“Is it cold enough for you?”
The next person to ask me that will get smacked upside the head.
I loathe cold weather. The older I get, the more I mind it.
I remember white winters from my childhood that lasted from Halloween until Easter. I loved it then.
My friends and I would sled and build snowmen until we turned blue. The borough plowed snow into 4- and
5-foot mounds on the street corners. Boys in our ’hood constructed forts well-stocked with snowball ammunition.
I’d select a mound and create a snowy split-level. Once I even brought out a bucket of water to fashion a windowsill.
I was the Martha Stewart of ice décor.
My mom would have to drag me in the house.
The other day my buddy Music Dude (aka Jonathan) asked, “Do you have cabin fever yet?”
I answered honestly, “No. My problem is I like the cabin TOO MUCH!”
Hibernation totally appeals to me now in my geezer years.
Curl up after New Year’s, snooze until Easter … yeah, I could do that.
Punxsutawney Phil will make his prediction in a few days. Last year, he was wrong.
We didn’t get the six additional weeks of winter. That was fine with me.
The last shovel-able snow we had fell the third week of March. We got a chilly, but early, spring. We also suffered a ridiculously nippy June, July and August, which folks referred to as “the summer that wasn’t.”
If I was a groundhog, peacefully hibernating, and a few thousand noisy revelers interrupted my slumber, I might tell a lie, too.
I’ve only ever gotten up close and personal with a groundhog once.
One summer day, we awakened to one sunbathing on our deck. Bold as could be, he stretched out next to a chaise lounge.
Contrary to the images of loveable Gus, who sells us our lottery tickets, and cuddly Phil, noncelebrity groundhogs are territorial, irritable and downright nasty.
He caused quite a stir on our block for two days. One neighbor even volunteered to fetch his shotgun. We reminded him of penalties for firing a weapon in the borough and pointed out that he’d then be guilty of … HOGICIDE!
In the end, the groundhog left as abruptly as he’d appeared.
I love the current TV commercial to promote yearlong tourism in Punxsutawney.
“Come visit Jefferson County,” they suggest enthusiastically, “and get more than your Phil!”
I’ve already had more than my fill. Bring on spring and summer.
“Is it cold enough for you?”
- Michele Bender
Judge Judy’s tough in any language
In her relentless effort to “correct and serve,” Judge Judy Scheindlin is “on the road” promoting her new program, “Hot Bench.”
Twelve days of Christmas
“Ms. Bender? Are you awake?”
The guy sounded cute. I opened one eye.
“I’m Dr. S. I’ll be your brain surgeon.”
MICHELE M. BENDER | Shop until you drop
Is it my imagination, or have advertisers dialed back the Christmas hype this season?
A sonnet? Doggone it!
I’m a gal of many talents,
Though lots of folks don’t know it.
MICHELE M. BENDER | Not another ‘for sale’ sign
I suspect that goblins fly over Johnstown at night sprinkling “For Sale” sign seeds. Weather doesn’t seem to hamper the growth process; signs are popping out everywhere.
Clear the aisles! I’m back in the saddle again
Study this face carefully. If you ever … EVER … see me in your checkout line (with my walker or an electric cart), RUN … do not walk … RUN the other way.
MICHELE M. BENDER | What lurks in your closet?
Ladies wrote this summer reminding me that the struggle for brand-name dominance in fashion began in the ’60s and ’70s. Everyone knew that Audrey wore Givenchy. Brooke posed provocatively in magazines wearing “only her Calvins.”
MICHELE M. BENDER | Warm and fuzzy
Well, “we had us” a summer! Probably not the one most people waited for, but chilly temps won’t stop customers in relentless pursuit of that last pierogi, funnel cake or halupki.
MICHELE M. BENDER | Geezer justice rules
My car, Bailey Bender (a PT Cruiser), will celebrate his 10th birthday on Sept. 13. I’ve named almost every car I’ve ever owned.
Hearts, souls and rock ’n’ roll
When it comes to music, Johnstowners have passion! In July, I asked folks to select their favorite rock ’n’ roll love song. Your feedback overwhelmed me.
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