Author Archives: Jacqueline Damian

Can you reason with a groundhog?

We Pennsylvanians look kindly on groundhogs, if our affection for Punxsutawney Phil is any indication. But these oversize rodents—largest members of the squirrel family—are easier to love in February, when they are hibernating. In the warm months they can be a royal pain, shamelessly noshing your vegetable garden and flower beds. We first saw a […]

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Which age would you replay if you could?

I used to ask my nephew Matt to steer me toward new music, but lately I’ve given up and just listen to the artists I grew up with—a sure sign of aging, no doubt. So after preordering the “new” Beatles release, “Live at the Hollywood Bowl,” online, I also purchased Bonnie Raitt’s 20th album, “Dig […]

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Ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend?

“The best friends are old friends.” So said the caption on a Facebook photo from a mini-high school reunion I went to a couple of weeks ago in Rhode Island. My classmates are reunioneers. Aside from the traditional decade parties, there are yearly get-togethers on the anniversary of commencement, June 10, and pop-up reunions whenever […]

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Home renovations: not for the fainthearted

Nothing is simple. Or maybe some things are, but home improvement projects are not among them. Otherwise, where’s the source of drama in all those HGTV house flipper and renovation shows that I love to watch? So I shouldn’t have been surprised when our major summer project—repainting the front, back and side porches—veered off-course. It […]

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Hey baby, don’t call me dear

I remember the first time I got called “ma’am.” It was at a gas station in New Jersey, on Route 3 in Bergen County. I was in my 40s and didn’t feel or look like a “ma’am”—or so I thought. But apparently the 20-something guy at the pump disagreed. Who knows, I might have been […]

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In praise of porches

My next-door neighbor recently told me that she pretty much fell in love with her house at first sight. Why? Because it had the front porch of her dreams. “I’ve always wanted a wraparound porch,” she confided. I didn’t have a fixed idea of a dream home when my husband and I bought our place […]

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Happy birthday, kittens

Where did the months go? The kittens are approaching their first birthday and soon I won’t be calling them “kittens” anymore. They are emerging now as confident young cats. The kittens, their siblings and their mother appeared on my neighbor’s back porch one night last July, in a cardboard box lined with bath towels. My […]

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When a hack attack isn’t

Just over a month ago, an ominous message popped up on my iPad screen informing me that my Apple ID was “being used to sign in to a device near Lower Towamensing, PA.” Oh my gosh. Was I being hacked? I consulted a map to locate Lower Towamensing. It turns out to be in Carbon […]

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A tale of two dads

Even after all these years, it’s hard to talk about my dad. He died more than 40 years ago but I still haven’t “gotten over it.” Do you ever? And I find myself thinking about him in the runup to Father’s Day. My father was tall, handsome, gentle and athletic—the favorite brother in a family […]

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Take me out to the ballgame…as long as the Red Sox are playing

I once won an office Super Bowl pool, but not on account of my knowledge of football, which is nonexistent. I simply picked at random from a grid someone had created of possible outcomes and plunked down $5. I used part of my winnings to buy a Super Bowl cake from a supermarket bakery (half […]

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