Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life

Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website

Latest Posts

Posted: April 17th, 2014

Shopping leads to violence or just boredom

I always feel bad for the guys I see hanging outside the dressing rooms at women’s clothing shops, looking emphatically bored to the point of numbness. I can only assume it’s their wives or girlfriends they’re waiting on. I thought of them when I read the brief in today’s paper about the man who attacked [...]

Posted: April 16th, 2014

How to retire with grace

My husband’s first day of retirement is today. After 50 years almost to the day in the same career, he’s decided to start his vacation. That’s what he calls it, anyway. The word retirement doesn’t roll that easily off the tongue yet. Retirement used to scare the wits out of him. For years, he’d ponder [...]

Posted: April 15th, 2014

Hey 19, we got nothing in common

Yes, it’s a Steely Dan lyric. When I read today in the newspaper that this iconic band that virtually defined what I consider my coming of age was going to be playing in Erie, my stomach leapt. I love this band, even more so now than when they were at their peak in the late [...]

Posted: April 11th, 2014

World’s biggest baseball fan

So I’m sitting with my brother in Grand Central Terminal in New York City, waiting for a train on the lower level. Sitting at the table next to us as we drank our tall boys, a big man with a shaved head struck up a conversation about beer and sunny days. You know, the usual stuff you [...]

Posted: April 10th, 2014

Are you a Neanderthal?

I know for a fact, my cousin is. I’m not being fascetious. He had his lineage traced back 10,000 years via a DNA sample, courtesy of the website For $99 your unique combination of 23 chromosomes will be analyzed, and you can find out where your roots sink. provides a similar service. According [...]

Posted: April 8th, 2014

It could be snow

The first spring I lived here, one of the locals corrected me when I whined about the rain. “At least it’s not snow.” I thought it was a genius response to my negative attitude. And being from Connecticut, which up until this winter, isn’t one of the snowiest or coldest parts of the country, one [...]

Posted: April 7th, 2014

Ice cream is edible happiness

I saw someone eating ice cream over the weekend. In fact, I saw a lot of someones eating cones. And that alone made my heart soar. Ice cream makes me happy, even if I’m not the one eating it. Ice cream holds a special place in my life because no matter how crazy life got [...]

Posted: April 3rd, 2014

March Madness: How I got to be #1 in the office pool

It might seem a odd that someone such as myself, who isn’t a sports fan in general and hardly a basketball fan in specific, would be in first place in Erie Times-News editorial department office pool. It’s surprising to me, too. Beginner’s luck? I think not. I won a similar pool about 14 or so [...]

Posted: April 2nd, 2014

April Fool’s Day pranking

Each year for as long as I can remember, I have played at least one good April Fool’s Day joke on someone. Once my son came of age, he became the target of my punkstering. Since he’s gone to college, I’ve pulled off some of my best jokes and got him every time. Yesterday, however, [...]

Posted: April 1st, 2014

Dancing with no legs

I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of Dancing with the Stars, but I have watched it every now and again. Like last night, when paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy took the floor with a special set of prosthetics for a tribute dance to her father, who donated one of his kidneys to her to save her [...]