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February 12, 2016
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In My Humble Opinion

Mixed emotions

Those two words pretty much sum up what I’m feeling at the moment. The summer was a rollercoaster, and even though I swore that I would take more time to stop and smell the roses, the last blooms have already faded away, and the best I can do now is sniff over what might have been. Last summer, I spent as much time as possible swimming in Crystal Lake.  Read more

Happy holidays!

No, it’s not a misprint. For many of us here in the Upper Delaware River region, the holiday season has commenced. Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) began at sundown this past Monday while Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) still lies ahead. Hallmark opportunities notwithstanding, the Jewish holidays are always celebrated on the same day of the Hebrew calendar and each “day” begins and ends with sunset, rather than at midnight.  Read more

Making hay while the sun shines

In truth, I know nothing about making hay, but am thankful that I live in a region where other folks do. My version of “making hay” is proverbial, rather than practical, since my skills lean more toward typing and talking than doing something useful behind the wheel of a tractor. As for the popular proverb itself, it’s fairly self-explanatory: “To take advantage of favorable circumstances. i.e. If you have an opportunity to do something, do so before the time expires” (www.freedictionary.com).  Read more

Fantasticks, Fashion, Art & Flatts–How may I direct your call?

With Labor Day looming, I’m guessing that my spring cleaning will have to wait. Observing folks throughout the Upper Delaware River region packing up their boating supplies, I’m reminded that I’m still unpacking kitchen utensils, even though I’ve been in my new digs since last winter. Clearly, I have issues.  Read more

Have I stayed too long at the fair?

Probably. The haunting ballad with that same title was composed by Billy Barnes in 1966 and plays repeatedly in my head annually, as various counties host down-home fairs that beckon throughout the Upper Delaware River region at this time of year. I try to hit at least one every summer and always look forward to seeing what the 4-H kids have been up to, log-rolling contests, rides, crafts, vendors galore and of course food, glorious food!  Read more

Dog day afternoons

As Paul Harris and Tom Jorgensen of the Old Farmers Almanac explain, the phrase “dog days” “conjures up the hottest, most sultry days of summer,” coinciding with the rising, at dawn, of Sirius, the dog star, in the constellation Canis Major. Who knew? I thought it had something to do with our dogs panting in the midday sun. Curious to learn more, I delved a bit deeper and found the origin of the expression to be even older than me.  Read more

Past-present-future

Forty-six years ago this week, Sullivan County was in the news. That little music festival (www.wood stock.com) had come to town, and along with an impressive line-up of performers, more than 400,000 fans showed up to spend three days cavorting in the fields of Yasgur’s farm, unwittingly making history that reverberates to this day. Arlo Guthrie was here, along with Ravi Shankar, Sly & The Family Stone, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and The Who.  Read more

Seventy-six trombones and an opera

While it may seem like an odd pairing, I had the pleasure of attending performances of Meridith Willson’s “The Music Man” and Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” over the last week, and the two productions have a lot in common. Both shows are entertaining, musical, lyrical and downright fun, and although wildly different, the message is the same. As the popular misquotation runs, “music soothes the savage beast”—and by “beast” I mean me. Let’s face it, I have issues, and last week was rough.  Read more

A midsummer night’s dream

Actually, it was more like a midsummer dream of a weekend. While loath to admit that July is already gone, the plethora of events here in the Upper Delaware River region has been staggering of late. Not for the first time, I was asked if I had (oh, the horror!) a twin brother, since I was spotted in more than one place at the same time. But it’s all an illusion—and the result of (happily) over-extending myself.  Read more

You can choose your friends…

I was fairly young when I read Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but it certainly made an impression on many levels, including the now-famous quote: “You can choose your friends, but you sure can’t choose your family… whether you acknowledge them or not, and it makes you look downright silly when you don’t.” Okay, then—I’m acknowledging them. They’re here. In fact, they have been here all week.  Read more