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A few weeks ago, I asked my friends on Facebook to tell me about funny things they remember their parents telling them when they were children. I was particularly curious about those things that, from the outside, sound a little crazy or don’t make any sense. Fortunately, they delivered lots of funny answers. There were the old standards like “Don’t roll your eyes. They’ll get stuck like that.” and “Don’t cry or I’ll give you something to cry about.” But then there were some real gems. more
When my 105-year-old Uncle Mort dropped in the other day, he claimed to be on the verge of “dropping out” of a world he believes is moving too fast. He claims he is weary of much, beginning with all the strings of zeros encountered in the news recently. “Trouble is, zero clusters--with commas fore and aft--are being lobbed at us two and three at a time,” Mort lamented. “What’s worse, jarring numbers larger than zeros are in front of ‘em, and they’re sucking the air out of the room.” Huh?... more
Let’s celebrate the holidays together. Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanza! Many privileges are mistaken for rights nowadays, so much so that any disagreement is viewed as an intentional offense, the trampling of “my rights” or even outright persecution of individuals or groups. Yes, I enjoy the holidays and even tell people, “Merry Christmas.” I do not get upset, however, when a salesperson tells me, “Happy Holidays.” more
Every year since I began writing this column, I have re-printed this piece. This was originally run in December of 2012. I hope you enjoy it again this year. “Eight pounds, one ounce. 19” long. 7:53pm. Born in the manger behind the Inn. Mary and Joseph joyfully welcome baby Jesus into their lives. Please join us in celebrating the newborn babe.” more
Surely, the passing of 75 years knocks the edges from the fib of a 15-year-old, as well as a military doctor who ignored height and weight requirements for a youngster on his second try to join the US Navy. Eddie Janek, reared by his widowed mother during the Depression in West, TX, stood 5’1” and weighed 98 pounds. He had “enlisted” several months earlier, but when authorities learned he was underage, he was sent home. more
“Dogs are a man’s best friend.” I don’t know who that quote is attributed to. I also do not know if the author was referring specifically to the male of the human species or to mankind as a whole. I do know that a dog can also be woman’s best friend. I know because I have such a dog. He is a four-and-a-half-year-old full-blooded beagle, though he lacks the papered pedigree. more
Last week my oldest daughter was in town for her Thanksgiving break from college. We filled almost every minute of her time at home with some good family bonding. There was the first day of extended family get togethers, a Thanksgiving meal at a local restaurant. (Thank you for buying lunch for us, Grandpa!) The next day, we went to the second day of extended family get togethers, a Thanksgiving meal at my grandmother-in-law’s home. We all pigged out and loved seeing family. That evening, our children went to the movies together and saw Coco. They arrived back home late, climbed into bed and went to sleep. more
Let us consider bits and pieces of the year to date, sadly remembering that at its beginning, much of the country’s tapestry was intact. Then, humankind got a hold of it. Much is now in shreds. Struck by implosions and explosions around the globe, it’s a wonder our planet isn’t woe-stricken by a worrisome wobble. Odds are no better than even on whether the ball falling in New York City’s Times Square will be dropped or shot down…. more
The night before Thanksgiving, mom rushed about She was seeing to details, and leaving none out She cleaned the whole house with her diligent care Knowing that family would soon all be there Dad watched the TV and I read a book While mom shook her head and gave us “the look.” At least we both were staying out of her way As she was preparing for “Turkey Day.” more
This week we are all observing Thanksgiving. Lately I have been reminded of several things regarding having an attitude of gratitude. While I try to remember to be thankful all the time, do I make a point to express it enough? I think just about everyone is still moved by a handwritten note. When is the last time you received a letter or a card in the mail, even though they are rapidly becoming a thing of the past these days? I think most of us still love going to the mailbox and finding ‘real’ mail, not just bills or junk. A friend of mine used to carry blank thank you cards in her car all the time so she could write a quick note to someone if an opportunity came up. I remember that she told stories of sticking anonymous thank you notes under the windshield wiper of strangers who let her into a parking spot or handed them off to those whom she witnessed moving a grocery cart from the spot where she was trying to park. I love this idea! Let us not forget to express our gratitude to those around us! If you can do it in written form, even better! more
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