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Its certainly not unusual to plan a get away for the tail end of summer. Less unusual to do so to celebrate your birthday. My birthday is usually a time where I like to quietly contemplate on the past year. How far I’ve come. How much I still want to accomplish, etc.

I had plenty of time to do so this year on my birthday. I was in isolation in the hospital treating a case of pneumonia. I had visitors and many phone calls, texts and messages on my birthday. I even had some Funfetti cupcakes delivered to me. If I didn’t have an IV in my arm it would have been a very pleasant way to spend my birthday.

From out of my window I would see cars driving on the Cross Valley. Driving home or to meetings. Driving to be with their families and sleep in their own beds. The world kept moving whereas my world was frozen.

All of the nurses were very kind to me and the meals were all quite good but still I missed my house. I missed the river. After only having to throw a couple of elbows they let me out. My mother came to pick me up and deliver me safely home.

It felt good to be part of the world again. The sun was shining and I rolled the window of the car down. It was nice to feel the breeze. As we pulled off of the bridge and onto my street it was the same as it ever was. I like to call it the street where time stands still. It never changes. Everything else does but my street will remain — probably for my whole life — as it was when I was learning to ride my bike on it as a young boy.

I stepped out of the car one year older and filled with an unspeakable joy to be home. Sometimes I take it for granted. I wish it didn’t take a three-day hospital stay to remind me how lucky I am to call West Pittston my home, but I won’t be forgetting for quite some time how lucky I am or how weird of a start 28 had for me.

Here’s what’s happening around town:

West Pittston First United Methodist Church news

West Pittston First United Methodist Church Pastor Tenny Rupnick announced the new time for Sunday service is 10:30 a.m. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to noon. For information, call the church at 570-655-1083.

Officer and members of the church’s Class 18 are sponsoring a bus trip to Hunterdon Hills Playhouse on Tuesday, Oct. 15, to see “Barefoot in the Park.” The bus will leave the Pittston Plaza at 9 a.m.

The cost is $100. Please contact the church office at 570-655-1083 to make reservations.

Corpus Christi news

Corpus Christi Parish has begun taking Mass requests for 2020. The stipend for a Mass or candle is $10. To schedule Masses, call Dorothy at 570-654-2753 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Or, drop it in the collection with a note with the following information: who the Mass or candle is intended for, who it is requested by and a phone number to confirm the request.

Save the date! The parish’s Twilight Bingo will be held Saturday, Nov. 2, in Immaculate Conception Church hall. This bingo will consist of all cash games. The doors will open at 5 p.m. and bingo starts at 6. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. The church will be selling a variety of homemade foods and home baked goods. Last spring the event was a sellout. Plan to purchase your tickets early. Please watch the bulletin for information. The next bingo meeting is at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, in the rectory. All are welcome

Boys and girls of all ages from pre-school through elementary school are welcome to join the parish youth choir. The youth choir will have its first practice at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, in Immaculate Conception Church followed by a pizza party in the church hall. The youth choir will sing at the 10:30 a.m. Family Masses at Immaculate Conception Church. Following these Masses, all are welcome to the church hall for Donut Sundays. The youth choir also will sing at the Halloween Mass, Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday.

The adult choir will rehearse at 6:30 p.m. Mondays in Immaculate Conception Church. Adults and teens, if you like to sing, you are welcome to join the adult choir.

Religious education classes for the 2019-20 school year will begin in the parish Sunday, Sept. 8. Classes for boys and girls in kindergarten through seventh grade will be held Sunday mornings. Confirmation prep classes for students in grade eight will be held twice a month on Sunday evening. A letter and registration forms for the 2019-20 year was mailed to the families of children who attended classes last year.

Volunteer classroom aides are needed to periodically assist in the classrooms as aides to the teachers and/or to take over the class in the absence of the teacher. Grandparents, parents and teens who have been confirmed all welcome to help out with religious education. This is a great way for teens to earn service hours.

For information or to volunteer, please contact Joyce at 570-654-27583 or jcecconi50@gmail.com.

Library news 

West Pittston Writers’ Workshop — 6 p.m. the first and third Thursdays of the month. Jamie Marino’s popular writing workshop continues this winter through Nov. 21  This free workshop is designed to challenge and inspire the poet or storyteller in you with writing exercises, coaching, and community. The group meets in the reading room! 

Beginners crochet — 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14. Join Lena to learn the basics of crochet; beginning with a simple and quick project of creating a cool coaster. The class is $15 and includes all materials Registration for this event must be done in advance and can be done in person or by calling 570-654-9847. Registration through Facebook is not accepted.

Taste Test — 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays. This might be the most delicious series the library has offered since the Year of Pizza! Test your taste buds each month and take a guess as to what tasty flavors of your favorite snacks the library has to offer. Then take on the task of rating the flavors according to your favorites! Sept. 17 is M&Ms, Oct. 22 is popcorn and Nov. 19 is Doritos.

Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea — 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday Sept. 21. Welcome back to Downton! Come “upstairs” to celebrate the Downton Abbey movie’s release. Games, crafts, snacks and, of course, tea will be served, along with lively discussion and plenty of fan obsession. Costumes and Dowager-esque wit encouraged. Space is limited so register early. Cost is $5 and includes light refreshment

Readers Theatre — 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24. Make stories come alive at this free event. Readers Theater is a strategy for developing reading fluency and enhancing reading skills and confidence. Readers of all ages become characters in a play and present short, silly stories with no memorization of lines, just read right from the script while the parents sit back and enjoy the shows. The audience may even get involved, too. Registration for this free event must be done in advance and can be done in person or by calling 570-654-9847. Registration through Facebook is not accepted.

Banned Book Week — 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25. The 2019 theme, “Censorship Leaves Us In The Dark,” is a reminder that everyone needs to speak out against censorship.

So speak up for the stories that matter to you by participating in this powerful event. Join the library’s virtual read-out by getting your mug shot taken while reading a banned book, sign the First Amendment Freedom to Read poster, vote to risk jail time to read, fill in a few banned book mad libs to show how much you miss when you censor, and mod podge a few banned book coasters or turn them into a cool wall hanging.

West Pittston History Walk — 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 28. Local historian Mary Portelli will lead a guided tour of the Garden Village, featuring homes of the borough’s early founders along the Susquehanna River, from Warren Street to the railroad bridge. This informative and anticipated walk is an offshoot of the library’s West Pittston Walkers group. The walk, which begins at the library, is open to all. Registration is not required but appreciated.

Pool water advisory

West Pittston residents are advised when draining pools or hot tubs, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer guidelines must be followed. No pool or hot tub water is allowed to flow into borough storm sewers. Anyone reported to be draining pool or hot tub water into storm sewers will be subject to being fined.

An alternative procedure to drain pool and hot tub water is to discharge water into private property, clean-out caps or sanitary sewer. However, before doing this, pool/hot tub water must sit for at least two weeks until chlorine has dissipated. Check chlorine levels with a chlorine test kit to make sure there are no detectable levels of chlorine.

If neither of these options is feasible, the chlorine-free water must be discharged onto a grassy area or hauled away to a treatment facility.

Printed guidelines can be picked up at the borough office.

See you around town.

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