The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

May 5, 2014

Spring mowing’s fun, but not scooping a winter of doo-doo

An Editor's Notes

By Jim Raykie
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- — I never have started my snowblower for the first time in the winter and eagerly said to myself:

“Geez, I have it started now so I may as well go blow some snow from the driveway.”

In contrast was the recent startup of my lawn mower after digging it out of the shed and pulling its rope to inaugurate the 2014 season – when after it started, I thought I may as well keep going and give the yard its first trim of the season.

I’ll admit that as summer unfolds, cutting the grass gets tedious, but it’s a good feeling when I mow the yard for the first time in the spring. It’s a stark reminder that the  long spells of cold, ice and snow are finally behind us, as the smell of fresh-cut grass fills the air.

Folks with dogs, especially large dogs like Brady, my golden retriever, know all too well that the first major job before one can mow is cleaning up a winter’s worth of previously snow-covered doo-doo. It can be overwhelming.

For years, I strained my lower back cleaning up after Brady and Zoey, my golden before him. Then I got a little smarter last year when I stopped at Tractor Supply in Hermitage and bought a “pooper scooper,” one of the world’s terrific inventions.

My next spring project may be to figure out how to keep my shed from floating away after the recent days and days of rain. Hey, it may be dreary and Brady may get muddy feet, but it’s better than snow.

Throughout the years, I’ve developed an appreciation for spring rains. I know they play havoc with outdoor activities, especially high school sports and yard work, but they’re nature’s way of providing a cleansing of winter’s gritty aftermath – like road salt and other debris. They make lawns green and flowers and gardens grow.

Spring, unlike the fall, is my favorite time of year, because it provides a big green (albeit drenched) path to the heat of summer.

Ex-locals in the news

Sgt. Ward M. Sherrill, who lives in Chesapeake, Va., is a member of the Army serving in Afghanistan. He is a 1980 graduate of Farrell High School.

He is a 30-year Army veteran, and for 26 years has been an electrical engineer for the city of Chesapeake.

His sister, Anita Webb, who lives in Chesapeake, and a Farrell High grad as well, stopped by The Herald last week as she was preparing to return to Virginia to give me an update on her brother.

“He’s a great example of a Farrell kid doing very well. We’re close, and I miss him a lot,” she said. “Ward’s family and friends ask that everyone keep all of the U.S. troops in their prayers and that they return home safely.”

Jake Kroko, who lives in Frederick, Md., recently displayed an act of honesty that I don’t think many would do.

The 23-year-old son of former Sharon resident Dan Kroko was returning to his car that was parked in a Walmart lot. He picked up an envelope and to his surprise, found that it contained $1,000 in cash.

He returned it to the store manager, who called police, and the money ended up in the hands of its owner.

Ed Colt of Hermitage passed along the heartening news about Jake’s act of honesty and kindness.

Ed, a former longtime member of the Sharon City School Board, told Jake’s grandfather, Bob Kroko of Sharon, “It was only a thousand dollars, but what Jake did was worth a million.”



Jim Raykie is the executive editor of The Herald. His column appears on Mondays.