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Local Writers

My Shepherd You Are

My Shepherd You Are

I struggle with remembering to take life one day at a time, even though I often reference it in my writings. Maybe you too? It’s a daily learning process to release my cares to God. With my husband's need for nursing home rehab, I’ve panicked and become fearful of the unknown future… will he do well, rebuild muscle to regain strength enough to return home… or will he need long-term skilled nursing care… a frightening unknown future for both of us. But then, I remember, trust God – for He ha

Linda Roorda

Linda Roorda

The Best Songs Of 2022

The Best Songs Of 2022

Another year coming to an end means a few things but most importantly it means it’s time to take stock of the year that was. And the only way to take stock is in list form. Rank ’em if you must but if there’s not a list involved, it doesn’t count. Those are the rules. When it comes to the year in music, 2022 brought out the heavy hitters. Beyonce and Taylor Swift both released monster albums as did Kendrick Lamar. The Red Hot Chili Peppers returned, Spoon continued to do Spoon things (i.e. 

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

A Year Of Things That Have Never Been

A Year Of Things That Have Never Been

Happy New Year again, now that we are actually in 2023.  I have so appreciated the holiday season that is just past, and wish some of the benefits could go on and on, as this says: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”*   New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were both busy and engaged because our granddaughters were here all week, and then our adult kids were here and life was lively.  There wasn’t a lot of time for year-end introspection, but in the back of

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

 

Our "Rescue New York" Plan Focuses On Overlooked Priorities

Governor Hochul delivered her State of the State message to the Legislature last week. Now we wait and see how she plans to pay for it. Those answers start to arrive later this month when she unveils her proposed 2023-2024 state budget. My initial reaction to the governor’s broad outline of her priorities for New York’s future is this: Governor Hochul highlighted the affordability crisis facing all New Yorkers, but every agenda item she spoke of will only make New York a more expensive plac
Peace in the Storm

Peace in the Storm

There have been many times when my peace was shattered... in difficult storms, painful wounds, and major losses... and I was in turmoil.  Like December 2019 when my husband was found to be in life-threatening diabetic hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome, a rare complication of diabetes type II.  We were both overwhelmed with the new diagnosis of type II diabetes, and a new treatment regimen on top of his multiple other health issues.  We fully realize countless others have successfully dealt wit

Linda Roorda

Linda Roorda

End of The Year Musings

End of The Year Musings

We’ve decorated, baked, caroled and the Season of Noel is approaching its end.  We do have until January 6th ---- 12th Night ---- before we must pack the shiny ornaments away and we head into true winter.  It has been two weeks of being together with friends and family, good church services and special music.  One of our remaining tasks would be sending out  Christmas cards.  We have more time now, to write notes. New Year’s Eve is coming and it is, for many, a time of merriment and partyin

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Approaching The New Year With Renewal Of Hope

Approaching The New Year With Renewal Of Hope

Above all else this week, I hope that this column will find you and your families, friends, and neighbors well and doing your best to have a memorable and meaningful holiday season.  Approaching the start of another new year in New York State government, we could focus on looking ahead to the debates that always await the governor and legislators in ordinary times -- traditionally difficult challenges on education, economic development, environmental protection, fiscal policies, infrastruct

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

Would I?

Would I?

Christmas is so much more than busy days of shopping, fancy decorations, and Santa.  It’s more than admiring a special baby in the manger with his parents and shepherds.  It’s all about the why of his birth, and the hope he brings to our world.  But I wonder if I take my faith for granted.  I’ve known Jesus and been “in the church” since I was a baby.  I have seen God work in my life in special ways, felt Him draw me to His side as my Savior, and heard Him speak to my heart. Yet, what would I ha

Linda Roorda

Linda Roorda

Stars, Music, And Snowy Hills

Stars, Music, And Snowy Hills

Starry skies --- crisp nights ----- occasional snow feathering down ----sleds, sleighs and church bells.  That is what all the beautiful winter cards depict.  In real life, we often have what the meteorologists call “graupel” plus sleet and freezing rain, with a little mud underfoot, making slush, rather like what we’re getting here today ---and tomorrow.   The cards keep us looking for that bit of winter magic.  I wish that I could find a better use for the many beautiful cards, especially hand

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

New York Moves To Turn off The Power At The Start Of Winter

New York Moves To Turn off The Power At The Start Of Winter

It’s fitting this week that New York’s ongoing leap into the energy unknown arrives on winter’s doorstep.   On December 19, the state’s “Climate Action Council” plans to release final recommendations to implement far-reaching renewable energy mandates for all New Yorkers. Winter officially starts two days later, although some might argue that it’s been winter in New York for several years now.   Remember that these mandates were set in motion in 2019 by the “Climate Leadership and Clim

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

Eight Major Issues With The "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" Movie That Continue To Bug Me To This Day

Eight Major Issues With The "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" Movie That Continue To Bug Me To This Day

With another Christmas season very suddenly upon us, we’re met with the return of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer television special once again. Now, I’ve seen the 1964 movie countless times, but in recent years, I’ve found myself more and more baffled and perplexed by the beloved holiday classic.  Simply put, Rudolph has just not aged well. Watching it now, it’s obvious that it has some issues and that it has enough of those issues for the special to now be seen as both problematic and

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

Gift Wrapped

Gift Wrapped

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go!”*  We love that old song and the memories it stirs.  But what does Christmas look like?  Along with hopes for the proverbial white Christmas, we each have special ways we remember and celebrate this joyous holiday. Lights are strung to outline houses, bushes and trees, and even vehicles!  Christmas trees of real or faux evergreen in varying sizes are put up inside the house.  Then we choose white lights, mixed colors, or a si

Linda Roorda

Linda Roorda

Seeking You

Seeking You

Yesterday, my husband was in the E.R. yet again, with difficulty breathing and clearing his lungs from fluid buildup in a long-term battle with congestive heart failure. Every day is a struggle for him, just as it is for so many others around us.  A year ago, I shared this blog from my longer speech at a Women's Faith Retreat in 2014.  I need to be reminded of my own words, and of God's faithfulness in so many ways. Thinking others might need the comfort in knowing God truly is there at our side

Linda Roorda

Linda Roorda

 

Renewing The Fight For More Responsible Government

Approaching a new legislative session in January, we unfortunately continue to face the same set of challenges and crises that many of us fought to address at the beginning of 2022.  In other words, the agenda remains the same. We must stay committed to a comprehensive set of goals to help grow local and state economies, focus on the financial burdens facing middle-class families and small business owners, and make public safety an urgent priority.  From combating crime to job creation

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

Don't Let The Light Go Out

Don't Let The Light Go Out

Turkeys can now relax; their season is over while we humans have stepped from November (Thanksgiving) into December (Christmas) with hardly a moment of transition.  We are one week into Advent; hanging of the greens at church occurred this past Sunday.  For nearly all faiths, this is the Season of Lights.  Pagan holidays emphasized light because December brings the longest nights of the year, and asking the gods to send the sun’s light again seemed a survival necessity.  The Jewish Chanukah cele

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

The Makings of Christmas...

The Makings of Christmas...

December 5th is a day my/our Dutch ancestors celebrated Saint Nicholas Day or Eve, part of traditional European Christmas celebrations for centuries.  My cousin Sytske Visscher in the Netherlands shared that “St. Nicolas Day/Sinterklaas Day is celebrated on December 5, or the weekend before or after. According to the myth, the Bishop of Myra in Turkey (St. Nicolas) was born on December 6 and started to give presents to the poor members of his congregation on the evening before, December 5.  Fami

Linda Roorda

Linda Roorda

Leaving A Legacy Through Simplicity

Leaving A Legacy Through Simplicity

by Annie Holmquist A few weeks ago, I came across a story in The Washington Post about a young woman, Rosie Grant, who scours graveyards across the country looking for recipes to make. Recipes in a graveyard? Yes, it does sound weird, but Grant was intrigued upon hearing the concept. The first gravestone recipe she came across was featured on Naomi Odessa Miller-Dawson’s grave and was for Spritz cookies. Grant whipped up a batch and shared the results on her TikTok account. Its success

Guest Writers

Guest Writers

The Eyes of A Child

The Eyes of A Child

Do we remember what it was like to view the world through the eyes of a child? Sometimes yes, but a lot of times no … too often, I see the world through the lens of adulthood, from the various angles of life that have come my way.  We all have much to learn in being a living example of Christ’s love for us… for He who came to this earth as a newborn babe, to experience life through the eyes of humanity while being fully God, came with a purpose… to redeem us from our sinful selves. And every onc

Linda Roorda

Linda Roorda

Give Thanks!

Give Thanks!

What a rapid run through November we are making.  Days are flitting along like leaves blown by November winds.  Thanksgiving is a week away.  Am I prepared for the holiday season that follows?  No, I am not!  But somehow, we always manage to celebrate royally, ready or not.  I enjoy Thanksgiving because it is about family and gratitude.  There are fewer dizzying activities like wrapping gifts, running hither and yon, and all the hullabaloo that goes with Christmas.  The weather is usually better

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

If you know me well, you know that fall is not my favorite season.  Oh, don’t get me wrong - I enjoy the brightly colored leaves, sunshine in a beautiful crisp blue sky, the cooler temps, the lack of stifling humidity, and the pungent odor of smoke from a well-run woodstove.  But, the darker, dreary, and shorter days with leaves fluttering down to mulch the earth as they leave behind the stark contrast of bare tree limbs against a gray sky tend to bring a sadness for me.  I much prefer spring an

Linda Roorda

Linda Roorda

Trying To Understand Those Two Years I Was A Fan Of Barenaked Ladies

Trying To Understand Those Two Years I Was A Fan Of Barenaked Ladies

My high school sat in the middle of sunny Portland, Maine and was a long, large building that from a distance looked more like a prison than a high school. But it was an old high school, one of the oldest, and it was only a block or so from the unofficial center of town, Monument Square. Off to one side of the square was One City Center. In One City Center were a couple radio stations, one of which was the local alternative station and that station used an outside area on what was probably the t

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

A Woman Unsurpassed...

A Woman Unsurpassed...

Before I retired, I looked forward to the weekend.  But often found that once I got there, the chores on my list seemed to never end.  There was no escape!  They needed to be taken care of… though I’d much rather enjoy a respite with my hobbies – sewing, gardening, taking a walk, reading an in-depth well-researched historical book, or just relaxing on a bench in my gardens enjoying nature's beauty and listening to the birds.  But the demands of responsibilities in every-day life like paying bill

Linda Roorda

Linda Roorda

The Good Days Of November

The Good Days Of November

November, the month of golden topaz gem stones and heaps of topaz leaves fallen from trees. November is a month of birthdays; my husband’s is today and one son’s is at the end of the month, with several family members in between.  Kerm’s birthday means strawberry shortcake tonight. That is his choice over any cake I could bake.   My eldest brother shared my husband’s November 3d birthday.  Kerm was born about the time Frank went to war in WWII but regardless of their age difference, they both ag

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

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