Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Spring forward by pushing winter stress aside ]]> Lead story image

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 snow on the ground. The unbearable winter, coupled with a very slow recovery from a severely broken leg, has made my stress levels skyrocket. I stress about getting out and about safely ... will I fall again? I stress about being cold ... I’m so tired of shivering and wrapping myself in layers of blankets. … ]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:44:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Ways to make work fun ]]> Lead story image

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 time, we were not that far out from having been bought by a much larger national bank, but we still had a considerable amount of local control. Employees were worried, however. Things seemed the same but there was a lingering fear that “big brother’s” hammer would fall and things (and people) would change. At the … ]]> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 23:40:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ A good book helps to pass the time ]]> Lead story image

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 about. So, I’ve done the next best thing … read. Here are a couple of the books I find worth noting for avid readers. The first I tackled was “Doctor Sleep,” the latest by Stephen King. I’m a big King fan, but, when confined to the rehab hospital, a nurse came by and blithely noted … ]]> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 12:53:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Think outside the box for your love this year ]]> Lead story image

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 there must some way to make that lone “Dear Mom” card look like my “My Precious Wife” or “Darling Girlfriend.” Others can be found aimlessly wandering the aisles, eyes glazed over. What’s a guy to do? Well, at least these poor souls, late as they may be, have the good sense to know that forgetting … ]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 03:40:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Can’t think of perfect gift? Give to charity instead ]]> Lead story image

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? And, how about my neighbor who always snow-blows my sidewalks? He swears he does it because he likes to run his snow blower, but shouldn’t I get him something? I always have a person or two like that on my yearly list. I would run myself ragged trying to find that perfect, yet meaningful gift … ]]> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 16:06:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Holidays full of special memories ]]> Lead story image

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 far ahead of the game. I, on the other hand, ceremoniously wait until the Friday after Thanksgiving to put up my lone tree. No Black Friday crowds for this gal. Being a working person, I don’t exactly look forward to putting up the tree, but there is one thing I always enjoy … unwrapping the … ]]> Wed, 04 Dec 2013 13:00:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ As weather heats up, so do memories ]]> Lead story image

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 thought we had made it through winter unscathed, spring came in packing a cold, wet punch. As I remembered all we would anticipate about summer in years gone by, I could sympathize with the young boy. The thought of that last day of school approaching was intoxicating. So much to do; so much to see…where … ]]> Wed, 05 Jun 2013 12:08:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Readers share the one question they would ask God ]]> Lead story image

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. What would I ask God if I had the window of opportunity? A lot of mundane things went through my head, but, in the end, I came up with one word. Why? If God is what we believe God is, why creation? Did God become so inspired one day that creation burst forth like water … ]]> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:08:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Lenten sacrifice should be a true test ]]> Lead story image

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 customs, is implanted in our DNA. For instance, unlike some other faith traditions, we fast and abstain from meat on all Lenten Fridays. But I have to confess, I love fish so while I dutifully abstain, it’s no real sacrifice for me. I know I’m following the letter of the law, but many years ago, … ]]> Wed, 27 Feb 2013 16:18:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Let’s not forget to say our thanks to veterans ]]> Lead story image

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 jam. For too many, the day is a non-event … unless you are a vet or part of a vet’s family. I’m not one to purposely go up to a stranger and initiate a conversation. If it happens coincidentally, then fine, but I don’t go out of my way to accost strangers. A couple of … ]]> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 02:22:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fondest memories of Halloween’s best treats ]]> Lead story image

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 running home to empty their bags or pillow cases only to go back out for more. Afterward, the fun continued as we would trudge home, tired but anxious to sit down on the floor, empty out our sacks, assess and sort our loot. My friends and I had a system. One pile was for stuff … ]]> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 13:06:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Clearing off my desk with a few odds and ends ]]> Lead story image

Yes, it’s that time — bits and pieces week. When the little scraps of paper start to fall off my desk, I know it’s time for another omnibus column. Happy 85th birthday to Marge Nelson, of Lowell. “Everyone calls me ‘Ma,” Marge quickly noted. “Even my next-door neighbor, and he’s two years older than me.” To celebrate, the family took her for a lake cruise in Chicago this past summer. “I’ve lived here for 40 years and it’s the first time I saw the city, except for passing through,” she said. “Can’t say I’d want to live there. Too big … ]]> Wed, 09 Oct 2013 14:00:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Keep family fitness a priority in your home ]]> Lead story image

Just in case you’re interested, Saturday is Family Health and Fitness Day. So what, you might ask. Well consider this: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, today’s kids and teens — ages 8-18 — spend close to four hours a day in front of the television and another two hours on the computer or playing video games. Factor in sleep, school and homework, and that doesn’t leave much time for physical activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity in children aged 6-11 years in the United States has increased from 7 percent to nearly 18 percent … ]]> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 13:50:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Is Sept. 11 the price of freedom? ]]> Lead story image

Yesterday, the anniversary of September 11, I once again watched on cable TV a compilation documentary of video, mostly shot by bystanders, of the events of that day. There’s little dialogue but the images are powerful, albeit often very difficult to watch. Each time, I ask myself why I keep poking at this painful wound. Each time, I am reminded of the Jewish people and those who wonder why, a half-century later — they can’t let go of the memory of the Holocaust. Painful as it might be, we don’t let go because, to let go would mean those thousands … ]]> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 02:42:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ Many lessons learned in our first real jobs ]]> Lead story image

So, here we are at the end of yet another summer that went by way too fast. Kids now begrudgingly are off to school in August, but there was a time when Labor Day signaled the goodbye to summer shorts and sandals and hello to uniforms and heavy shoes. Other than recognizing it as our last three-day weekend for the year, we don’t give much thought to Labor Day, other than as an end to all we’ve enjoyed in the last three months. We generally don’t stop to give thought and thanks for the gift of work, especially at a … ]]> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 02:40:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Summer favorites help us through long winter ]]> Lead story image

One night last week, I stepped out into the yard as Issy the Terrible made her last trip out into the grass. The night was cool and crisp and the air felt good. There was one humorous moment when we both raised our noses to the sky and sniffed deeply. There was a subtle scent of wood smoke in the air. Now I’m not sure the moment meant any more to Issy than a good smell. For me, it was a jolting reminder that summer was coming to an end and autumn and winter would be approaching. Summer is my … ]]> Tue, 15 Oct 2013 19:30:49 -0500 <![CDATA[ School memories last through the years ]]> Lead story image

With some rare spare time on my hands, I spent an hour or so over the weekend wandering through one of our local superstores. In front of me, going up and down the aisles, was a mom with her young son, obviously stocking up on school supplies. Mom was loading pencils, crayons, paste and construction paper into the cart. The little guy pondered what he wanted on his lunch box: cars, trains, Spiderman or SpongeBob. He looked longingly at one with some bizarre images of a scary looking rock group; mom said no. For whatever it was worth, I told … ]]> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 13:00:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Talk to the Paw’ dog trick has owner seeing stars ]]> Lead story image

As a way of frittering away the long, cold nights of winter, I decided I would teach Issy the Terrible (my terrier) some new tricks. She made no pretense that her preference was to lie on the couch, curled up on a blanket, but after some coaxing with the new training treats, she decided she’d be a sport and play along. So, the first one we’ve been working on is called “Talk to the Paw.” When I say the phrase, she’s supposed to place her paw gently on my nose. We started to practice. I provided lots of positive reinforcement. … ]]> Wed, 13 Feb 2013 14:50:00 -0500