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I survived Hurricane Irma, from a distance: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 10/4/17

Happy Autumn again, and welcome, October! What a long summer it has been. At least it feels that way recently. Don’t you just love October? Don’t you just love pumpkins? 

I am …

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I survived Hurricane Irma, from a distance: LaVonne Ackerman


Happy Autumn again, and welcome, October! What a long summer it has been. At least it feels that way recently. Don’t you just love October? Don’t you just love pumpkins? 

I am happy to report we survived Hurricane Irma in Florida. We spent some time on the panhandle in Miramar Beach (near Destin) during that very frightening time. We witnessed the run on water and gasoline even before Irma hit southern Florida. 

Folks get very nervous when they are told a Category 5 hurricane may be on its way.

The worse part of tracking the storm is not knowing what it will do. Many people took precautions and left the targeted areas. We heard about terrible traffic jams, lack of gas and tired, weary people. Our daughter Jayme came up from the East Coast to stay with us in the safer zone. Fortunately, upon her return there was no damage to property. Unfortunately, she was without electricity along with many others.

One major problem was returning: She left on Sept. 12. Instead of taking six hours to get to Orlando to stay with a friend, it took her 12. How frustrating. 

I think the governor should have said, “For all the folks who fled and now need to return home, follow this schedule: Monday: only red and blue cars may use the highways, Tuesday: black and white cars, Wednesday: green, yellow and brown cars …”.  You get the idea.

We left Florida on Sept. 17. I was amazed how many electric power company trucks were in the southbound lane. The force of nature Florida and Texas have experienced is unbelievable. 

I do appreciate the stories of people helping people. I know there will be mission trips and others going south to give encouragement, hope and help to so many who lost so much. 


I need to wish a corrected belated birthday greeting to Kristina Myers of Lower Swatara: I hope you had a very happy birthday month in September. I wish you and your mom a wonderful October enjoying each other’s company and so sorry about the delay and misspelling! 

Hey, Layne Plott of Lower Swatara! Happy birthday to you on Wednesday, Oct. 4. I hope your day is top-notch!

Happy landmark 18th cake day to Madison Sanchez of Middletown. I hope your Wednesday, Oct. 4 party day is super swell!

Happy big girl birthday to Emerson Reigle of Lower Swatara. She is 5 on Thursday. Yes, this is her special golden birthday, 5 on the 5th!

Nick Holmes of Middletown marks his 17th cake-and-ice cream day on Thursday, Oct. 5. Enjoy!

Happy brand-new teener birthday to Jaxon Appleby of Lower Swatara on Friday. Jaxon is 13 on Oct. 6. Congrats!

Best wishes for a most enjoyable birthday to Marilyn Chubb of Lower Swatara on Saturday, Oct. 7. Hoping you enjoy a super day of rest and relaxation with some fun stuff, too!

Alexander Kelly of Swatara marks his 8th birthday on Saturday, Oct. 7. I hope this day is super-special and magical too, with all your favorite things to do!

Happy 21st birthday to Karlee Deibler on Monday, Oct. 9. Wishing you a very special day celebrating this “official milestone!”

Happy razzle-dazzle birthday to Deb Turner of Lower Swatara on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Many good wishes are sent your way, Deb!

Abrielle Spagnolo of Lower Swatara observes her super-duper-dazzling birthday on Wednesday, Oct. 11. She is 17. Congrats, Abrielle! 


Ed and Rita Nagy of Lower Swatara were married on Oct. 4, 1952. Congratulations as you celebrate your 65th wedding anniversary on Wednesday. Much joy and love to you both!

Happy 31st anniversary to Mike and Tyna Brinser of Lower Swatara on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Hoping your week is especially sweet. Enjoy! 

Don and Deb Carson of Lower Swatara observe their 26th romantic party day on Thursday, Oct. 5. Enjoy spending time together and the beautiful fall weather! 

Best wishes to Louis, aka Dan Steele, and Linda Braach of Lower Swatara on their 49th wedding anniversary. Hoping your Thursday, Oct. 5 is lovely!

Congratulations to Stan and Jane Jurgill of Lower Swatara as they celebrate 61 years of wedded bliss on Friday, Oct. 6. Best wishes to you both for a beautiful day!

John and Terrie Frailey of Lower Swatara mark their 36th anniversary on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Many good wishes and blessings are sent your way as you celebrate your day!

Happy 30th anniversary to Brian and Kim Kennedy of Lower Swatara as they observe their diamond anniversary. Enjoy! 

Township meetings

The following meetings will be held at 7 p.m. in the municipal building located on Spring Garden Drive in Lower Swatara Township:

Board of Commissioners: Wednesday, Oct. 4; Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Municipal Authority: Wednesday, Oct. 25.

Planning Commission: Thursday, Oct. 26. 

Community dinner 

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 121 N. Spring St.,  Middletown, will play host to the community dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, The menu is roast beef, mashed potatoes, veggie, dessert and drinks.

Everyone is welcome. There is a cost. Please enter through the parking lot doors.

Yard sale 

The fall annual Old Reliance Farm yard sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 and Saturday, Oct. 14. Come on out to get some good deals! 

Bring your Bible to school

Bring your Bible to School Day is Thursday, Oct. 5. This is the fourth annual student-led nationwide, free-speech event designed to remind students of their First Amendment rights. For more information, go to

Ladies brunch

All ladies are invited to attend “A Stroke of Art” brunch buffet at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11 at Hershey Italian Lodge, 128 Hillcrest Road, Hershey. This is presented by Hershey Area Women’s Connection, affiliated with Christian Women’s Clubs of America.

Barbara James, local visual artist from Hershey, will share surprising information about color and eye interpretation. Brenda McAllister, tenor vocalist from Hummelstown, will provide music. Mae Ogsbury of Delanson, New York, will speak on overcoming feelings of low self-worth and depression.

For reservations call Edna at 717-652-0997 or Mary at 717-533-3497, or email The deadline is Oct. 6. 

Parade time

It is time to prepare for the Middletown Kiwanis Club 64th annual Halloween Parade to be held on Monday, Oct. 16. The rain date is Tuesday, Oct. 17.

Registration is required for participation. Do you want to win a prize? Be sure to fill out the competition registration form. Forms are available only online until Saturday, Oct. 7.

Go to to register. 

Questions? Email 

Quote of the Week

“Your story can have a powerful, positive, life-changing effect on others.”   Anonymous

Question of the Week

What is your favorite candy?

“Three Musketeer bar.”  — Matt Wagner, 14, Lower Swatara.

“Twix.”  — Jason Wagner, Katelyn Wagner, 9, Lower Swatara.

“Jolly Ranchers. Especially grape.”  — Victoria Kelly, 10, Swatara.

“White chocolate from Hershey Park.”  — Averie DeFelice, 8, Swatara.

“Kit Kat.”  — Tim Wagner, 15, Lower Swatara.

“Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.”  — Susan Wagner, Lower Swatara.

Proverb for the Week

The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing (20:4).

Reach LaVonne Ackerman at 717-649-7366 or by email at