Lives: Cooke Township, Cumberland County, in the Michaux State Forest.
From: Gettysburg-born at Annie M. Warner Hospital. Fifth generation Adams Countian.
Educated at: Gettysburg High, Shippensburg University, Lancaster Seminary
Family: My husband, Larry, and our two dogs Ethel and Emma; Larry's parents Ron and Pat; my brother Dave and his wife Susan in Ohio; my late father's wife Ellen; and wonderful extended family.
Job: Pastor at Zion United Church of Christ in Arendtsville
Job's reward: The rewards are too many to count. But the privilege of being part of the important moments in people's lives--baptism, confirmation, marriage, illness, joyful times, sorrowful times, and the end of life-is certainly a reward of parish ministry. And maybe when one of our members brings her famous whoopee pies for fellowship time (you know who you are).
What I hate about my job: Absolutely nothing. It's one of the best jobs in the world and if people knew how much fun it was, more people would go into ministry. Of course it helps to have a fun-loving church like Zion.
Very first job was: Working for Servomation at the Gettysburg College dining hall.
Favorite food: soft-shell crabs, and anything Italian.
Pets: Ethel and Emma, two young dogs we found along the roadside a year ago. They are siblings, one white and one black, and very lovable.
Hero: My mother Emma Blocher gone but never forgotten. She was the best.
Hobbies: Gardening with native plants, reading, hiking, and snooping around other people's gardens.
Pet peeves: Don't get me started. But let's start with people who neglect or abuse animals. Littering is also high on the list of pet peeves. And those mulch volcanoes people put around trees yeeesh!
Collects: Plants, books, and memories of wonderful times with family and friends.
Best friend: Larry
Would like to have witnessed what event in history: Tearing down the Berlin wall. And, to be truthful, Woodstock.
Event that changed your life: My ordination into ministry.
Scariest moment: The first time I stood up to preach a sermon. My knees shook!
First memory: Mrs. Collin's kindergarten on Broadway in Gettysburg
Trait inherited from parents: A sense of humor
Piece of advice that you live by: I know it's a cliche, but the Golden Rule: Treat others like you want to be treated. There's a reason it has stood the test of time.
Who needs a hug? Our public school teachers.
Favorite reading/author: All time faves are JRR Tolkien and Jane Austen, and currently loving Michael Connelly, Louise Penny, and Daniel Silva (I have to make myself stop, but I could go on ).
Favorite spot on earth: Our home in the Michaux, but Mount Desert Island in Maine is a close second
Website you visit most: Yahoo!
Would like concert tickets to see: I'm too old for concerts. So, the Rolling Stones 40 years ago. The Who 30 years ago. Tom Petty 20 years ago. Today: Patti Smith or John Hiatt in a very small venue.
One bad habit: Procrastination
3 items on your bucket list: visit New Zealand, learn to play the piano, see the Grand Canyon
Five minutes with: My mother at Hillside, eating fried chicken. (Hillside is a little roadhouse near Emmitsburg. I'm sorry it's been so long since I've been there.)
What skill or lesson would you like to learn? Maybe the skill of unjamming the copier at work. The lesson would be not doing the things that jam the copier.
What would people find surprising about you? I've never eaten a McDonald's hamburger
What would make this world a better place? How about more love?
What is the best piece of news you received lately that you would like to share? That our young people are not lazy and self-centered, as is often suggested. I know because I just spent a week on a mission trip with 450 teens who care deeply about others.
How would you like to be remembered? I would like to be remembered as someone who was useful, loving, and a friend to animals and the environment.
- By Alex J. Hayes, Times Managing Editor