One Senior's Opinion

Remembering a Christmas past

The stars seemed exceptionally bright that night. It was Christmas Eve, always a time of wonder for me. I remember trudging through the church parking lot with two sleepy children in tow. The snow crunched under our boots and seemed to sparkle from the lights above us. The church was always crowded on Christmas Eve.

Christmas clothing of red and green added color to the occasion.The voices of the congregation rose in joyful praise as we sang traditional Christmas hymns. Evergreen trees, poinsettias and red bows were placed near the altar. The depictions of Jesus' birth with life-like representations gathered in a small stable helped to emphasize the real meaning of the celebration.

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Volume 8, Issue 24, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.13.2016

The importance of tolerance

Tolerance is an important characteristic that, with practice, can be learned. As the saying goes, "No man is an island unto himself."

Unless we live a hermetic life, we are destined to come into contact with those who, perhaps, are not like-minded, do not look as we do, think as we do or adhere to the same moral code as ourselves.

Our country has been called a "melting pot." We have always welcomed to our country those who longed for freedom. On paper, welcoming the stranger sounds easy. It is not. We often distrust those we do not know. We cling to those most like ourselves, wary of those different from us.

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Volume 8, Issue 14, Posted 9:43 AM, 07.19.2016

Listening for November's song

Falling leaves sing November's song. When November's days are sunny and serene the leaves seem to sing in soft whispers as they are gently released from tree branches. Dreary, windy, cold, dark days bring fully orchestrated music while whistling winds tear at the remaining leaves, seeming to rip them from their branches and send them scattering in all directions. As I gaze at this show of nature's power I think of the music of Beethoven.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:05 AM, 11.03.2015

The simple pleasures of summer

It's raining again. So far this has been a soggy summer. I'm lucky I live in an apartment and don't have to worry about flooded basements. It's no fun. I've been there.

Every sunny dry day is cherished. One especially nice outing this summer was accompanying my family to watch a young eagle getting ready to leave its nest. I find birding an enjoyable hobby. It's perfect for senior citizens unless the birds are located in a faraway, swampy area. Bring me to the birds and I am happy.

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Volume 7, Issue 14, Posted 9:22 AM, 07.21.2015

Waiting for spring

I don't quite believe that spring has arrived. The calendar says it's spring and the cycles of the moon testify to the fact that spring is here. Daylight savings time also reminds us of spring, but where is it? The ice on Lake Erie is melting which means the weather is warming a bit.

Unfortunately, the gray days and off-again, on-again cold temperatures and chilly wind just don't seem like spring. Perhaps Easter will bring with it spring weather which will stay around around until summer. All I'm asking for is flowers blooming, warm spring rain, and more sunny days.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 9:48 AM, 04.07.2015

Knickerbocker director moves on

The Knickerbocker Apartments, also known as the West Shore Senior Center, has lost a valued member of its staff. Anne Naumann has moved on to a position working for a private company. Anne had worked as the director for the WSSC for 13 years.

She has planned trips to Amish country, dinners, parties, Halloween open houses for the seniors, and public ice cream events for the seniors and the children of the public. She will be missed by the residents of the Knickerbocker Apartments.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:45 AM, 03.03.2015

It's time to think spring

Snow sparkles when freshly fallen. When it covers bushes, tree limbs and muddy, slushy surfaces, it reminds me of a painting. On a very cold day, stepping outdoors can take your breath away. Icicles glisten while snow flakes swirl and dance to the silent symphony of the wind.

Ice, snow and bitter cold can also be dangerous. Beside beauty, winter can bring the flu, falls, pneumonia and frostbite. Northeastern Ohio has broken many records for extreme cold temperatures in the past few weeks. Some schools have reached their limit on snow days. It's time for a break and I don't mean an arm or a leg. Winter this year has outlived its welcome.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:38 AM, 03.03.2015

'Tis the Season

The scent of pine, colorful holiday lights, a glowing yule log ... these are some of the reasons I love Christmas. A creche with the infant, Jesus, always has a prominent place in my home during this time. A tabletop artificial tree now replaces the tall live firs of the past. Some things do change. The base of my hutch is lined with cotton and covered with tiny lights. Angels hang from the knobs above. I'm searching for just the right empty wine bottle to hold a string of miniature lights. The bottle must be green.

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:42 AM, 12.09.2014

What Are They?

They swirl, spinning through the air gathering momentum with each gust of wind.. When they hit a barrier they separate and fall to the ground. I enjoy watching them. They remind me of a rainbow.

The wind is at once their friend and their enemy. They feel powerful together. It is the wind which lifts them up, giving them unity and formation but when the wind slows down they come apart and may find themselves far from home. Eventually, all come to earth, either naturally or with a little help from the wind or rain or tiny critters who share their space.

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Volume 6, Issue 21, Posted 10:09 AM, 10.14.2014

The frozen beauty of Lake Erie

The calendar says it's spring. Everything else suggests winter has not yet left our area. I decided to stop at Huntington Beach to take a good look at the still-frozen lake. My gloves were on a table at home. Necessity kept my hands in my pockets. I chastised myself for forgetting my gloves.

Sunshine glistened on the snow-covered ice. Some snow looked like waves frozen into a sculpture. I wish I had the courage to move to the ice to put my gloveless hand on the frozen surface. Since I'm not as steady on my feet as I used to be I decided to stay where I was and just take in the beauty.

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 9:21 AM, 04.01.2014

The joy of a good book

One activity which helped me get through this long winter is reading. I must admit I'm hooked on books. My first introduction to reading came from my family. Every Christmas and birthday I was given at least two books. I had quite a collection for my age. I remember Golden Books, a Raggedy Ann and Andy series, Lassie Come Home and Bambi. I met Dick, Jane and Spot at school as our first readers were the Dick and Jane series. Reading was my favorite activity of the school day.

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 9:23 AM, 03.18.2014

Counting the Days

The weather in northern Ohio is always a mystery. Would I have it any other way? I'm not sure. I enjoy relaying the often bizarre weather reports to friends and relatives who escaped to the sunny south. Snow on Easter, I tell them. It's no big deal. The sun seekers just shake their heads, sigh and turn up the air conditioner.

The weather in northern Ohio is always a mystery. Would I have it any other way? I'm not sure. I enjoy relaying the often bizarre weather reports to friends and relatives who escaped to the sunny south. Snow on Easter, I tell them. It's no big deal. The sun seekers just shake their heads, sigh and turn up the air conditioner.

The Indians are in Arizona for spring training and the Oscars have come and gone so there is hope that soon we will begin to see some sunny days. Clevelanders are now in the process of counting the days until St. Patrick's Day and searching for that first crocus to poke its petals out of the ground. Spring will bring a welcome relief from the hardships of this long, cold, snowy winter.

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 9:47 AM, 03.04.2014

A few thoughts

Today I would like to share some thoughts with you. If you read "Farmer Charlie's Garden" by Bruce Leigh in the last issue you might wonder, is this guy for real? Yes, Farmer Charlie does live in Bay Village and tends to several gardens in the area.

Charlie is very active in our community. He's concerned about the environment, growing healthy, organic produce and providing information about the importance of recycling and healthy living. Perhaps Charlie will continue to send information and stories through writer Bruce Leigh to the Observer.

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Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 10:24 AM, 02.04.2014

Welcome 2014

As I scan the pages on my brand new calendar I wonder what lies ahead? Will this year bring happiness, good health and good friendships or will sorrow or sadness fill in the blank spaces of my life? The future remains hidden from us. All we have is this moment.

I hope your moments are good ones. When the uncomfortable moments arrive I try to find some good to focus on. I can look at a sunrise and feel inspired, forgetting my "problem" for a little while. This really works for me. If for some reason I don't find something to inspire me, I can remember a happy time or paint a happy picture in my imagination.

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Volume 6, Issue 1, Posted 10:08 AM, 01.07.2014

Christmas Wishes

A light dusting of snow covers the landscape. It's  midnight. All is quiet. Church bells ring, breaking the silence. The only people out so late on this night are gathered together in the small community church. A young child runs to a window in the church. Look, look, he calls, it's the Christmas star!

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Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 10:48 AM, 12.10.2013

Save your shopping for Black Friday

It's the time of the year to stop for a moment to reflect upon the many blessings received over the past 12 months. We gather with family and friends to give thanks and spend time together. We may remember other Thanksgiving celebrations, missing those who are no longer with us.

Turkey and football seem to be the way most people spend their day. Traditionally most families prepare a large meal then spend the remainder of the day watching football or just reminiscing, enjoying one another's company.

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 9:55 AM, 11.26.2013

Olympic skater visits Bay Village to catch up with old friend

Two skaters, Kevin Bupb and Scott Hamilton, met at an ice skating rink in Bowling Green, Ohio. Scott was 10 years old at the time, Kevin a little older. They became good friends. Kevin, now a resident of Bay Village, is mentioned in Scott's book "Landing It: My Life On and Off the Ice." Young Scott wanted to be a comedian/clown on the ice like his buddy, Kevin, but it wasn't meant to be. Scott shares this story in his book.

Kevin and Scott practically lived at the rink. They practiced  together and skated in local amateur ice shows. Kevin was a frequent visitor to the Hamilton home. Over the years the guys remained good friends, even though their careers took different paths, Scott's to the Olympics and Kevin's to the Ice Follies and other professional ice shows. Scott is an Olympic Gold Medalist. Kevin is THE BEST CLOWN ON ICE. (My opinion, but so true.)

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Volume 5, Issue 22, Posted 10:09 AM, 10.29.2013

Autumn

At one time, spring was my favorite season. Now autumn holds that place in my heart. The crisp, cool air invites movement. Watching the green leaves of summer burst into fiery reds, oranges and yellows is amazing.

Soon pumpkins will dot the landscape. Chrysanthemums replace roses and azaleas. Wool, cable knit and flannel make a fashion comeback every autumn. A new school year heralds a new beginning. Students begin with a clean slate. Last years successes and failures are gone. Every student receives another chance to do well.

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Volume 5, Issue 20, Posted 9:39 AM, 10.01.2013

Looking Back

Do you remember what you were doing at 8:46 a.m., Sept. 11, 2001? I do. I was at work. Someone said "look at this." At that moment the blue September sky erupted into flames and New York City's skyline would forever be changed.

My first response was disbelief. This is a trick shot, a hoax, I thought. The images on the screen could not be real. Of course, they were. We were sent home that morning to be with our families.

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Volume 5, Issue 19, Posted 10:24 AM, 09.17.2013

Appreciating truly local news

It's been five years! Congratulations to the staff of the Westlake | Bay Village Observer. I'm honored to have been given the opportunity to write for this excellent community newspaper. The experience I gained through my affiliation with the Observer has been immeasurable.

I am a grandmother with no professional writing experience who has written regularly for the Observer over the past four years. The opportunity to express my opinions, reminisce about the good old days and promote local activities designed specifically for senior citizens has allowed me to grow as a writer. Tara and Denny Wendell are always patient as I struggle to find my voice as a writer. Their encouragement has kept me writing, even during some challenging times in my personal life. Many thanks for being great editors.

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Volume 5, Issue 17, Posted 10:05 AM, 08.20.2013

Dwyer Center offers full slate of summer activities

Beat the August heat and head to the air conditioned Dwyer Senior Center for some fun-filled activities. On Thursday, Aug. 8, the Lunch Bunch will enjoy some good food and good company at Nelly Belly, a restaurant at the Emerald Necklace Marina in the Metroparks. This group meets once a month to experience the different cuisine of area restaurants. Your input is always appreciated. If you have a favorite dining place, let us know. The Lunch Bunch will do their best to get you there on the second Thursday of the month.

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Volume 5, Issue 16, Posted 9:25 AM, 08.06.2013

Gone Fishing

When I was a little girl I loved to go fishing. Our back yard was a great place to catch night crawlers. My brother, myself and some kids in the neighborhood took our flashlights out to the back yard to look for and catch the worms. We had a great little business going with the dads who lived near us. We'd sell a handful of the large worms for a nickle. I was the only girl who wasn't afraid to catch the wiggly things.

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Volume 5, Issue 13, Posted 10:37 AM, 06.25.2013

Ice star delights Knickerbocker residents with 'folly' antics

The first time I went to the Ice Follies touring ice skating show, I was infatuated with the clown who skated around dressed as a woman, jumped barrels and completely captivated the audience. He made me laugh so hard I thought my sides would split. I laughed at him when I was a kid and laughed some more when I was a mom who took the kids to the Ice Follies.

I love ice shows. The music, lights, costumes and skaters always transport me to a magical world. I've never seen a bad ice show. The choreography is always dazzling. Once in a while a skater may take a tumble or move out of sync, but no one is perfect.

I never thought I would become friends with my favorite ice skater. When I moved into the Knickerbocker Apartments in Bay Village, the first person I met was Kevin. He worked as a maintenance technician. I liked him at once. His sunny smile and wry sense of humor delighted me. I knew he was in show business when he was younger. When I discovered he was a clown in the Ice Follies, I couldn't believe it.

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 10:48 AM, 06.11.2013

Weather Wonder

Ah, spring is here. Sunshine, blue skies and the scent of flowers fill the air, but the possibility of frost, temperatures in the 30s, rain and gusting winds can happen in the blink of an eye. Welcome to Bay Village in the spring. The morning can be balmy and beautiful and by 5 p.m. it can be cold and raining.

Citizens of the North Shore have to be tough. Our weather isn't for sissies. Children can be dodging raindrops and puddles on their way to school and find themselves sitting in a hot, stuffy classroom that afternoon. What you wear when you're leaving the house in the morning probably won't be appropriate when you're on your way home in the evening.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 9:47 AM, 05.29.2013

Everyday Heroes

My family came to this country from Europe and settled in Cleveland in the latter part of the 19th century. Being an inquisitive child I encouraged my parents and grandparents to tell me stories about their lives.

Both grandfathers were storytellers and didn't need much encouragement to talk about themselves and their lives. These stories have stayed with me throughout the years. I wish I had written them down as they were told to me. Memory has a way of erasing some things as we get older.

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Volume 5, Issue 10, Posted 10:18 AM, 05.14.2013

Optimism

When I was a teenager I looked forward to our yearly excursion to the Festival of St. Rocco Church during Labor Day weekend. The highlight of the day was the greased pole climb.

I believe optimism is like the greased pole, hard to hold on to. Every day brings new challenges – some good, some not so much. Combine the daily challenges with my ability to attract pessimistic people into my life and I sometimes find optimism slipping away like a fragile butterfly. I might grab for its colorful wings but even if I catch it for a second, it flits out of my grasp.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 10:43 AM, 04.16.2013

Staying positive while waiting for spring

Spring has not sprung so far. With the exception of Sunday, March 10, the weather has been cold. With Easter so close we can only hope for some warm weather and sunshine.

It is miserable trying to hunt Easter eggs in the snow. How can we ladies show off our Easter outfits with winter coats covering them? Cleveland weather is so unpredictable not even our local weather forecasters can always predict it accurately.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:56 AM, 03.19.2013

Black Keys a bright reflection of local music scene

At one time Akron was known as the rubber city. Home of Goodyear Tires, the company provided economic stability to the area. In 2009, Goodyear suffered some pretty severe financial losses. As the company strives to make a comeback, two local musicians are putting Akron back on the map again.

Dan Auerbach and Pat Carney, known as the Black Keys, were childhood friends with a common interest, music. Dan was captain of his high school football team, a popular guy. Pat was pretty much a loner. Although different in temperament, the two worked well together.

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 9:51 AM, 03.05.2013

Television segment helped stress importance of healthy eating

A friend called Monday morning, Jan. 28, to suggest I watch "The Biggest Loser," which was to air that night. Bay High School would have a short segment on the show. That was enough for me. Our high school was being given national television exposure. I would be watching.

This season, "The Biggest Loser" is focusing on childhood obesity. According to the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology, between 16 and 33 percent of American children are obese. Obesity is a major health problem which can lead to many other medical problems.

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 10:26 AM, 02.05.2013

Take the flu seriously

The joy of January this year brings with it a national flu epidemic. If you haven't been vaccinated with the flu vaccine, now's the time to do it. Professionals tell us the vaccine is not always 100 percent effective but does give partial immunity, at least, to the various strains of the flu floating around. Believe me, you don't want to experience full-blown flu, especially if you're among the very young or are a senior citizen. These populations are hit hardest because of a low or weakened immune system.

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Volume 5, Issue 2, Posted 11:54 AM, 01.22.2013