Carly came with the wine

The waitress recommended a wine, then brought the bottle.I’m pretty good at remembering who people are. I’m not worth a flip at remembering names – at least until I’ve sat down and chatted several times with a person, and then written about them.

We had stopped at our favorite winery in North East, Pa, one to be lauded for its Port – a good Port being sometimes difficult to find, in a vineyard or a storm. After chatting a few minutes with the clerk – an Australian lass whose husband had brought her back to Pennsylvania – we headed for a restaurant at which we had dined on our previous trip.Read more

Buy fresh, buy healthy, buy local

Farm markets are a way to know the food and who produces it(First published in the Gettysburg Times, 5/17/2013)

I was visiting the other day when someone acknowledged the strawberries tasted good, but suggested washing them with vinegar to ensure that if there was any insecticide on the berries, its “-cide” was rendered harmless.

There was a time when washing one’s food meant using water to remove the garden dirt. Vinegar was for making pickles and sauerkraut. Mom took the four of us kids to the Pick Your Own strawberry fields, where the farmer at the checkout table threatened to charge mom for the berries we kids had eaten while picking. Unfortunately, he had neglected to weigh us when we entered the field. Read more

How to end the war in Afghanistan

 A cannon accents rubble from the demolished cyclorama, grim reminder of the demolished lives.(First published in the Gettysburg Times, 5/10/2013)

“Thirty-five million deaths leave an empty place at only one family table.” – News commentator Eric Sevareid, (1912-1992) in a radio essay on the 25th anniversary of the start of World War Two.

With less than one percent of our warrior-age offspring actually in the military force, the odds greatly favor that a picture on the evening news is all most of us will know about someone who has died or been wounded in battle.

It is easy to think the war in Afghanistan, virtual static beneath whatever car crash or blustery foreign leader takes top billing each night, has been going on a very long time. An editor for ABC World News declared the war in Afghanistan “the longest war in our nation’s history, surpassing the conflict in Vietnam.” That was June 2010. Let’s do the math.Read more

A boy’s imperative

Frog on mossy island beneath a small waterfallWhat is it about a stone that commands a little boy to throw it in the nearest pond?

The two-year-old stood by the electric stream last night, picking up river-run stones from the dry part of the pond and tossing them into the pool at the bottom of the stream. Some missed and landed farther up, but they still were in the water, and that is what counted. I thought about telling him how much effort I’d expended to get them “just so,” but then I remembered:

Most of the effort had been to get the stones looking more or less natural where they lay – and what’s more natural than a young boy should throw them just to see the splash?Read more