The death of a pet is equal to losing a best friend or a close relative.
Dogs give us their full attention and love in return for a simple pat on the head. They don’t hold grudges. They don’t argue. And tail-wags show agreement with everything we say. Our dogs think we are the most important and intelligent people in the world.
I don’t know why, but my wife, Bev, and I somehow found and rescued our last three pets. I found Little Bear on a cold February afternoon in 1996 while I was cross-country skiing along the edge of the neighboring tree farm.
Bud’s View: Take time to smell the wildflowers
I want to thank all my readers for the cards, emails and personal phone calls. Your kind support helped me through nine months in the hospital and rehab facilities. I also want to thank my friends and hospital staff. Finally, I would not be home now if not for my loving wife, Bev, pushing me to not give up. She continually told the doctors during my first two months in a coma to do everything possible to save me because I was strong and I would want to pull through.
There are several meanings that the word alien might trigger. Children might visualize creatures from outer space. Adults might think of someone crossing a border. I'm using the word to refer to alien critters and plants that are not native to a region.
When you choose plantings, choose wisely and buy native plant species. Here are some reasons to plant native plants:
Q. Isn't a fractured bone less serious than a broken bone?
This is a common misconception. A fracture and a break are the same thing.
For several reasons, seniors are in danger of breaking a bone. As we age, the power of our senses, reflexes and coordination diminishes. Maladies and the medicines we take for them can contribute to balance problems, which can lead to falls. Then there's osteoporosis, a disease that makes bones more likely to snap.
It's been several years since I've written about our neighborhood problems. I hope you are free from troublesome neighbors: Neighbors who steal and damage possessions and show no signs of guilt.
We try our best to put up with these annoyances, but they continue year-round. As much as we try to ignore these situations, with the goal of being good neighbors, it grows more and more difficult. We don't want a feud like the infamous Hatfields and McCoys, but eventually we lose our patience and fight back.
This year marks the 16th anniversary of my first published work. It's a pursuit a few of my high school friends find somewhat surprising, especially the buddies who shared time with me in English classes.
We didn't find grammar, vocabulary lists and book reports to be very interesting. Our interests, at that time, varied from participating in sports, driving our cars and hanging out at Dairyland near Jordan Park, Saturday dances at Dorney Park's Castle Garden (Castle Rock) and, occasionally, time with our female classmates.
The Bertsch-Hokendauqua-Catasauqua Watershed Association (BHCWA), of which I'm a founding member, is dedicated to protect, improve and sustain water quality.
BHCWA is sponsoring its second annual scholarship essay contest for high school seniors, including those at Catasauqua High School and Northampton Area High School, who reside in the watershed and will attend college.
The winter of 2014-'15 was a mighty cold one. Last month was the coldest for average February temperatures (18.9 degrees fahrenheit, 12 degrees below normal) in the Lehigh Valley since Feburary 1934 (16.6 degrees). Spring, which arrives March 20, can't come too soon.
When I wrote this column, the overnight weather forecast was: four inches of snow, wind gusts up to 60 mph, wind chills ranging between 20 to 30 degrees below zero and drifting snow. My wife, Bev, after listening to this forecast, said she didn't remember wind chills this severe in the Lehigh Valley.
It's only been about a month since winter officially arrived, but it's been a strange one thus far in the Lehigh Valley.
It appeared we would be inundated with snow by now when 5.17 inches of wet snow fell Thanksgiving eve and the Farmer's Almanac was predicting a winter to rival the one we experienced last year.
The snowfall total was only 6.5 inches when I sat down to craft this January column. This total pales in comparison to the 20.9 inches of snow by this time last year.
I must be dreaming.
It can't be the end of 2014.
I feel as though I just transcribed my "Bud's View" Journal notes of 2013 Lehigh Valley observations a few months ago. Yet the calendar proves that 12 months have come and gone.