone. A month of fresh apples, fantastic leaves and, of course, Halloween.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

share the road!

It wasn't bad enough that it was about 90 today, when it's supposed to be autumn and should be getting cooler.
But then it had to be Wednesday, the day that bicyclists in this area head out in packs -- literally -- on many of our back roads.
And the worst part is, they obviously think they own the roads.
I mean it.
Their riding habits are dangerous and illegal.
Forget about riding single file or even two abreast.
They cycle in packs, taking up the entire side of the road. They absolutely will NOT get over when traffic approaches. They continue to monopolize an entire lane of travel, riding four or five abreast.
Perhaps they haven't checked the state regulations for bicycle travel.
I've seen them go through red lights, ignore stops signs and never signal.
They'll glance around, see the LONG backup of cars behind them and still not obey the rules.
They are quick enough to scream, "Share the road!" at motorists, but never think of doing the same.
These people give all cyclists a bad name.
Not only can't I wait for colder weather, but even snow has its advantages. Most cyclists stay indoors.
Don't agree? Let me hear. But I'd love to know your rationalization for this behavior.
And I'd love to know why I never see police anywhere when these cyclists are out, defying the rules.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

first day of autumn

Finally, summer is officially ended. But, unfortunately, that doesn't mean that crisp, cool weather is here.
What is up with temps in the 80s this week? We've had PLENTY of that this past summer.
But I have to admit that today is beautiful... if only it were a bit cooler.
But the breeze is pleasant, the sky is so blue and, when you walk under our oak trees, you definitely can "smell" autumn in the air. The aroma is unmistakable.
One thing I don't enjoy these past few days is the tremendous effort on the part of stink bugs to sneak into the house... what is up with that? Any tiny crack and they're in.
I even had one fly in yesterday as I came through the door. Gross!
My cats can spot one from a mile away, so always immediately alert me to their presence.
Still, what was Mother Nature thinking?
Hope your autumn days are free of these nasty critters.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Is it fall yet?

It's late Saturday and the day was just gorgeous... a real tease to the autumn still beyond our reach.
But is also was a day to give up some potted tomato plants that obviously had breathed their last and move a few plants to a more protected place on the deck.
Reports of temperatures dropping into the 40s were welcome to me, but the plants may have other comments.
It also was a day to enjoy the two fawns that frequent my fields ... but sadly, I wonder what happened to their mother.
There also are the cats that sometimes pay a visit to our backyard, looking for some food.
I already have way too many cats, so they can't become part of our household. But with cooler weather certainly approaching, I wonder where they make their permanent home.
I love autumn and can't wait for the drop in temperature.
But I also can't help but worry about the wildlife ... and not-quite-domestic ... creatures that are part of my world.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11

So many memories come back on Sept. 11. Working the morning at the news desk of The Reporter, and with a TV always tuned into CNN, I found myself staring at the TV in horror as the planes crashed in the Twin Towers. Another editor was there as well, and it was completely surreal to see this occurring.
The first plane just had us thinking that it must have been some small aircraft gone horribly awry. Then the unthinkable happened as the second plane crashed into the towers. Then the news of the others.
Now, six years later, we must not forget those who were killed in that tragedy.
But we also must move forward and not dwell on endless commemorations, either.
Small, dignified remembrances, of course.
Huge, never-ending ceremonies seem cruel, in a way.
Somehow the human spirit has survived this ... remembering the past, but forging ahead, as well.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

What a weekend

The North Penn/Indian Valley region certainly is blessed with a rich variety of community activities.
This past weekend, you could take in a down-home fire company parade in North Wales, watch or participate in the internationally known Univest Grand Prix, head to Lansdale for Bike Night and savor the multitude of motorcycles on display, head to Green Lane to drink in the Scottish-Irish influence, wing it down to Wings Field for the aircraft display.... wow, and that's simply scratching the surface.
With autumn on the way, many more community days will be held, Halloween events will be scared up, the Mardi Gras Parade will strut down Main Street, Lansdale, in November and other winter holiday programs will abound.
We are fortunate to live in such a diverse area.
Hope you are enjoying these riches!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

excuse me...

This is just a big thank you to the idiots who pulled out from Morwood Road onto Sumneytown Pike in Vernfield at shortly before 6:30 a.m. Wednesday -- cutting me off. You know who you are... you two super-intelligent guys in that white van with the ladder on top.
I'm driving along Sumneytown Pike, almost at Morwood Road, with my left-turn signal on. Big mistake. Just as I was ready to turn, they pull out in front of me.
I keep forgetting that when you're on a side road and someone is on the main road, you definitely have the right of way. I sure wish people would re-read the driver's manual about the laws in Pennsylvania. It's the same thing that happens all the time. I guess you just should NOT turn on your signal and simply turn.
Oh, wait; that's what most of the drivers around here do.
That... and go through red lights; and ignore stop signs; and refuse to turn on your lights when it's foggy or rainy or getting dark; and talk on cell phones while weaving all over the road; and...
Well, you get the idea.
And if you see yourself here, please clean up your act.
Or get off the road.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

And so it begins...

Tuesday meant back to school for most area students ... and back to work for the rest of us. It was interesting, while driving home, to see the kids out playing, looking a bit less carefree than they had just last week. Relief seemed to be on some faces, probably because they were finally released from the confines of the classroom. Others looked a bit preoccupied... pehaps they had already been given that first dose of homework.
Back-to-school time always was bittersweet. You were allowed that great shopping day, and everything seemed filled with promise as you packed up your pens, pencils, notebooks and the like. Maybe some new shoes -- you know, the "sensible" pair for school and, if you were lucky, perhaps some sneaks. I used to hate having to wear saddle shoes in elementary school; was elated when I was finally allowed to have loafers.
Geez, that really dates me, I suppose.
But with school back in session, let's all remember that the kids will be out there walking to school, waiting for buses, playing in the evening as darkness falls ever earlier.
We all need to be more careful ... and that includes the kids.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day

Sitting here for a few moments at home, at my computer. There is enough of a breeze that the wind chimes are sounding out a late-summer melody. The aroma of recently cut grass still tickles the nose. Last night it was cool enough to sit out at our fire pit and muse a bit about the summer gone by.
There are bits of summer that are hard to say goodbye to, but for the most part, autumn can't come soon enough. It's my favorite time of year; just wish it would last longer.
If I had my way, fall would start Sept. 1. Daytime temps could not exceed 70, the leaves would change color and stay that way until the end of October, and November would be colder, but no snow until well into December.
Unfortunately, I can't control the seasons... but I can dream, can't I?
Tomorrow when we head back to work those big yellow buses will be lumbering down the roadways in force, conveying the captive kids who no doubt are wondering where the heck their summer vanished.
Season gives way to season... they're already starting to put not only Halloween stuff but also Christmas items out in the store.
Please let's not rush it.
Time goes too fast as it is...

Friday, August 31, 2007

at last...

Friday night at last... the final day of August.
It's been a busy, hectic week ... you know how it is. You have to work extra hours so you can have a day off for the holiday.
But I'm looking forward to a "long" weekend, as I'm sure everyone else is.
The beginning of a long weekend is always deliciious, isn't it? You have these visions of how it will be, what you will do, what you WON'T do...
and then, just like that, it's gone.
But savor the hours ahead.. you'll never have them again.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

How did we get here?

Most of us probably missed the "live" gaff by Miss South Carolina in the Teen USA contest, but we've seen it countless times since then on the Internet or TV.
One morning radio show host even called her a TWIT -- Trophy Wife in Training.
That may be a bit severe, but even with stage fright factored in, you just have to wonder about what was going on in her head...
See what I mean...


Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?

Miss Teen South Carolina: I personally believe the U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and the Iraq everywhere like such as and I believe they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa or should help the Iraq and Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us.

Monday, August 27, 2007

give me a break

Sorry, but the "apology" by Michael Vick today just did not move me to tears in pity for him.
Gee, I'm sorry that I lied to everyone; I'm sorry that I was involved in such horrendous activities.
Maybe he's just sorry that he got caught?
I know people may accuse me of being nasty about this because I love animals and think their lives should be respected.
But there just is no excuse for this.
He says he's found Jesus now and his life is changed.
Guess we can only hope so.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

heat wave

As predicted, the heat is back with a vengeance... and with humidity.
It's Saturday and, after having to wait for the phone repairman all morning, I then had to head out to run some errands.
You can tell it's hot; the drivers were even more short-tempered than usual around here.
Not that area drivers ever are courteous, mindful of the rules of the road or even paying attention to what they are doing.
My favorite today? The woman talking on a cell phone, with a dog in her lap, going through a red light.
Naturally if an accident had occurred, it wouldn't have been her fault.
The roads around here are becoming more deadly by the day.
Can't anyone remember that red means stop? And that multitasking is best left at the office?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

can't wait for autumn

Haven't the last several days been wonderful? The cool weather, the much-needed rain... if it were up to me, these temperatures would stay. Autumn can't be beat, in my book.
But we all know that August is far from finished wilting us ... steamy weather ahead, by all accounts.
And that may mean tempers will rise with the temperatures.
Labor Day is fast approaching, and with it the end to kids' vacations. Back-to-school shopping, last-minute vacations, the thought of school buses back on the roads.
Just some musings on what may be the last superbly cool day for weeks to come.

A first post

You've found "By chance..."
As the editor of The Reporter newspaper, I plan to comment on the "chance" adventures we all experience and observe every day. Bad drivers, traffic nightmares, good deeds, the ordinary and extraordinary of life... it's all by chance, isn't it?
Check back as the blog grows... and feel free to comment on the postings.