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Pursuit of happiness takes individual twists

Friday is Independence Day, the Fourth of July holiday. We celebrate all of the freedoms we have enjoyed over the decades as a country: freedom from oppression, from tyranny, from those who would stifle our religious freedoms, etc. However, thinking about this issue of freedom, …

Wrapping it all up: Dads, dogs and a do-over

OK, I haven’t done this for a while but this is going to be one of those “bits and pieces” columns. June is a busy month and there’s a lot to be said about much that is going on. First, I know that Father’s Day …

The real capper: Advice for young graduates

Remember those sweet days of graduation? Whether from high school or college, we were young, eager and filled with enthusiasm to get moving down the road to a bright and promising future. And, as I recall, there were many well-wishers willing to share their advice …

Heed the real meaning behind Memorial Day

The day is about the memories. It’s about not forgetting. This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day, the first of our much-anticipated three-day weekends of the summer. What we often forget is that it is, above all, a day for remembering. First and foremost, we remember …

So many things make our moms special

While cleaning house a few days ago, two thoughts made me think of my mother. The first was that I thought she would be proud of how well I kept my home. I can’t say it’s always immaculate — having a wild and crazy dog …

Plans for better weather are springing up

Several days ago, it was beautiful, sunny and warm ... no jackets needed. The air carried that unmistakable scent of spring — green growth and warm earth. However, as I write this, we all awoke this morning to the dastardly sight of ice and snow. …

Spring forward by pushing winter stress aside

Is there anyone out there who hasn’t been stressed from this past winter? I say “past” somewhat sarcastically because even though we’re now in April, we know from recent experience that brings no assurance that we won’t see ice or find another six inches of …

Ways to make work fun

Some might argue today that life at the workplace is just not what it used to be. Where is the teamwork? Where is the camaraderie? Where is that sense of spirit? Years ago, in my corporate life, I worked at a large bank. At the …

A good book helps to pass the time

I doubt anyone will argue that this winter has been brutal. To compound the matter, right after Christmas I tripped and fractured my femur. Over the last couple of months, even if the weather had been warm and sunny, I wouldn’t have been out and …

Think outside the box for your love this year

Have you ever been at a card shop or drug store on a late afternoon on Valentine’s Day? The Valentine rack is pathetically picked over as a herd of desperate men swarm the store. Some will make a grab for the last remaining cards. Surely …

Can’t think of perfect gift? Give to charity instead

Here we are, less than a week away from Christmas. Usually by now, we are at the tail-end of our shopping lists, leaving the hardest until the last. What do you get for 88-year-old Uncle Benny? Does my pastor really need yet another religious artifact? …

Holidays full of special memories

My sister Jackie put me to shame when, a couple of weeks ago, she called to gloat that she had assembled and decorated one of her Christmas trees already. She generally puts up two trees and was mighty proud of the fact she was this …

As weather heats up, so do memories

Over this past cold, rainy Memorial Day weekend, I was at the grocery store when I heard the small boy in front of me whine to his mom, “But when is it going to be summer?” When indeed, we might all ask. Just when we …

Readers share the one question they would ask God

Recently I listened to a speaker who posed an interesting question. If you had the chance, what one question would you ask God? The speaker’s talk went on to explore much of what is unexplainable in the world but I was stuck on the question. …

Lenten sacrifice should be a true test

For many Christian religions, we are now in our second week of observance of the season of Lent — a 40-day period of prayer, fast, penance and good works leading up to the feast of Easter. As a cradle Catholic, Lent, along with all its …

Let’s not forget to say our thanks to veterans

On Nov. 11, our country observes Veterans Day. I would imagine not too many of us are affected by the government holiday. Most will work, as usual. We’ll crab about not getting our mail and perhaps get peeved because we’re caught in a parade traffic …

Fondest memories of Halloween’s best treats

Part of the charm of Halloween through the decades has been that you get as much “stuff” as you can carry for free; it’s yours for the asking. I grew up at a time when kids could roam the streets for hours without fear, sometimes …