The cool air of winter is now upon us and it is time to make sure we are all prepared for the season.
Most of us probably wish we could snuggle up by a fire with a good book but commutes and travel do not stop because the flurries begin to fall.
Do a routine winter check of your vehicle to ensure you are prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you.
Check your vehicle's fluid levels and be sure to fill up with a de-icing windshield wiper fluid. Make sure your wipers do not streak and think about installing new winter blades.
"You only live once," a friend who smoked and drank to excess since his teens would respond when I'd chide him about his body abuse.
Right. So since we get only one shot at life as we know it, shouldn't we try to make it last?
Today, as this friend lies terminally ill, far beyond medical repair, he has regrets.
But it's too late. His 62-year-old body has given up.
His sad situation reminds me of another friend who died at 50, the victim of lung cancer.
To the editor:
I was impressed but not surprised at the stories of heroism coming out of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
It has been my experience that the bond between elementary school teachers and students, particularly in the lower grades, is something well beyond the normal teacher-student relationship, and more like a second-mother or second-father relationship.
Most elementary school teachers I know think of the children in their classroom as not just their students, but also as their "kids."
To the Editor:
Neighbors, it is the time of year when we all get together with family and friends. Can you imagine what it would be like if you had none and no one wanted you? It is not a happy thought at all.
Many companion animals are in such a situation.
Forgotten Felines and Fidos, a nonprofit, no-kill shelter near New Tripoli, sure could use your help toward fixing that problem.
It is particularly difficult to run a shelter like this because, if the animals are not adopted, they are kept there for their lifetimes.
The holidays are a wonderful time for family festivities, but too many celebrations are interrupted each year due to unsafe use of toys, which can lead to serious eye injuries in children.
The good news is the vast majority of these injuries can be prevented.
During Safe Toys and Celebrations Month in December, the Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology reminds parents to keep their children's eyes safe from problem toys.
Children receive all types of potentially unsafe presents during the holidays, including BB guns, airsoft guns, pellet guns and darts.
Church was packed Dec. 16; I'm not sure if it was because of the upcoming Christmas holiday or the overwhelming need to pray for the families affected by the shooting in Connecticut Dec. 14.
Sermons throughout our area were focused on trying to make sense of this event as well as trying to cope with the overwhelming grief all Americans feel.
Shining through the grief are the acts of heroism displayed by the first responders, staff and administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Christians are taught "all things work together for good."
This week, it's difficult to see how that can be true for the families and friends of the children and adults who died at the Sandy Hook School in Connecticut Friday.
I am the mother of five children. They are grown now, but a mother always remembers her children as they were when they were young.
When Laurie was 6 years old, she was an instant mother's helper when triplet siblings joined the family. She would come home from school, put down her book bag and happily snuggle with a baby on the sofa.
An out-of-town friend of mine recently shared the heartbreak of having another person let her down.
My friend has health issues which include severe pain. All she wanted was someone to go with her to another one of the myriad doctors of she has to see in order to get a better diagnosis and treatment. A friend of hers promised to accompany her but did not. This left my friend feeling cheated and alone.
Not long afterward, I read yet another article encouraging people to embrace the spirit of the season by giving to those less fortunate.
If the Mayan calendar's end-of-the-world "prediction" doesn't kill us Dec. 21, surely the fall off the so-called "fiscal cliff" at the end of the year will.
If our elected officials, who spend more time on television explaining why they can't agree on a savings and spending plan than actually doing something about it, fail to avert the tax hikes coming Jan. 1, 2013, we all will be dangling from the edge as our 401k plans dwindle and our grocery bills double.