As I write this week’s article, it is officially the first day of summer. A classic thunderstorm is finishing up outside my bedroom window, and the air conditioning is cranking. It feels like summer. A wild contrast to last year.

While the weather last summer was beautiful, it didn’t feel like summer. No vacations. Not a whole lot of spending time with loved ones. No concerts. Those are three things that define summer for me. Without those things, it just felt hollow. But if anything positive came from the summer that wasn’t last year it was to never take anything for granted. Every hot dog that is grilled to perfection while you are surrounded by friends and family. Every impromptu beach day. Every song of every concert on every perfect summer night.

Now that restrictions are being lifted, we need to make up for some lost time. There’s a lot that I’m looking forward to this summer, but mostly I’m looking forward to something that at least somewhat resembles normalcy. I know I can’t be the only one who is looking forward to it. Outside of my window is undoubtedly the smell of a sweet summer rain. I’ll probably take a walk around town once the weather settles down a bit. It’s the moment of going for a walk through the streets into the warm summer night, unwinding from a long day of work and maybe seeing a neighbor or two that make it really feel like summer. It feels as if it hasn’t been here in a very long time. And I for one welcome it with open arms.

Whatever the summer brings you, may it find you and yours happy, healthy, and full of gratitude for the little things that we too often take for granted.

Here’s what else is happening around town:

Cherry Blossom 50th anniversary

West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival will celebrate its 50th year in 2021. To mark the occasion, a celebration will be held at Fox Hill Country Club, Exeter, from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Tickets are $35 per person and can be purchased by contacting Lori DeAngelo at loridee22@comcast.net or Toni Valenti at tvalenti2@comcast.net. RSVP by Aug. 19. The event includes a glass of wine, horsd’oeuvres, DJ entertainment and cash bar. Tickets also will be available for a 50/50 raffle and gas grill raffle. Winners will be announced at the festival, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 11, and Sunday, Sept. 12.

Holiday yard waste collectionWest Pittston Department of Public Works announced that in observance of the Fourth of July holiday, yard waste will be picked up Friday, July 2, instead of Monday, July 5.

Corpus Christi news

Corpus Christi has a dedicated group of volunteer ushers and sanitizers who have been attending every Mass, funeral and baptism to seat people and afterward sanitize the church. The church could use some additional help. To help, please contact Jerry Yakobitis at 570- 592-8260 or Jim Zardecki at 610-207-9004.

Volunteers also are needed to assist people in attendance at baptisms or funerals who are not familiar with the church. Contact Funeral Ministry Coordinators Barbara Frankovich at 570-655-2365 or Rosalie Bugelholl at 570-654-1356, or Baptismal Ministry Coordinator Maryann Matysczak at 570-693-1216.

Corpus Christi Parish will hold its annual Graduation Mass, honoring 2020 and 2021 high school graduates, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, June 27, at Immaculate Conception Church. Following Mass, the graduates and their families are invited for light refreshments in the church hall. Invitations were mailed to graduates listed as members of the parish. If you did not receive an invitation, please contact Joyce at 570-654-2753 or email jcecconi50@gmail.com.

Valley Alliance Church

Valley Alliance Church conducts Sunday worship from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Junior church occurs concurrently with Sunday service. Nursery also is available during services. Prayer and Bible study are held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays. This mid-week service is a time to come together in worship, prayer and Bible study. Instruction is intended to help build and strengthen families.

Library news

West Pittston Library will offer the following activities:

Summer Reading ... for Adults! Don’t feel left out of the summer reading fun. Adults also can check out books during the eight weeks of the library’s Tails & Tales Summer Reading Program. Get tickets for each check out and each program attended and enter to win a raffle basket at the end of the summer.

Craft Night: Driftwood Rainbow Hearts 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 24. Combine wood, felt and thread to create a wall hanging with a vintage, summer camp vibe.

West Pittston History Walk 11 a.m. Saturday, July 24. The historical society is once again partnering with the West Pittston Library to host a West Pittston History Walk. This walk will cover the architecture and history of the homes and other significant structures along the lower end of Susquehanna Avenue, from the old armory to the Fort Jenkins Bridge. Meet at Susquehanna and Atlantic avenues.

Parks and recreation meetings

West Pittston Parks and Recreation Board is currently conducting its board meetings virtually via Zoom until further notice. Any member of the public who is interested in participating in the meetings will be able to join through the link that will be posted on the borough website at www.westpittstonborough.com. Meetings of the West Pittston Parks and Recreation Board will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 4, Sept. 1, Oct. 6, Nov. 4 and Dec. 1.

John Bubul writes about West Pittston. To list an item, email jbubul@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2187 by Monday.

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