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Columns

  • Me, Jenny and Ranger Randy

    A few weeks ago I wrote an article about 24 days of extreme outdoor hiking, repelling, rock climbing, and canoeing I did with a group called Outward Bound North Carolina some 34 years ago. I lost 30 pounds during that time and looked like a survivor of a Nazi death camp at the end.  I was young and dumb then.
    Now, I’m just old and dumb.

  • Earn it yourself, kid

    The way I see it, in many ways this country is headed down hill fast; it’s in high gear and nobody’s touching the brakes.

  • Look into my father-in-law’s eyes

    The eyes that once danced with life — eyes that could focus with the intensity of an eagle after its prey or love with the affection of a mother for her baby — now stare blankly at nothing, emotionless. I peer into those eyes, hoping for something: maybe the reboot of a soul, the reemergence of then into now, the return of the Old George I miss so much.

  • Class field trips

    A lot has changed concerning grade school since I last darkened those doors.  

    Take class field trips for instance. We never had them. Young students now are always going somewhere with a pack of parents in tow to watch over them.  

    Normally, my wife does this for our family, but one time, she had a previous engagement that prevented her from going on a pre-school class field trip. She didn’t feel comfortable without a responsible adult from our family participating. She couldn’t find a responsible adult, so I was drafted.

  • The care, feeding and discipline of children

    “Children nowadays are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food and tyrannize their teachers.”
    - Socrates  (died 399 BC)

     
    I’m philosophically opposed to engaging in debate with the younger generation when it comes to standards of morals and behavior.

    Does that make sense?  No?

  • Singing for Christmas in July

    My wife occasionally bursts into song when it’s just the two of us at home.

    “You have a really good voice,” I compliment her. “You should be singing in the choir.”

    She disagrees: “My voice isn’t that good. Remember, I didn’t even make the varsity choir in high school.”

    I think she’s improved.

    I heard her again the other day.  She had the pitch and the tune down pat, but something was just not right.

  • A mother's advice on marriage

    “God could not be everywhere and therefore He made mothers.”
    - Jewish proverb

    All mothers want to help their children, even if that child is not her own. I found that to be true one day about twenty years ago.

    My wife and I were shopping in Elizabethtown with our then two kids.

  • Fallen trees

    I called it my African tree, although it had reached maturity long before I took possession of the property on which it stood. “Look at it,” I said to my wife as we sat on our back patio. “It’s out of Africa and out of place and so alone. It looks like one of those trees I knew from my summer in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Africa when I was a kid.”

  • Sleeping with snakes

    They say snakes are really out in force this year;

    Which reminds me of a story;

    Which most everything does.

    You ever know someone that would sleepwalk?

    Most sleepwalkers do so at an early age and then sort of grow out of it as time goes by.

    Take me for instance.

    I was a certifiable sleepwalker from about age five. However, It didn’t totally end as I got older. Occasionally, over the years, I will have unexplainable reoccurrences.

    I blame these reoccurrences on my brother, Tony.

  • In need of a hug?

    llow residents at the long-term care facility I visit, ensconced in her wheel chair, sometimes napping, sometimes staring. I suppose I’ve walked past her dozens of times, greeting her with a casual “Hello,” or “How are you?” I can’t say I’ve taken the time to wait for a response. I’ve felt her tired eyes following me as I’ve quickly disappeared around the corner and down the hallway.

    But this day, she stopped me cold in my tracks.