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Last week, I was sad to hear that we had lost a great community member with the passing of former Derry Police Chief and Mayor Ronald T. “RT” Bolen.

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Writing this, my last Derry Diary, is a bittersweet endeavor. On one hand I am looking forward to having no constraints on my time, but on the other I will truly miss the contact with the people of the Derry Area. I have made many friends over the years because of this column, some I know in…

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Next week’s column will be the last time I write the Derry Diary. I have become very spoiled the past few years as I lived a life with no deadlines in it except this column. I’ve been considering giving it up for some time so John and I could make whatever plans we choose without the time co…

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Monday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day. My father and three uncles served in World War II, a cousin served in Korea, my husband and two cousins served in Vietnam, two nephews served in Iraq and three other family members served in peacetime. There has never been a time in my life when someone in m…

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I finally finished all my canning this week. After turning two bushels of Macintosh apples into applesauce, I am officially done until spring. I have filled more than 350 jars with an assortment of stuff. No, I am not preparing for the apocalypse. It’s worse than that. I’m addicted to cannin…

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As of Oct. 25, the Sirius Radio station I listen to most of the time switched to Christmas music. They are referring to it as bringing me “the sounds of the season.” I would like to know just exactly what season they think it is. In my world, the sounds of the season are children saying “tri…

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There are certain times of year when I am amazed by how much there is to do in the Derry area. Fall is one of them. I can’t imagine anyone not being able to find something fun and interesting to do in the events that are coming up. Do get out and enjoy the foliage and the activities that go …

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Monday is Columbus Day. That isn’t a major holiday for most of us, but I think the man deserves a holiday in his honor for having the courage to set out in three little boats across an ocean he knew next to nothing about. Add to that the fact that just about everyone in the world except him …

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It’s October and I finally had to admit that whether I like it or not, summer is over. The summer flowers have been replaced by scarecrows, pumpkins and mums. The soybeans have turned brown and are ready to harvest. The garden is done except for those tomatoes that just refuse to quit. The l…

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My vacation was a wonderful mix of good times with good friends and family, good weather, a great beach house and the Atlantic Ocean at our front door, but the best part was my plane touching down in Pittsburgh and knowing that John was there to bring me home to the farm we both love so much…

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As of today, I am officially on vacation. It’s Golden Girls Week at the beach. Four of us have been spending this week together at Topsail Island for 20 years now. We rent a beachfront house and Hurricane Dorian was nice enough to not blow it away.

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We made our annual visit to the Farmers and Threshermens Jubilee in New Centerville, Pennsylvania, this week. It’s always fun for me to see the operating steam engines and the many other features of the jubilee, but this year was even better. After telling John that I would sell my soul to r…

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John and I both have birthdays coming up before long, so we both have been indulging in our annual bout of bemoaning our advancing age and feeling sorry for ourselves because we are one year closer to being seriously old codgers. This week, we spent four days climbing ladders and pushing pai…

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Students in the Derry Area School District go back to school on Monday, Aug. 26. The Diary wishes everyone a safe and happy year of learning. Please be extra cautious when you are driving. Sometimes the kids aren’t as careful of traffic as they should be so it is up to us to make sure their …

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Here we are, right smack in the middle of August. Can you believe that? It seems like yesterday that summer was just starting and we thought those long, lovely days were endless. Now they have become time limited and precious. I’m seeing late-summer signs all around me. The goldenrod and Jap…

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I love this time of year. We work so hard in the spring with nothing but faith and hope that these days will come. We are finally eating, canning and freezing things from the garden, getting ready for the second cutting of hay, picking peaches and making jam, eating fresh sweet corn and maki…

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It’s interesting how years change one’s perspective. When I was a child, we had a huge garden and my mother canned just about everything that grew in it. We kids were expected to help keep the garden hoed and weeded, then help with the canning when the plants started to produce. I remember s…

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Last weekend, we attended John’s annual family reunion. People come from all over the country for the event. Family reunions have become rather unusual in this day and age, but his had something especially unusual about it. People of all ages were talking to each other, enjoying an incredibl…

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It has been a lovely week to live on a farm. For starters, it was the first time this year that we had four days in a row without rain. While John was getting in the hay that he has been trying to cut for a month, I was churning butter and making cherry jam. The garden is growing, the flower…

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