Category Archives: Columnists

Poetry Corner

By Jim Farfaglia

 

The Last Bloom

 

Gladiola, single

and late for the fair,

your time has come

to grace my garden party.

 

Your colorful kin,

long faded and snipped,

have returned to the earth,

for the next generation.

 

But here you are,

long past the bountiful season,

offering a reason to hope

for all of us late bloomers.

Light In The Darkness

By Pastor David M. Grey

Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church

“It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to search them out in order to discover them.” 

Proverbs 25:2

 

God uses various numbers in His word to express prophetic or spiritual truths.  The challenge for us is to discover the meaning that God has put there and not to go beyond to tickle our own or someone else’s fancy.

For instance, the number one, which represents only singleness in its strict numerical meaning, (as in, “I have one dollar” or “There is only one apple left”)  in the spiritual realm represents the kind of oneness that comes from absolute unity.  It speaks of things that are more than one thing in the strict numerical sense, as being ONE.

For the rest of this story, pick up the print version of The Valley News. Call 598-6397 to subscribe.

State Senate Report: Ritchie plans senior health fairs

By Sen. Patty Ritchie

It’s no secret that across the United States, people are living longer. Not only are they living longer, according to recent studies, they are living healthier too.

After studying 90,000 Americans over an 18-year period, Harvard University researchers concluded that as a population, elderly people are remaining healthier into their later years.

While the findings don’t determine what’s at the root of the improved well-being, there’s reason to believe that staying active, eating right and keeping good health-related habits could be the cause.

I’m pleased to announce that in an effort to provide seniors with tips and tools for improving both their health and their happiness, I will be hosting my annual Senior Health and Wellness Fairs in the coming months.

For the rest of this story, pick up the print version of The Valley News. Call 598-6397 to subscribe.

The Sportsman’s World

 By Leon Archer

Two Harbors, Minn., is an important iron ore port on the north shore of Lake Superior about 30 miles east of Duluth. The majority of the iron from the mines situated about 65 miles northeast of town is processed up on the iron range before being brought to Two Harbors by train and shipped out as taconite ready to go into the blast furnaces in places like Detroit Mich., Toledo, Ohio, and Conneaut and Gary, Ind.

It often leaves port 70,000 tons at a rip inside huge 1,000 foot lakers like the Edwin H. Gott  and  Edgar B. Speer  heading for the down lakeports to offload. It was this same trade that found the Edmund Fitzgerald leaving Superior, Wis., on Nov. 9, 1975, loaded with 26,535 tons of taconite, about to sail sadly into history as the largest ship ever to sink on the Great Lakes.

For the rest of this story, pick up the print version of The Valley News. Call 598-6397 to subscribe.

View from the Assembly: Lake plan leaves shore at risk

By Assemblyman Will Barclay

There is a new water level plan proposed for Lake Ontario that will threaten shoreline property and recreational activity, and damage public infrastructure.

Plan 2014 has been proposed by the International Joint Commission. The IJC is comprised of six members from Canada and the U.S.

It was created to help handle issues in shared waters, such as the Great Lakes. Proponents of the plan say Plan 2014 will return the lake levels to a more natural state, and therefore create higher highs and lower lows, depending on the time of year.

I fear these new highs and lows will have a significant and detrimental impact on all property and business owners along Lake Ontario and communities have not been given enough consideration with this new study.

For the rest of this column, pick up the print version of The Valley News. Call 598-6397 to subscribe.

Hodgepodge

A couple of days ago I celebrated what seems to be known as a “milestone” birthday. I’m not sure what that means but to me it means that I’m glad that I am still celebrating birthdays – but it also means that I’m at a number of years that I hate to say out loud.

The last time that I celebrated one of these “milestone” birthdays was 25 years ago, and I thought I was old then.  Back then I said that I was only slightly offended by some of the messages sent to us “over the hill” folks via birthday cards.

One of my cards 25 years ago asked, “How many 50 year olds does it take to change a light bulb?” The answer:  “None. They prefer it dark. Better for napping.” Another card said, “If people say you’re getting old, don’t argue or complain, ‘cause you don’t have to take that stuff…just hit them with your cane.”

A couple of cards advised me to “party ‘til it hurts” and then added that it will be a short party. Another of my cards made it very clear that I knew all there was to know about hula hoops, saddle shoes and bobby sox.

I said that if I wrote messages on cards for 50 year olds for a living I would be much kinder: “Roses are red, violets are blue. You may be fifty, but you’re still smart, and sexy too.”

It seems that birthday cards my friends and I exchange have gotten kinder over the years.  Now that we’re getting older, the cards don’t contain as many insults. One of this year’s cards stretches out over two feet long; it contains only the traditional “Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!” message. Other cards include greetings from an exuberant squirrel and a friendly looking bear.

Other thoughts about getting older:

“Later than you think, sooner than you expected.”

“The time of your life when you are thick and tired of it all.”

“When you feel on Saturday night the way you used to feel on Monday morning.”

“The time when you get sacks under the bags under your eyes.”

“When you know all the answers but nobody asks the questions.”

“When you sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it going.”

“When you feel like the night before and you haven’t been anywhere.”

“When the gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your bifocals.”

“When your back goes out more than you do.”

Amen.

Mom’s birthday message

From Sept. 5, 1995:

I went to see my mother a couple of weeks ago. It was Aug. 21, and I almost always visit or call my mother on Aug. 21. I celebrate my birthday on that day and I discovered several years ago that my mother celebrates too; she enjoys reminding me each year of the important part she played in that event.

She always tells me how many years ago it was and that she remembers where she was and what she was doing on that day all those many years ago before my father rushed her off to the hospital.

She also tells me how old it makes her feel to have a son as old as I am. At my age, the comforting thing about that statement is that she has been saying the same thing for as long as I can remember, and that she is still able to say it.

“You were born on a Sunday…4 o’clock in the afternoon…up in St. Joseph’s…it was a hot day…it was a real hot summer.”  And then she adds, “A lot hotter than this year…we don’t get hot weather like that anymore.”

I told her I thought it was pretty hot on Aug. 21 this year.  “Nothing like that year,” she said.

Guess I’ll have to take her word for it.

“The usual suspects”

Even though I am celebrating a birthday with a significantly high number attached to it, among my close friends — most of them octogenarians — I am considered a youngster. I belong to a group of friends who have known each other at least 30 years, see each other often and have great times together.

We’re known to each other as “the usual suspects,” as in, when we’re going to do something together, “Call the usual suspects.”

English language mysteries

There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine are in pineapple.

English muffins weren’t invented in England, or French fries in France.

Quicksand works slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

Why do we ship by car and send cargo by ship?  Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

Don’t ask me.

…Roy Hodge

Poetry Corner

By Jim Farfaglia

College Bound

 

The night air streams in,

car windows wide open,

feeling the fullness of summer

 

and breathing in the beauty

that Seals and Crofts are singing;

treasuring it, for our tomorrows…

 

Old enough to know this endless fun will end.

Young enough to wonder

how we’ll learn to leave it all behind…

 

No one says a word; the song on the radio

playing like a gentle breeze,

soothing the ache that’s closing in.

Light in the Darkness: Signs and Wonders

By Pastor David M. Grey, Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church

 “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

John 4:48

When Jesus walked among men, many people were more enamored by the spectacular things He did than by what those things revealed about who He was and its importance to their eternal souls.

They  craved to see, or to see more of, the miraculous things Jesus was reported to have been doing. The blind were given sight, the lame walked, the dumb spoke… even the dead were raised to life.

To read the rest of this column, pick up the print version of The Valley News. Call 598-6397 to subscribe.