Keep it Weird!

June 18, 2024
Keep it Weird! I was sitting at my usual table at the coffee shop recently, when I noticed someone from our eclectic group of morning java drinkers approaching. I quickly realized our table was already filled and began to slide my chair over to allow space for the incoming individual to pull up a chair. It took me a moment to realize that to those around me who didn’t notice his approach, my actions appeared a bit odd. After assessing the situation, I quickly turned to the person seated next to me and said, “I’m not trying to be weird, I am making room for another to join us.” His reply was perfect, “You should stay your weird self. You know that word weird originally meant otherworldly?” This morning’s interaction placed me on a path to discovery. Where did the word weird originate and how had it evolved? Am I weird, and if I am, is that a good thing or bad? Let’s begin by going back to its roots. Learn More

The Legend of Crow Wings

June 18, 2024
I recently stumbled across a fascinating article that led me down an intriguing path of local Native American history. It began with a vivid description of life in the Juniata River Valley as a member of the Delaware tribe. My imagination quickly transported me back to the 1700s, where I could see the village and hear the children’s joyful squeals as they ran and played. I envisioned the women gathering food and preparing it over open fires, dressed in deerskin skirts and belts adorned with beads and porcupine quills. They were accessorized meticulously with deer antlers and wampum (cylindrical beads made of shells). In my mind’s eye, I also saw the men of the tribe in robes of animal skins and fringed buckskin leggings. Most men had their hair shaved on the sides and spiked in the middle, using bear grease to create a style that likely inspired the modern mohawk. They wore long feathers in their hair, with the number and angle indicating their tribal affiliation; Delaware men typically wore one or two feathers. Learn More

A Mother's Love is Like Nothing Else

June 18, 2024
My daughter Joy messaged me last week to ask me what I wanted for Mother’s Day. Unsure if she meant from herself or from all four of my offspring, I replied with, “Well, what’s my budget?” Her tongue-in-cheek response was one million dollars. You have to know my daughter to appreciate her dry humor. My quick reply was, “Great, finally mothers are getting what they deserve!” Of course I wasn’t serious, but then again, after birthing and raising four of them, two of which were twins, perhaps I was. Mother’s Day as an official holiday began in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Anna Jarvis, the visionary behind the idea, saw it as a way to honor the sacrifices made by mothers for their children. She herself was never a mother but she observed her own mother’s selfless dedication to motherhood and sought to honor her and all mothers. Learn More

A Tale of Resilience and Optimism in the Juniata River Valley

June 18, 2024
Beginning April 28th, we will be celebrating Small Business Week across the state of Pennsylvania. This was announced by The Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED). I relish any opportunity to talk about our small business community, so I am excitedly jumping on board. Oh, how they deserve our praise and adoration! Being a small business owner takes courage, dedication, and lots and lots of hard work! Where would we be without them? These are the places we meet, converse, shop, bring our visitors to, dine, imbibe, celebrate special events, caffeinate, and get in touch with our artistic side. They are the backbone of our community, and they are springing up, just like spring flowers, everywhere! I have conducted so many ribbon cuttings over the past year that my oversized scissors could use a sharpening! I also joke that the Chamber should purchase stock in a red ribbon production factory since we use yards and yards of it! Trust me, I am not complaining, it never gets old. Each is an exciting celebration of our economic growth. This widespread, entrepreneurial wave we are riding was not always present here in our Juniata River Valley. We endured an economic drought for a handful of years before the tide turned. Learn More

There is Beauty in the World, So Much Beauty in the World!

April 3, 2024
The Easter season is the one time of year when our minds turn to thoughts of hope, renewal and new beginnings. It is time to say goodbye to the long, cold, and dark days of winter and hello to the sun’s warming rays. Flowers and trees burst into bloom, the grass dons it lovely green coat, and the air is sweetened by the scent of spring rains, drawing us outdoors. Everything looks fresh and new, and it feels as though anything is possible, and I suppose it is. That, at least, was my recent experience. I just returned from a few days spent in Philadelphia with my son and his family, adventuring with my grandson, Luca who is 19-months-old. As I walked the streets of South Philly, I had a startling revelation. Though often perceived as cold, unwelcoming, and perhaps even daunting, that was not my experience as I explored the city. At every intersection, traffic paused to allow our unconventional parade to pass-a blue car pushed by me with Luca aboard, accompanied by my husband and our Labradoodle and Standard Poodle. Learn More