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A Confusing Day

For some reason, all day yesterday – Thursday – it felt to me like it was Friday. That used to happen often on days right before or after holidays or vacations, but not since we retired and moved to Georgia three years ago, when there was no longer much difference between weekdays and weekends. And it certainly hasn’t happened since stay-at-home guidelines went into effect in mid-March. I can’t attribute the feeling to the 4th of July weekend coming up, because holidays going back as [...]

By |July 3rd, 2020|Columns, Faith, Family, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

A nod and a smile could lift our hearts

“My head understands it, but it was hard on my heart.” I heard that last night from a woman in British Columbia. I was attending a special “Pandemic Presentations” Toastmasters meeting via Zoom, and the person giving the speech – who is single and lives alone in her apartment – was talking about the feelings of isolation she was experiencing while social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. At one point, she talked about how she feels when she goes outside for a walk and some [...]

By |June 19th, 2020|Columns, Health and Well-being, Toastmasters, Values|0 Comments

A plea for help

My blog this week is a plea for help, one that will benefit people in desperate circumstances in one of the poorest countries in the world. Yet it has to do with the medical crisis that is affecting us all – here in the United States and around the world, including the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Southwest Uganda. Those who have been regular readers of my column and blog know about my work in Uganda with Pathways to Hope Africa, including several trips to the [...]

No black or white answers

“We’re black, aren’t we?” That’s the question my friend’s five-year-old granddaughter asked her this morning. Her heart broke when she heard the question, and mine broke when she told me about it. It broke even more when she told me her granddaughter’s next question, in which she asked about a close family friend. “She’s white, isn’t she?” It’s not as though her granddaughter didn’t recognize the difference in skin color before, it’s just that it didn’t matter. But now it did, enough to bring questions [...]

By |May 29th, 2020|Columns, Family, Making a Difference, Values|0 Comments

A celebration of friendship

“It’s amazing, after not connecting, in some cases for 20+ years, how much has changed. But in some ways, it’s stayed the same. I guess that’s friendship.” That was a statement in an email from one of my “old college buds” after we had a reunion via Zoom a few nights ago. I couldn’t have said it better myself. We were a group of friends who met in college, and stayed close even after graduating within a few years of each other in the  early- to [...]

By |May 22nd, 2020|Columns, Family, Holidays, Travel, Values|2 Comments

Sight and Insight

Have you ever watched a movie or TV show in which someone is temporarily blinded or paralyzed, or loses their hearing due to an accident, explosion, or shoot-out? There’s always a dramatic scene as the bandages are removed, and everyone watches, holding their breath, to find out if the patient will be able to see, hear, or walk again. I’ll never forget an episode of the TV show M*A*S*H in which Hawkeye, the main character and head surgeon, is blinded by an exploding water heater. [...]

By |April 17th, 2020|Columns, Health and Well-being, Values|0 Comments

New Traditions

A tradition is, by definition, something that is repeated year after year. Even so, traditions change over time. Kids grow up and go off on their own, families that used to live within a few miles of each other are now spread out across the country, and lifestyles of days gone by simply don’t fit our way of life anymore. Easter, like Christmas, has both sacred and secular traditions, and I now find myself thinking about all the Easter traditions I have taken part in [...]

By |April 10th, 2020|Columns, Faith, Family, Health and Well-being, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

Diamonds in the Rough

One of the speaking programs I used to do was titled, “Where Do Diamonds Come From? A Lump of Coal and a Lot of Pressure.” The inspiration for the title of the program came from an old television series, The Adventures of Superman, ­that ran in the 1950s. People of a certain age – meaning my age or older – will remember the many episodes in which Superman took a piece of coal, squeezed it, and opened his hand to reveal a sparkly diamond. The [...]

The right decision

A comic strip on the bulletin board of a health club I used to belong to featured an overweight man in his underwear sitting on the examining table in a doctor’s office. The doctor, standing next to him and staring at the clipboard he was holding, said, “Which works better for your schedule – exercising for one hour a day or being dead for twenty-four?” I was reminded of that the other day while watching a television interview with a man who was recovering from [...]

Imagine a World…

My weekly project last week was tackling one of the shelves in my office closet – the one that holds, among other things, notebooks, binders, and workbooks from some of the many classes I’ve taken over the years. Most of them have to do with writing or professional speaking, and I haven’t really looked at them in a long time. In a way, going through them was like looking at old scrapbooks or photo albums. In another way, it was a bit like looking in [...]