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The Best Gifts Ever

We’re back now from our Christmas travels, and enjoying the glow and the memory of several gifts we received that were better than anything we could have imagined. The best gift was that for the first time in many years we were able to spend the Christmas holiday with both of our kids at the same time. This has been pretty much impossible ever since they grew up and started jobs, lives, and families of their own, and even more so since one of them [...]

By |December 30th, 2019|Columns, Family, Holidays, Quotes and Sayings, Values|0 Comments

A cranky day, a dreamy week

I had two holiday-related dreams this week. One of them was uplifting and inspiring. The other one – not so much. In the first dream, I was watching an awards show on TV, and a big song-and-dance number was going on. The performers were all dressed in robes of either gold or white, creating a festive and majestic look. At one point they started marching across the stage in a routine that reminded me of the precision drills bands often perform on the football field [...]

By |December 14th, 2019|Columns, Holidays, Toastmasters, Values|0 Comments

Holiday Specials

My three all-time favorite Christmas specials were on this week, although I was only able to watch two of them: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” For the record, my other favorite is “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” but I was busy the night that one was on. These Christmas classics always take me back to my childhood, which is one of the reasons I like them so much. But they also have timeless and important messages, which is another reason I [...]

By |December 6th, 2019|Columns, Holidays, Respect, Values|0 Comments

Enjoy the Weekend

I’ve never been one to go out on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that’s the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season. Besides, Black Friday has gotten kind of gray and fuzzy over the years, with “Early Bird Black Friday Sales” starting sooner and sooner.  It wouldn’t surprise me if, before too long, we’ll be seeing Black Friday sales advertised during the Labor Day weekend. Still, Black Friday remains enormously popular, and I know a number of people who make shopping on this day [...]

By |November 29th, 2019|Columns, Family, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

Thanks for the Memories

Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. He would have been 92 years old. Today is my grandfather’s birthday. I remember him well, but not the day he died or how old he would have been today. And next Thursday, of course, is Thanksgiving, the day we dedicate to giving thanks for our blessings. The day that reminds us to make a conscious effort to be grateful for everything we have in our lives. I’d like to suggest that we also take time to appreciate everything we [...]

By |November 22nd, 2019|Columns, Family, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

Enjoying a Cross Walk

Most of our time in Uganda had to do with poultry farming. But the most heartwarming and rewarding time for me came on the day I spent several hours walking through the village of Ssenyomo, carrying a tote bag filled with wooden crosses that I distributed to members of this largely Catholic community. The crosses were carved and donated by a retired gentleman from my church who is well-known for his woodworking skills as well as his generosity. We’re members of the same church group, [...]

By |November 17th, 2019|Columns, Faith, Making a Difference, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

Poultry Power

When I say the word “chicken,” what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Maybe you envision an actual rooster or hen. Or perhaps it’s a plate of chicken nuggets or Kentucky Fried. You might think of a childhood bully’s taunt, daring you to try something stupid or dangerous, and then calling you a chicken when you don’t oblige. Right now, the word “chicken” takes me back to Uganda, where I spent two weeks recently, visiting commercial and family poultry farms, a hatchery, a [...]

Three Kinds of People

Some people are dreamers. They envision endless and enormous options and opportunities, and believe the word “impossible” doesn’t mean something can’t be done, just that it hasn’t been done – yet. They can make a difference in the lives of others, as well as in their own. Some people are practical. They see the possibilities, but also the problems in their projects and activities. They recognize obstacles – real and potential – and they understand what needs to be done to overcome them.  They can [...]

A Mile in My Shoes

“I thought I knew every Elvis song there was,” my sister wrote the other day. But she had heard one that was new to her, although it was the choir at her church that was singing it. The song was “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,” and the chorus goes, “Walk a mile in my shoes. Walk a mile in my shoes. Before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes.” This isn’t a new idea, and it wasn’t a new idea [...]

By |September 28th, 2019|Columns, Music/Singing, Quotes and Sayings, Respect, Values|0 Comments

After the Storm

I received a number of responses to last week’s blog, which focused on the people who lost everything in Hurricane Dorian, and on the way the storm put things in perspective for those of us who often get frustrated and annoyed by minor inconveniences. One of my friends, who lives in Florida, said he recently starting working on a way to deal with those minor inconveniences. Whenever he encounters an issue or problem that causes him stress, pain, or discomfort, he tries to remember there [...]

By |September 14th, 2019|Columns, Health and Well-being, Values|0 Comments