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Points of Light from 2023

Farewell 2023, and good riddance.  In our generation, it is hard to recall a more heartbreaking, crisis-ridden 12 months.  The year-in-review news summaries are enough to turn the toughest stomach. Wars, weather crises, political turmoil,…
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The Sun’s Palm

The sun has no voice, surely, so I must have imagined that call.  It summoned me outside as it continued its ascent in the bright, early hours of the morning after Thanksgiving.  The striated rosy and berry pinks of dawn over the hill behind…
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Heat Exhaustion

A Labor Day weekend survey of the garden is a such a dreary exercise. The petunias in the window box, big favorites of the hummingbirds and bees this summer, droop sadly in apparent surrender to the late-summer weather scourge. Their dry,…
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The Coffee Dancer

I went back in time yesterday.  Just for a little while---long enough for breakfast. The scene was a favorite hangout in my old neighborhood, a deli that used to be one of a type easily found all over town.  You know the kind I mean: …
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In Scarlet Glory

Hello, Gorgeous. So you’re back, are you?  Yes, here you are, in all your tempting ruby glory.  I can’t get enough of you, and I don’t care who knows it. There are those who may say (sing it, Andy Williams) that the year-end holidays…

The HOPE Special

I don’t think I could have done it. Not then, not so soon. It would have been too painful to say the word “hope” just days after our community joined hundreds of others across America, paralyzed and grief-stricken.  As we have watched…
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Inspiration, Wearing Green

January, I defy you.  Your dank, slate-shadowed days are but a passing blip, barely worthy of acknowledgement. February, I see you lurking there in the shadows, ready to smother us with your utmost:  Your truncated days when gray blankets…
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All Hail and Salute

Thinking about your Thanksgiving toasts? Making a list of all the things you’re grateful for?  I’m adding new entries this year, a cadre of stalwarts who deserve way more credit than they likely ever get. Friends, I give you the Grocery…
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Chopping, Stirring, Remembering

It happened again the other day, at it has so many times in the last few months.  And it will happen again, I have grown to accept, until, well, until it finally doesn’t. I reached for my phone, an instinct rooted in countless repetitions…
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Fans take to the Roadshow

Fame was so close to my grasp.  I could smell it.  I could taste it. Nah, not that kind of fame.  You’ll never catch me dancing on TikTok or “influencing” millions with culinary wizardry or cat videos. My shot at glory seemed…
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The Old Man and a Shoe

In the heady, post-war days in the spring of 1948, he was a three-year-old hero, a superstar before the term was coined, his name in the headlines everywhere and on the lips of the lucky punters who picked him in the Kentucky Derby and cashed…
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Grump Days

The morning sunlight of early spring beams through the window blinds and onto the table next to where I’m sitting, spraying dapples onto my coffee cup and the oddly shaped little potted plant next to it.  I’m uncertain how long I’ve been…
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Watch This

Our fall break adventure was so lovely, but it was ending.  Time to go home.  There were so many memories packed into just a couple of sunny days—a crackling campfire with sausages roasting, boat rides in a wind so vigorous that the lake’s…

The New Neighborly

There were many reasons, some of them deeply understood by those who honored the restrictions of the COVID era but squirmed with restless desire for change.  Whatever those reasons were, the day arrived some months back when the face looking…
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We Are What We Are (and Ain’t What We Ain’t)

When I was a child my family would travel Down to Western Kentucky where my parents were born And there's a backwards old town that's often remembered So many times that my memories are worn. And Daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg…
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Losing it, at last?

It’s been such a long road.  Right?  For a year we’ve struggled to hold it together in a world we hardly recognize, some days.  Then, Mother Nature cackles hysterically as she adds on her own cosmic cataclysm:  The Polar Vortex.  Who…
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Old Spice (Not That Kind)

If you ever feel compelled to examine your lifestyle in one rapid, unmerciful snapshot---a picture that unveils your purchasing habits, your eating patterns, your organizational skills, your housecleaning talents, your virtues or vices as a…
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The Last, Best Gift

In a recent interview about an upcoming movie he produced, Oscar winner Denzel Washington was asked about the support he provided early in the career of the brilliant young actor Chadwick Boseman, who died earlier this year.  Boseman, a central…
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The Lord of South Main

I give the dog’s leash a little tug to move him along from the fragrant, faded fire hydrant he’s been examining in exhaustive detail.  “C’mon, bud,” I encourage him, “let’s go see Jesus.” Hearing my words aloud, I realize…
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Handy Girls

It was the kind of answer you pray for when you are on the verge. “Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll take care of it,” my competent daughter said in response to my panicky text.  “I’ll leave in about 15 minutes and will be right over.”…

The Solace of Clean

It's so hard to know what to do these days, isn't it? Watch the news, or turn it off?  Cook like a rampaging mother of six, or support your local cafe with takeout, at the curbside, of course?  Undertake a new hobby?  (Spare me.  Only…
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The New Guy

Time is a blur these days, but it still seems that our relationship was in its tender, early stages when suddenly, with the onset of a national emergency, we became captives together. Maybe not captives exactly, but we are tethered here by…
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Hear the Birdie?

If there are many things that lift the heart faster than making a child laugh, I can’t name them. The other day I tried a little trick with the grandkids with a bit of an ulterior motive, and it got a better laugh than I expected. Hey,…
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Old Rabbit, Harry, and Me

It’s a surprisingly moving cinematic moment, when delivered as beautifully as this one is, to see an older man connect to a younger one by asking about his favorite stuffed toy from childhood.  The older man is the legendary Fred Rogers,…
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