Let’s Celebrate

It is a kind of gloomy day here today, so let’s celebrate.

It is gray and cloudy, so let’s celebrate.

The sun will not shine through today, so let’s celebrate.

Some much needed rain is in the forecast, so let’s celebrate.

There is no place I need to go today, except for a haircut later, so let’s celebrate.

There are no pressing matter today, except to post, so let’s celebrate.

Open the cupboard and there it is, so let’s celebrate.

Fill the container and get what I need; let’s celebrate.

Filter in place, coffee measured, water in place, so let’s celebrate.

If I can’t wait a single cup is faster, so let’s celebrate.

In three minutes it will be ready to be enjoyed, so let’s celebrate.

Happy National Coffee Day! LET’S CELEBRATE!


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A cup of hot chocolate or tea enjoyed while sitting

Under a cozy throw or quilt.

Trees sporting colorful leaves. Leaves that get caught up and carried by the wind

Unrivaled in their grace as they dance toward the ground.

Meanwhile, birds continue their southern migration

Northbound once again when Spring arrives.


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An Unexpected Turn of Events

I was counting the months until until my term as president of the Dauphin County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (DCPASR) ended. I was sworn in back in November of 2018 with my term running for two years, January 2019 -December 2020.

That means that I only need to prepare for two more monthly meetings, October and November. We don’t typically hold a meeting in December. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being president. I have a great Board who support me and jump in to do whatever I ask of them. I don’t mind planning general membership meetings and getting guest speakers for our group. That being said I am ready to pass on the gavel to out president elect.

Then this pandemic hit. All in-person meetings were canceled. Zoom meetings became the standard. I admit it is difficult to get some seniors willing to try this newfangled way of communicating.

This morning we had a Region meeting via zoom. Dauphin is part of region IV. Our executive director joined our zoom meeting today. He had some news to share with us.

He is making a recommendation to the Board of Directors that all leaders stay in place until July 1, 2021. Because chapters can’t meet in person to elect and install new leadership he feels it is best to keep things as they are in order to keep things running more smoothly.

What? Does that mean I can’t pass things on in November? I am in this position for another six months until July 1, 2021? Well, this is not what I was expecting as I counted down the remaining days of my term.

I don’t mind doing it, but I need to let my board know of this development and see if they are OK with me staying on for six more months. Luckily we have a board meeting scheduled for tomorrow. I will see what they have to say.


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Recipe Makes Me Feel Old

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On Sunday I was hungry for a Jewish Apple cake, so I made one. It turned out well so naturally I took a picture and posted it to Facebook. This did not make me feel old.

I had quite a few likes and several comments. This did not make me feel old.

One of my friends said he was looking for a recipe for a Jewish apple cake and he asked me to please send him a copy. This did not make me feel old.

Of course I got the recipe together and sent it to him along with my notes that aren’t part of the recipe. This did not make me feel old.

Yesterday at breakfast Kathy and I were talking and I told her about my friend wanting the recipe and me sending it to him. This did not make me feel old.

We talked about the recipe and where I got it. Getting a bit uncomfortable here.

I got it from a friend and neighbor. I would visit her and her mother Sunday evenings and she sometimes had a cake to share. I got this cake recipe from her. Getting more uncomfortable.

I knew her long before I met Kathy. I have the recipe that long! Oh my!

Kathy and I will be married 40 years next month. I have had that recipe and have been making this cake for at least 45 years. I feel old all because of a Jewish apple cake!


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Blue and White


One was planned and one was not.

Planned is expected; unplanned a surprise

One came where it should and one did not.

Watching one grow while not knowing the other was there.

One was light and one was not.

Two of the same yet so different.

Both bring joy.

Both bring smiles.

Glad both made it here.


Last year we planted some morning glory seeds.  End of the season they must have reseeded themselves.  This year they are back’


Have no idea where this came from.  Found a vine growing up through one of our shrubs.  Didn’t pull it.  Got this surprise.




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Dining Out


Since March, dining out for Kathy and me consisted of Chinese or Italian take out.  I simply called in our order, went to the restaurant when the food was ready, stood at the outside pick up window or went inside, paid, and picked up our order, took it home, and ate. My contact time with anyone in the restaurant was usually less than a minute.

On other occasions when we felt like really dining out we would go to Burger King, place our order, pay at the window, and pick up our food.  To make it a true dining out experience I would then pull the under a tree in their parking lot.  We rolled down the windows, sat in the car, and enjoyed our meal.

Last Thursday that changed.  I had to go to the PASR office in Mechanicsburg to pick up an award I am giving to one of our members.  We also had a few other things to do.  When we were done I was hungry.  There is a Mexican restaurant in Harrisburg that we like so we decided to go there.

We had options.  We could call for take out.  However, the food would be cold too we got home and I really didn’t relish eating Mexican in the car.  We could sit at one of their outside tables but that didn’t appeal to me.  Or we could not for indoor dining.  We sat in the car and discussed the options.  We thought we would take our chances and go for indoor dining.

Donning our masks we went inside.  It wasn’t late so the restaurant wasn’t crowded.  The host, wearing a mask, took us to a booth.  Some booths were “Xed” out so they wouldn’t be used.

Our waiter, wearing a madk, brought us our chips and salsa and then took our order.  When the waiter left we removed it masks and dug into the chips and salsa.

When our food was ready, a server, wearing a mask, brought it out and placed it in front of us.  We ate.  Their food is always good but that day it tasted exceptionally delicious.

After finishing our meal, we put our masks back on, paid our bill, and left.

It really felt good finally having a meal out.


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Going On A Hunt


Before I get to the topic of this post I feel I need to set some groundwork first.  Let’s go back 40 plus years.  I was just hired as a reading specialist for grades five through eight at Upper Dauphin.  It was my second, and last, teaching job since I stayed there until I retired 38 years later.

I was not the only one hired that year.  Others also came on board.  One was a sixth grade teacher who would leave the following year after she got married.  The other was a seventh/eighth grade reading teacher who would move to the sixth grade position the following year.  This woman stayed until she retired many years later.

I don’t want to single this woman out so I will give her an assumed name – Dolores.  Oh, wait.  That is her name.  Anyway, you all know how friendships are formed.  Some are temporary and some last a lifetime.

Dolores’s room was the first room you would pass on the way down the hall.  Mine was the last room.  Because of this most mornings I would stop in her room on my way down to mine.  In fact, most of the sixth grade teachers would stop in her room for a chat.

No mater how busy Dolores was she would never ask us to leave because she had things to do.  Dolores taught social studies as well as one section of reading.  If my memory serves me correctly she is the one who first brought Kathy in to speak to the students about quilts since there were two stories about quilts in the reading series that was used at the time.

Our friendship grew over the years and when she decided to retire I knew I wanted to do something special for her.  I talked it over with Kathy and she agreed to make a special quilt, in this case a wall hanging, for Dolores that would commemorate some special times in her life.

Last week I was talking with Dolores and she asked me to refresh her memory on the significance of some of the blocks in the quilt.  This sent me and Kathy on a search of our brains trying to remember what the blocks were and what significance they had.  Luckily Dolores sent us a picture of the quilt to help us.

So, here goes.  Many of these pictures are blurry because I cropped them to highlight an individual block.  Sorry about the quality.

Starting with the center block we had to include a schoolhouse.  Because Dolores had three children Kathy fussy cut two boys and a girl from some fabric and put them in the windows of the building.  She also quilted their names in the block.


Twelve blocks surround this center.  The first is a wedding ring block.  This signifies Dolores’s long marriage to Dennis.


Then we have a school bus.  Kathy just fussy cut this and included it.  After all, Dolores is a teacher.


Everyone knows that teachers get apples from their students.  So, naturally, Kathy designed an apple block.


Because Dolores lived and taught in Alaska it was only fitting that a bear paw block be included.


Because she has four grandchildren, a grandmother’s flower garden was a must.  If I remember correctly, Kathy included each grandchild’s name on a flower.


Because Canada was one of the units Dolores taught in social studies, Kathy included a maple leaf.


This next pattern we haven’t figured out yet.


I mentioned that there were two quilt stories in the reading series.  One pattern that was mentioned was the road to Oklahoma.


Books are a part of every teacher’s classroom.


Here is another design we are still working on.


Because we worked at Upper Dauphin, Kathy designed a UDA block.


The last block is a turkey track block.  This was also mentioned in the reading book.


Put all together, this is what the wall hanging looks like.


As an added memory, Kathy quilted the names of all of the teachers who were in the building at the time Dolores retired around the border.

Dolores, if you are reading this just know that we will eventually find information on the two blocks and get it to you.

As I said earlier, some friendships last a lifetime.  I am blessed that this one is still going strong.


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Let The Music Play


When I woke up this morning I really had no idea what topic I should use for today’s post.  I know I didn’t want anything heavy, depressing or thought provoking.  I wanted something light and fun.  But what?  I needed inspiration.

I had the TV on in the background and inspiration hit.  I was listening to a talk show and they were talking about the top song in the country the year the hosts graduated from high school.  I had my topic.  I decided to take it a step farther and list the top song from different milestone years in my life.  Thank goodness you can find such useless information on the internet.  This list is courtesy of just one web site –  https://thestacker.com/stories/2629/1-pop-song-year-you-graduated-high-school

So, here is a list of music from 10 notable times of my life, no years included’

The year I was born – “Too Young” by Nat King Cole.

The year I started school – “Volare” by Domenico Modugno.

The year I graduated from 8th grade – “Ballad of the Green Berets” by S/Sgt. Barry Sadler.

The year I got my first car – “Hey Jude” by the Beatles.

The year I graduated high school – “Sugar, Sugar” by the Archies.

The year I graduated from Penn State – “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando and Dawn.

The year I started working a Upper Dauphin (where I worked for 38 years) – “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Captain & Tennille.

The year I proposed to Kathy – “My Sharona” by the Knack.

The year we got married – “Call Me” by Blondie.

The year I retired – “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz.

My, how music has changed over the years.



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Any Other August 4


If this were a normal August 4 I would be making plans to go out for dinner to celebrate my birthday.  With the free meals deals I received it might be hard to pick a lace to go, but I think Shady Maple would win.

It’s not a normal August 4 and we are being hit with rain from Isaias so instead I will raid the freezer and see what looks good for dinner.  Dessert is taken care of already – some M & M blondies will hit the spot.  I will admit that we did go out for dinner yesterday – a Whopper in Burger King’s parking lot followed by a chocolate covered cherry blizzard in Dairy Queen’s parking lot.

If this were a normal August 4 I would be making plans to go to NYC to see two shows and spend the night.  We had tickets for Tina and Mrs. Doubtfire.

It is not a normal August 4.  Broadway is dark.  I don’t feel comfortable taking a train ride or being in NYC at the moment.

It is August 4.  I have Kathy here with me. I have my three beasties.   I have my health.  There is plenty of food in the freezer.  I have a house I own. God id good to me.   There really is nothing else I need to make this a Happy Birthday.


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I received a request from my nephew the other day.  His father, my brother, will be turning 70 on August 22.  Because of this virus no kind of get together or family celebration is planned.  However, my nephew wants to do something special to commemorate this milestone birthday.

He is asking each of us to create a short video, end it to him, and he will put it together for his father.  He asked us to include something we remember of his father and us.

This got me thinking.  My brother and I are close in age, not quite a year apart.  In fact, from August 4, my birthday, until August 22, his birthday, we are the same age.  So, what memory do I share?

Do I share the time when we were young, don’t know our ages at the time, when we both had cap pistols?  We were playing out in the yard.  Somehow his gun flew from his hand (I will say it was an accident) and hit me in the mouth chipping my front tooth.  I still have the chipped tooth.  Never go it capped.

Maybe I will mention all the times we climbed the tree in our neighbor’s yard.  It had big sturdy branches just made for climbing.  Of course our neighbor would come out and yelled us.  I understand now his concern over liability had one of us fallen and got hurt.

What about the time we rode our bikes on a misty day out to the cemetery about two miles from our house.  We didn’t know there was a funeral that day.  When we got there we crouched behind a tombstone and watched.  I admit we stayed to watch the men fill in the hold after the mourners left.

How about the day I got my learners permit and he decided to teach me how to drive?  I had never been behind the wheel of a car before and was extremely nervous which showed in my unsteady handling of the car.  If course a policeman was out driving that same road, saw me weaving, and pulled me over.  My brother explained it was my first time trying to drive.  The policeman let us go.  Needless to say  I was not the one who drove away from there.

Maybe I will just have to think about it some more before I decide which story to send.  It might even be something totally different.


That’s me in the middle, my brother, Len, to my right, and a friend of ours to my left.


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