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Of clocks, dog walking and cookies

March 25, 2012
By ESTHER MCCOY - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

I did not realize how many clocks we had in our house until we started turning them all ahead two weeks ago. There were 14 clocks in all.

I questioned why we had three clocks in the kitchen until I realized that the microwave and stove accounted for two of them, plus the one we have on the wall, where everyone looks to learn the time.

The living room has three as well. There is the lovely golden clock we received as a 50-year anniversary present and a mantel clock that is about 40 years old and was an anniversary present from my mother that I would not give up for anything. It once chimed but is now silent. I wouldn't do away with the small clock in a frame that I earned from the March of Dimes for having the highest collection in Jefferson County when I worked the Easter Seals Telethon the very first year either.

Every other room in the house has a clock, including the bathroom.

The guest bedroom has two clocks, and an alarm clock. The mantel clock belonged to my parents when they were first married, and my mom gave it to our son, Larry, but he keeps it at our house. Guests, our children and grandchildren who sleep in the room get frustrated with the chiming every 15 minutes. But honestly, once you go to sleep, you don't even know it's there.

There are our two cars also, with mine being a stumper each time the clocks have to be changed. I can never remember how to change the time forward or backwards and always relied on Kathy Dombroski to do it. But Lamont discovered the secret to make it work this time.

I keep hearing about how the loss of an hour's sleep has caused problems with some people, including a national news anchor who was filmed with his head down snoozing.

I don't have trouble with the "sleep lag" because Lamont and I turn the time up around 9 p.m. on Saturday evening. When we wake up the next morning, we just accept the time and go on.

Speaking of a change, I don't ever remember seeing our crocus bulbs in bloom in mid-February as they were this year. I even saw dandelion blossoms peeking out of the grass soon after that.

These sights were spotted only because I take Ozzie walking around our big yard and into the woods in back of our house as often as possible. I wouldn't be out there otherwise.

I saw on the news that the cherry blossom trees are in bloom in Washington, D.C., much earlier than normal. The Japanese gifted the United States with these trees on March 27, 1912, to celebrate the strong relationship between the two countries.

They are a beautiful sight to see. I experienced the glory of their pink blossoms one year. And it looks like a snowstorm when the wind blows and the petals start to cascade down.

It seems that buds on trees and in the ground are opening from two to four weeks ahead of time this season. That's fine unless we get a big freeze soon.

Regarding my walking Ozzie, Lamont laughs when I promise our very energetic pet that I will take him for a walk when I get home from work. I will climb into old clothes shortly after arriving home so we can go for the stroll. But with Ozzie, it is never a stroll, more like a full gallop. I feel obligated to do so since I made that promise.

One thing is for sure, Ozzie remembers. He is at the door looking expectant and happy. Lamont says that at 4:30 p.m. Ozzie is jumping up each time he hears a car go by thinking that it's me.

Something that is on time each year is the delivery of Girl Scout cookies.

Apparently "Good Morning America" did a survey of the most popular cookies, and I was surprised with the results. It seems that the Thin Mints took the lead with 49 percent of the vote. This was followed by Samoas at 28 percent; Tagalongs, 11 percent; and Do-Si-dos and Trefoils, both at 6 percent. I thought the chocolate covered peanut butter cookies would have made a good showing but they are not even mentioned. Apparently the 28,000 cookie lovers who took part in the poll were not chocolate and peanut butter combination lovers.

I had information that I failed to get into my column back in early February and feel that I still need to say something.

During football season, I would drive by Danny Flaherty's house each weekend and see the Indianapolis Colts blow-up football player looming in his yard, along with other Colts items, and I know that he has a bunch of Colts memorabilia in their home. I admire Danny for supporting the Colts, even when all did not go well with the team.

He and his wife, Joyce, traveled to the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, where the Super Bowl was played, not to see the game, but to take part in the NFL Experience, where players signed autographs. They got to meet some of Colts players, although I know that he has met many over the years as they attend many games. He is a faithful fan, and I like to see this. Sorry I am so late in complimenting you, Danny.

I felt honored when I was invited to their home for the Super Bowl, when the Colts played the New Orleans Saints. This was after I did a Super Bowl food column and used Danny as my ultimate fan. I felt bad when they lost, but I'm sure Danny felt worse.

The Brightway Center has and is offering many inspirational programs for the youth in the Tri-State Area, and the Kara Bright homestead is looking wonderful. For this reason and for all the work he has done in working with youth and to get the place up and running, I am glad to see that Daryle Griffin was honored by the Quinn Memorial AME Church in Steubenville. This was for its 18th-annual awards program.

Seventeen area residents were honored for their outstanding volunteer and community service, and Daryle was the one to receive the youth service award.

"I'm humbled to receive this award, especially because we at Brightway are just getting started. I am simply keeping the promise I made to Kara, to bring his vision to light, and we are making great strides in making his dream a reality," he said.

I have known Daryle for more than 30 years, in working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, with Bill McHugh, my uncle, who was another great leader in the FCA activities of youth in the 1970s through the 1990s. We worked at the West Liberty FCA retreats together, and this brought out students from many schools in our communities.

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at

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