http://www.thespringfieldsun.com/todaysopinions/rss.xml en The care, feeding and discipline of children http://www.thespringfieldsun.com/content/care-feeding-and-discipline-children <p> <em>&ldquo;Children nowadays are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food and tyrannize their teachers.&rdquo;<br /> - Socrates&nbsp; (died 399 BC)</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> I&rsquo;m philosophically opposed to engaging in debate with the younger generation when it comes to standards of morals and behavior.</p> <p> Does that make sense?&nbsp; No?</p> LETTER: Kudos to the Family Dollar staff http://www.thespringfieldsun.com/content/letter-kudos-family-dollar-staff <p> <strong>Dear editor,</strong><br /> Today (July 17) the Family Dollar store of Springfield closed.&nbsp; What I want to say about this is that I believe the ladies who worked there deserve a great deal of credit.&nbsp; They could have hung their heads, knowing that their jobs would end shortly. Instead, they did not do anything to tarnish their employment records, and they delivered excellent service until the very end. &nbsp;</p> Singing for Christmas in July http://www.thespringfieldsun.com/content/singing-christmas-july <p> My wife occasionally bursts into song when it&rsquo;s just the two of us at home.</p> <p> &ldquo;You have a really good voice,&rdquo; I compliment her. &ldquo;You should be singing in the choir.&rdquo;</p> <p> She disagrees: &ldquo;My voice isn&rsquo;t that good. Remember, I didn&rsquo;t even make the varsity choir in high school.&rdquo;</p> <p> I think she&rsquo;s improved.</p> <p> I heard her again the other day.&nbsp; She had the pitch and the tune down pat, but something was just not right.</p> A mother's advice on marriage http://www.thespringfieldsun.com/content/mothers-advice-marriage <p> <em>&ldquo;God could not be everywhere and therefore He made mothers.&rdquo;<br /> - Jewish proverb</em><br /> <br /> 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.</p> <p> My wife and I were shopping in Elizabethtown with our then two kids.</p> Fallen trees http://www.thespringfieldsun.com/content/fallen-trees <p> I called it my African tree, although it had reached maturity long before I took possession of the property on which it stood. &ldquo;Look at it,&rdquo; I said to my wife as we sat on our back patio. &ldquo;It&rsquo;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.&rdquo;</p> Sleeping with snakes http://www.thespringfieldsun.com/content/sleeping-snakes <p> They say snakes are really out in force this year;</p> <p> Which reminds me of a story;</p> <p> Which most everything does.</p> <p> You ever know someone that would sleepwalk?</p> <p> Most sleepwalkers do so at an early age and then sort of grow out of it as time goes by.</p> <p> Take me for instance.</p> <p> I was a certifiable sleepwalker from about age five. However, It didn&rsquo;t totally end as I got older. Occasionally, over the years, I will have unexplainable reoccurrences.</p> <p> I blame these reoccurrences on my brother, Tony.</p> In need of a hug? http://www.thespringfieldsun.com/content/need-hug <p> llow residents at the long-term care facility I visit, ensconced in her wheel chair, sometimes napping, sometimes staring. I suppose I&rsquo;ve walked past her dozens of times, greeting her with a casual &ldquo;Hello,&rdquo; or &ldquo;How are you?&rdquo; I can&rsquo;t say I&rsquo;ve taken the time to wait for a response. I&rsquo;ve felt her tired eyes following me as I&rsquo;ve quickly disappeared around the corner and down the hallway.</p> <p> But this day, she stopped me cold in my tracks.</p> The Red, White and Blue http://www.thespringfieldsun.com/content/red-white-and-blue <p> Every time I see the flag of these United States flying in a strong breeze; when I hear the national anthem playing or being sung at some event; when I see colors rendered at a veteran&rsquo;s last rites, I get a chill that sort of runs through my body and sometimes, believe it or not, I get a little teary eyed.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s known by many names; The American flag, The Stars and Stripes, the Red, White and Blue, Old Glory or The Star-Spangled Banner. But it means so much more than just a piece of cloth with some bright colors and pretty stars upon it.</p>