Columnists
  • I remember well a conversation I had with my Uncle Doug when I was about seven or eight years old. It was early spring and a field near our farmhouse had suddenly become covered with blackbirds, a species that we didn't often see. I asked: "Where did they come from? Where do they go?"
  • Almost everything that has happened in the last thirteen centuries in what we now call "the Middle East" has impacted what is now taking place.
  • Transitioning from being an older person to being an old person is like a frog thatís being ingested by a snake, hind legs first. Itís too late for the frog to stop the process but it has a perfectly clear understanding of whatís happening.
  • In the context of such political contention in the United States and around the world, it is reassuring that a point which can be agreed upon is that the use of chemical weapons is simply unacceptable.
  • People of my generation who grew up on a farm know that feed sacks were often recycled as clothing, curtains, aprons, dishtowels, bonnets, etc. Beginning in the late 1930s through the early '60s, the cotton bags that held everything from chicken feed to flour, sugar, and salt were printed with colorful patterns that ranged from simple plaids to more complicated geometric or flowered arrangements. In addition to enabling thrifty folk to save money these handsome bags made shopping for chicken feed an adventure.
  • Several years back, Lanny and I decided to take the grandkids to a 3-D movie. After all, how difficult could it be? Itís not as involved as taking them to Jakarta, Indonesia. Nearly, though.
  • While digging in our backyard vegetable garden recently, I encountered some fire ants and received two stings, which festered and bothered me for several days. This experience coincided with my reading an article about a new species of stinkbug that is invading a number of US states from Asia. So I did some thinking and a little research about notable examples of invasive bugs and how to deal with them.
  • Mama could "put the pedal to the treadle" and create the prettiest Easter frocks in town for my sister and me. It wasn't uncommon to hear the sewing machine humming during the night when counting sheep didn't work. All she asked was that we accompany her to the fabric store to select the pattern and material and to be available later for adjustments.
  • For those wishing to emphasize reality and peaceful dialogue, there are good books to share with those who are spiritual daughters and sons of Abraham: Jews, Christians and Muslims.
  • Despite having grown up on a farm that had changed into a ranch by the time I ran away to college, I never aspired to own one. The decorative or impressive side of ranching was not part of my experience. My family had a brand (the horseshoe) registered at the county seat but didnít use it. The view I had of ranching was decided unglamorous: hauling hay to cows in winter, vaccinating their offspring and doctoring them for screwworms, penning the herd and forcing some reluctant animals into a truck for a trip to the auction.
  • Lanny and I have traveled to the Louvre in Paris, France; the Amalfi Coast in Italy; Swarovski Chrystal World near Innsbruck, Austria; and even Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, Germany; but none of our trips come close to the thrill of staying in a hotel just 80 miles from home and going to movies all weekend. Donít ask where we worshipped on Sunday.
  • After the Second World War, apartheid (legally separating Blacks, Coloureds, Whites and Asians) was a major issue in South Africa.