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With all due respect

“Unity” is a word I’ve been hearing on the news a lot lately, ever since President Biden, in his inaugural address, called for unity between political parties. So far, however, it hasn’t been working out too well. Before we can achieve unity, or agreements of any kind, I think there are a few other words we need to put into practice – as individuals and groups, as well as communities and governments. I also think we need – if I may paraphrase a line from [...]

By |February 5th, 2021|Columns, Quotes and Sayings, Respect, Values|0 Comments

Powerless on Thanksgiving

I was still in bed on Thanksgiving morning when my husband, an early riser, came in and said, “The power just went out.” I instinctively looked at the clock on my nightstand, which showed – nothing. “What time is it?” I asked. “6:45,” he said, adding, “I called the power company. They already knew about it. They said it should be back on by 8:30.” I did some quick mental calculations, based on the tasks and cooking I had planned for Thanksgiving dinner. Although it [...]

By |November 27th, 2020|Columns, Family, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving is next week, and it will be different this year than ever before. Like many people, we will be staying home rather than traveling to be with family members in different parts of the country. And like them, our hearts are torn over not being able to spend the holiday with loved ones, whether they live across the street, across the country, or “over the river and through the woods,” as the old song goes. This is also a year when many people are [...]

By |November 20th, 2020|Columns, Faith, Family, Health and Well-being, Holidays, Travel, Values|0 Comments

If you could go back….

If you could go back in time and change one event in history, what would it be? That question – or something similar – is the basis for countless movies, television shows, philosophical discussions, and theories about the space-time continuum. It was also the question at an online Table Topics contest I recently attended. In a Toastmasters Table Topics competition, contestants are asked a question – generally an open-ended, there’s-no-wrong-answer question. They have to respond immediately, and speak for one to two minutes on the [...]

By |September 26th, 2020|Accountability, Columns, Toastmasters, Values|2 Comments

A Champion for Change

“Champions for Change” is the name of the feature, and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when I saw one of the champions being showcased – a young man named Lual Mayen. He was born as his family was fleeing South Sudan, and has lived more than 22 years in a refugee camp in northern Uganda. The first time he ever saw a computer was in 2007 during a refugee registration, and after he told his mother he wanted to buy [...]

Where were you that day?

If you’re old enough to remember it, I don’t need to say any more than that for you to know what I’m talking about. Yesterday, on the anniversary of what we now simply refer to as 9/11, everyone remembered exactly where they were, what they were doing, and how they found out about the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Most of us remember other things about that day, too. How surreal it felt. How we knew instinctively that the world had [...]

By |September 12th, 2020|Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Values|0 Comments

Lessons Learned

I visited a club in Barbados last night, after meeting a woman from Barbados a few weeks ago in North Carolina. I was in North Carolina at the invitation of someone I met in Saskatchewan the week before that. He and I were the only ones who showed up at the meeting – apparently the Saskatchewans knew something we didn’t – so we chatted for half an hour and exchanged contact information before calling it a night. These meetings were all virtual, of course. I [...]

By |August 21st, 2020|Columns, Toastmasters, Travel, Values|0 Comments

A Mess and a Message

“Whenever there’s a mess like this, I try to look for the message in the mess,” my friend told me a few days ago. “And then I try to find the miracle in the message.” As you might guess, my friend is a very faith-filled person. I have seen her step out in faith when most people – myself included – would be paralyzed by fear, indecision, or doubt. The statement she made came as she was telling me about a close friend of hers [...]

By |August 14th, 2020|Columns, Faith, Health and Well-being, Values|0 Comments

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