On and Off The Mountain/Stephanie Grubert

We are off and running. Many of us are out of the house, cleaning up the yard, scouring the closets to give away items no longer needed and planning for the new season. The sunshine and 60 degrees adds to the enthusiasm. The lawns are greening, the trees are starting to show just a glimmer of life, and the forsythia is sure to bloom this week. We started out with one tiny flower last week and now the daffodils are bursting forth. After the coldest winter in 84 years every little step ahead is most appreciated.

I took my closet treasures to the Salvation Army last week. I am now empowered to move forward and find a few more bags of perfectly good clothes to recycle into circulation. I will send my treasures on to their new owners this spring.

New Garden Season

The new garden is shaping up in my mind. I will once again hire George Albright, III to help me with his tiller and Bobcat to get my soil ready for planting. I am determined to mulch every inch of my 40 x 60 foot plot this year and rotate the crops for best soil use. I fear some of my trees are starting to take away from the open sun I have enjoyed for the past 25 to 30 years. Gardening and farming are always a gamble.

And the yard needs attention too. Too many trees can fall on the house or keep out the sunshine. Lawns will not grow without enough light and nutrients from the soil. Driveways crack or erode from water. The list goes on and on. Thankfully we have a number of reliable contractors in Mountain Top that we can call upon for services. Spring is the time to take stock and make plans.

Mountain Hiking

I hiked the Black Diamond Rails to Trails in Wright Township a couple of times last week. It is convenient to go there after work and set out on a four to five mile outing.

I see lots of bikers racing back and forth. They must be in training for an event. Charlie Grubert took his new bike to the trail last week and enjoyed the 5 plus miles down to Moose Lake. Charlie said the return trip was very challenging. Going down took a half hour and coming back took an hour. He thought maybe the 10-mile outing was more than he should have taken on for his first trip of the season. Charlie and the other bikers will be back at it this week I am sure.

I have a couple of bikes at my house that need inspecting and tuning since they haven’t been out in several years. Riding the hills in my neighborhood is challenging but not impossible. All movement counts.

Brooklyn Visit

Charlie and I went to Brooklyn to see the Dicus family, who are so booked and double booked that choices must be made. We enjoyed Charlie and Patrick’s baseball game in Prospect Park. Patrick drove in two runs and Charlie made the game winning play for their team’s 5-4 win. Kate Dicus plays spring soccer and her Sunday 8 a. m. game got the house up and humming early.

The weather could not have been better. The birds were singing and the family cats were longingly looking out the windows. In a couple of months the Dicus family will be Mountaintop residents and the cats George and Lulu will have plenty of space for exercise.

Road Cleanups Road cleanups are an April staple.

When I see the familiar PennDot white bags on the sides of the roads I feel a special pride. The Mountaintop Eagle has been doing road cleanups since 1988, five years before the PA Adopt a Highway Program was invented.

The Mountaintop Eagle highway on Nuangola Road in Rice Township is not as litter strewn as it was 27 years ago, but there is still a substantial amount of trash that piles up every year. Michelle Kollar has been our most recent participant, but our 1.3 mile stretch is still in need of cleanup. If you or your group would consider pitching in to the project, please call me at 570-474-6397 and we can make a plan. A few hours from a few people is all it takes. You will forever look on the beautiful clean roadway with pride.

Relay on Broadway The 2015 Mountaintop Relay for

Life is coming right up on May 16. Organizers have been working on their team projects all year long. This year’s theme is “Relay on Broadway” and the event begins at 10:00 a. m. with closing ceremonies at 11 p. m. The 2015 event is the 13th for the Mountaintop community.