Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Guest Column in the April 18, 2017 Intell on Celebrating Spring!

Hi everyone,

Alan Kerr, editor of the Editorial page of the Intell, kindly sent me the text of my Guest Column.

It's not available if 12 hours has elapsed and you don't have a subscription.

My across-the-street neighbor Nancy Myers saved me a copy, which looks real good.

Celebrating April and the spring season: a time for renewal

By Ruth Z. Deming

We welcomed April with a smile. We see the world anew, with fresh eyes. Our bodies hurtle from under the warm covers and rush outside to celebrate.

The new “Rails to Trails” in Pennypack Park, built in 2015 and still unfinished, was a recent mecca on a glorious sunny Sunday, as nature lovers converged on its many trails, nearly six miles of them.

“Rails to Trails” converted unused railroad tracks to hiking paths. View the huge boulders as you walk or bike past.

One particular trail, 12 yards wide, begins at the Bryn Athyn Post Office.

Everyone had the same idea. Scores of cyclists were out en masse (“passing on your left”), parents pushed baby carriages, dog walkers ran along with their leashed pooches, and numerous joggers, huffing and puffing, ran along the gravel trail, sometimes three abreast.

One elderly gent with a “Bryn Athyn” T-shirt pushed a walker, taking his good old time.

The Pennypack Creek swayed and rippled far below in the sunshine. What a boon for our bodies, which need Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. While we’re on the subject of healthy bodies, make an appointment with Mary Ann Moylen, nutritionist, at the Willow Grove Giant supermarket. She will walk you around the store and help you select healthy and delicious foods. Phone her at 215-784-1960.

April also boasts Poetry Month. If you like poetry, sign up for the free weekly poem by Ted Kooser, former poet laureate of the United States. View

Here’s a poem by George Bilgere:

Someone is selling the Encyclopedia Britannica
in all its volumes, which take up a whole card table.
It looks brand new, even though it must be 60 years old.
That's because it was only used a couple of times,
when the kids passed through fifth grade
and had to do reports on the Zambezi River
and Warren Harding.

Have you attended your first yard sale yet?

April is the time for spring cleaning. Adriane Weinberg’s “An Organized Approach” — view — discusses cleaning a closet.

“Let’s organize your bedroom closet,” she writes. “Before we start ... be rested and well fed, wear comfy clothes, label four bins Donate, Recycle, Elsewhere and Repair, and have large Hefty bags for trash.

“Begin with hanging clothes,” she continues. “Start at the beginning of a rod. Without skipping around, leave hanging what you want to keep. Remove what doesn’t fit, you no longer like, or is outdated, torn or stained. Place those items in the corresponding bin. Things that do not belong in the closet go in the Elsewhere bin to distribute later.

“I guarantee you’ll feel happy after you organize the closet. Being organized makes life so much easier. Find out for yourself.”

Every year, New Directions Support Group, which I founded 33 years ago, participates in the Pennypack Trust Creek Cleanup. View This year, half a dozen of us will don waterproof boots, heavy work gloves and lightweight attire to help clean parts of the ever-expanding 812 acres.

The date is this Saturday, April 22, from 10 until noon. Keep your eyes and ears open and you will learn a lot from other participants and group leaders.

It’s another way to celebrate the glories of nature, which are threatened in today’s political climate.

“The red bud trees have just bloomed,” says David Robertson, executive director of the Trust. “They’re striking and dramatic.”

He also advises that fish will congregate at the nearby pond if you feed them bread crumbs. Be sure to listen for the mating bull frogs’ belch-like calls, which are answered by their would-be mates.

If you’re lucky, hibernating turtles will appear on logs, reminders of the Galapagos tortoises, discovered on the Beagle voyage by Charles Darwin in 1831.

The Trust is great for the kiddies. What better way to teach them a love of nature. Clusters of wildflowers are out in the early spring, blooming before the leaves on the trees block out the sun.

Deer will be hiding, as will the occasional coyote, but the birds will serenade you on the paths.

Your hard work will be rewarded by a T-shirt and free food in the picnic grove.

Save me a turkey hoagie, please.

Ruth Z. Deming is a psychotherapist in private practice and founder/director of New Directions Support Group for people with depression, bipolar disorder and their loved ones. The group meets in Abington and Willow Grove. Visit For information, contact 215-659-2366 or

PREVIOUSLY a neighbor would personally deliver my Guest Columns into my mail box.

Here's a true story I wrote about the late Luke Sanders. View it here.

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