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Summer just won’t let go so fall can arrive: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 10/11/17

Hello, folks. It seems like we got stuck in some sort of summer bio-state. I am making words up here! The point is, this warm weather is not allowing me to decorate with pumpkins and move on into …

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Summer just won’t let go so fall can arrive: LaVonne Ackerman

There are plenty of lovely views to imagine when you are thinking about the Florida panhandle.
There are plenty of lovely views to imagine when you are thinking about the Florida panhandle.
special to the press & journal by Lavonne Ackerman

Hello, folks. It seems like we got stuck in some sort of summer bio-state. I am making words up here! The point is, this warm weather is not allowing me to decorate with pumpkins and move on into autumn mind-set. 

That being said … I would like to share the beauty of the Florida panhandle with you. Think of blue green Gulf of Mexico waters you can clearly see through. Think of white, white, white beaches with squeaky quartz sand. Think of flat land where you can ride your bicycle for miles, no hills! 

So, I am stuck in summer. We Northerners love the fact that we enjoy four seasons. I have heard some people complaining that it is way too hot. I, too, look forward to those cooler, crisp, brisk days. 

Hang in there, it will be here before you know it. Could we just store up some of this sunshine for January? 

Feel free to call or email me your news to share! 


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

Happy birthday to you, Rylee Barnes of Lower Swatara, on Wednesday, Oct. 11. She is 14. Enjoy your sparkles and glitter day!

Happy cake-and-ice cream day to Don Sipe of Lower Swatara on Thursday, Oct. 12. I hope this is the best birthday yet, Don!

Samuel Turns of Middletown marks his special day on Thursday, Oct. 12. Many good wishes to you!

Best wishes to Blake Jacoby of Lower Swatara for a fantastic landmark 18th birthday on Thursday, Oct. 12. I hope you have a remarkable day!

Happy 14th cake day to Alex Pryor of Hershey. This special teen celebrates on Friday, Oct. 13. Such fond memories of that day … 14 years ago! Love you!

Happy 12th birthday to Michael Keating of Lower Swatara on Friday, Oct. 13. Wishing you the best in all things, lots of smiles and treats, too!

Here is a shout-out to Bernie Sobotka of Lower Swatara on Saturday, Oct. 14. Happy super-duper dazzling birthday to you, Bernie!

Betty Hile of Lower Swatara will hear the birthday song on Saturday, Oct. 14. I hope it is a sweet sound to your ears, Betty! 

If you see Carol Harvey out and about in Lower Swatara on Saturday, Oct. 14, please be sure to give her a loud and joyous happy birthday greeting. Enjoy your birthday weekend, Carol!

Happy landmark 21 gun-salute birthday to Alex Velez of Lower Swatara. Congrats and many sunshiny wishes to you!

Happy 22nd birthday to Megan Hartwell of Lower Swatara. I hope your Saturday, Oct. 14th is just spiffy!

Happy over-the-top birthday to the sweetest lady around, Susan Wagner of Lower Swatara! She celebrates her cake day on Sunday, Oct. 15. Hoping your day has 44 fabulous blessings!

Jerry Walck of Lower Swatara marks his special rootin’ tootin’ cake day on Sunday, Oct. 15. Many good wishes are sent to you, Jerry!

Happy birthday greetings are sent to Joseph Spagnolo Sr. of Lower Swatara on Sunday, Oct. 15. Enjoy your cake day weekend, Joe!

Happy landmark legal-eagle birthday to Maureen Hartwell of Lower Swatara on Monday, Oct. 16. Enjoy this special day!

Happy Sweet 16 birthday to Alexis Harmon of Lower Swatara on Monday, Oct. 16. Best wishes for a truly cool beep, honk, beep day! 

Judy Sobotka of Lower Swatara will have her cake day celebration on Tuesday, Oct. 17. I hope your birthday is top-notch!

Happy last and final teener birthday to Hunter Purner of Lower Swatara on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Many good and bright wishes to you for a very pleasant 19th birthday! 


Happy platinum anniversary to Michael and Erin Guy of Lower Swatara on Wednesday, Oct. 11. These two were married 20 years ago! 

George and Judy Kostoff of Lower Swatara were married on Oct. 11, 1975. Happy 42nd anniversary to you and congrats!

Best wishes to Kevin and Anne Coughlin of Lower Swatara. These kids were married 34 years ago on Oct. 15. I hope your Sunday is super. Enjoy!

Ed and Carol Arnold of Lower Swatara mark their 30th anniversary on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Diamonds are your theme for your special day! Congrats and enjoy your romantic heart day all week long!

Halloween parade

The Lower Swatara Lions will hold their annual Halloween parade on Thursday, Oct. 19 at the Lions building in Shopes Gardens. Registration begins at 5 p.m. and the parade will start at 6 p.m. sharp! 

Prizes will be awarded and refreshments will be served after the parade.


A big thanks to Susan Wagner for sharing this delicious recipe:

Super Easy Swedish Meatballs

30 +/- frozen meatballs

6 Tbsp. butter

1/3 c. flour

3 1/2 c. beef broth

3/4 c. sour cream

Salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Once it is melted, gradually whisk in flour until it’s thick and somewhat crumbly. 

Slowly pour in beef broth while constantly whisking. Cook over medium heat 1-2 minutes. Add in the sour cream and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper and half the parsley. 

Add the meatballs to the gravy and simmer until heated through. Serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles, garnish with remaining parsley. 

August Grads

Congratulations to the following students who have completed requirements for graduation from Indiana University of Pennsylvania as of August:

Middletown: Kierstin Long, bachelor of arts in sociology/human services; and Kelsee Sides, bachelor of science in fashion merchandising

Hummelstown: Christopher Chabrier, certificate in photography and digital imaging, certificate in audio production, bachelor of science in communications media

Yard sale

Come on out on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13 and 14 for the annual autumn Old Reliance Farm yard sale. 

Shopping is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Quote of the Week

“Remind your heart who God is today. He is the God who sees you and walks with you and grieves with you. He is the God who will always and forever love you.” — Shelly Wildman, author, blogger.

Question of the Week

Who is your favorite person in history?

“George Washington, because he was our first president.” — Averie Delafice, 8, Lower Swatara. 

“Ann Frank.” — Katelyn Wagner, 9, Lower Swatara. 

“Jesus. He came to save us and change the world!” — Sue Lawruk, Lower Swatara.

“Ty Cobb.” — Matt Wagner, 15, Lower Swatara.

“Ben Franklin. He was the physical manifestation of human ingenuity, a founding father of America’s enlightenment.” — Scott C. Ackerman, Pittsburgh.

“Ronald Reagan.” — Jason Wagner, Lower Swatara.

Proverb for Week 

Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right (20:11).

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