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Columns

  • Who will be the next chapter?

    Have you ever noticed how many films and books either begin or end with a disclaimer that the project is a total work of fiction and not based on any person, living or dead?

    I beg to differ.

    Great authors write about that which they know – except J.K. Rowling and Stephen King (I hope) who have imaginations that are way, way out there.

    Whether movie or novel, characters are often amalgams of real people. Sometimes they're indistinguishable to everyone except to the author himself.

  • Breaking the 10th Commandment

    Tradition states there are 613 commandments in Mosaic Law.

    Somehow, the translators who worked for King James in 1604 decided to pare those laws down into what we refer to as the Ten Commandments.

    For many, like me, I suppose that in itself is a blessing. Keeping 10 laws can be a daunting task so I can only imagine if I had to remember and adhere to 603 more.

    It’s reminiscent of one of the Lemony Snicket books, The Vile Village, where the Baudelaire children are forever breaking laws because there are so many they cannot remember them.

  • Glitches add to the beauty

    Ken Schwiebert is a perfectionist. If you’re one of his dental patients, you know this. If you’ve held a piece of his woodwork in your hands, you’ve seen it. And if you’ve worked on the veterans’ memorial with him for four years, as I have, you’ve felt it.

    It was November 2014 when I agreed to help with a project that would simmer on the back burner for two full years before finally reaching the boiling point in early 2017.

  • Purging should be easier

    My late best friend, Denise, was a shopaholic. More importantly, she was a bargain shopaholic, so it came as no surprise to me what I discovered in her closet 12 years ago when she was adding a room onto her house.

    Denise was also a hoarder, so when our friend Kendall and I started going through Denise’s closet, we forced her to leave the room. We could hear her wails from the hallway as we sorted various items for sale, for trash and for donation.

  • Creature of habit

    No exaggeration, I get close to 400 emails daily through the editor address; another 200 in my main personal account. With over 600 emails each day, I often overlook something or file something in a trash folder that's not really garbage.

    Monday morning as I sifted through the 1,200 work emails since Friday, the above graphic caught my eye and rather than send it automatically to trash, I read it.

  • Random thoughts for a random Tuesday

    Co-worker Chad came bursting into the office one Thursday a few weeks ago.

    "So what did you write about this week?" He asked, pulling a newspaper from the rack outside my door.

    "Oh, city council, the veterans' memorial, the . . ., " I started but he interrupted.

    "No. What's your column about?"

    When I told him I didn't write one, he was aghast and demanded to know why not.

    "I didn't have anything to say," I said returning to my work.

  • Who do you think is old?

    I was taking then-4-year-old Spencer to preschool and as was our custom, we had serious discussions during the 25-minute commute.

    That particular morning, out of the blue, he asked, "How old are you, Mommy?"

    I came to a red light, looked at him and asked back, "How old do you think I am, Spencer?"

    I could see the cogs and gears spinning as he thought about it.

    "You're very old," he finally answered. "You must be at least 21."

  • A mayorship done right

    I met Gerald Hethcoat when I first moved to Florida back in 2005. I worked for another newspaper back then, and every Friday, he'd swing by the office to buy a paper and catch up. I liked him immediately.

    Three years later I found myself in Williston and seeing him a lot more than once a week.

    When my freelance reporter retired, I had to start covering the council meetings and seeing The Mayor in action at least twice a month.

  • No apologies; I'm a sloth

    There was a time that as soon as the door closed behind me at home on Friday night, I'd call out, "Let's go out to eat."

    That's all changed.

    Now I'm pretty much a hermit once I leave the office.

    While the coffee is brewing, I am changing into PJs and settling in for a weekend of nothing-ness.

    There have been many, many weekends of late that once I sequester myself into Ten Broeck Manor, I don't step outside again until Monday morning.

  • Stop this cycle, I want to get off

    More than a dozen years ago, I performed in the community theatre's production of "Dearly Departed", a campy tale of a Southern dysfunctional family attending the wake and funeral of patriarch Bud Turpin.

    There are many classic lines from the show, but the one that has kept playing in my head for the last month is delinquent Royce saying to his financially ruined uncle, "You know, Junior, life's a circle."