Columns

Spit and Whittle Club meets again

These here last couple of months have caused the boys at the Spit & Whittle Club to come to the weakly metin all fired up. There were so many things that I jist decided I couldn’t report on thim all. But this weeks metin were the most civil till the end. First we...

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Rites of passage

I packed my suitcase with my winter clothes, red housecoat, and jewelry box. For the first time in my life, I left home in February 1968 to attend Central Michigan University. In retrospect, the day is grounded as a rite of passage. Never again did I share a bedroom...

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Small but powerful acts of love

Nick was quite a character. Back when I was in the Navy, Nick shared the other side of a wall with me. My bed was up against one side in my room and his was up against the opposite side in his room. Even before I knew his name or had met Nick, he made an indelible...

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The crows’ conference caws

Friday, January 29, the sun set while I typed the last line of my second novel. Two hundred and ninety-nine pages. Five hundred and eighty five hours. Surprised and gratified, I rolled my chair away from my desk, two days before my deadline. What now? No, best not...

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Be part of a mercy culture

Do you remember when McDonald’s used to have an advertising ditty that included the words, “You deserve a break today?” I’m old enough to remember when Calgon bubble bath used to advertise with a tag line, “Calgon, take me away!” Marketing firms are keen observers of...

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Poetic justice

Our kittens, Cuddles and Mittens, chase one another, spat from kitchen to dining room. Their two-ring circus amuses me, unlike PJ and Mo, our beloved and belated tomcats, lone mousers for eight and eighteen years respectively. Several weeks after we buried Mo, we...

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Thoughts on 2020 in America

Back on New Year’s Eve, I had a nice chat with a brief acquaintance I had made previously in Vietnam. She goes by Kelly, and currently she is a sophomore in Computer Science at Wright State University just south of us in Dayton, Ohio. I had met her over a few days...

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Watchful eyes

My sisters and I spent a few weeks each summer playing in the McCoy Bottom under the watchful eye of our ancestors’ cemetery. A familiar landmark above our portion of Peter Creek and the railroad tracks, I didn’t give my family’s burial grounds much thought. Dad never...

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Love’s yearning for peace of mind

Before I turned in last night, I called my Michigan daughter for peace of mind. Considering the contrast between her dog’s energy level and her parents’, she opted to leave her pet in their house with a friend while on a business trip. “Hi, Mom.” Our youngest child is...

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What it means to build community

“We must delight in each other, make others’ conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our community as members of the same body.” —John Winthrop, Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1630 Building...

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