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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
A culture of death (04/17/13)
On Tuesday, the FBI requested help from those citizens present at the Boston Marathon when two explosions rocked the street, killing three and wounding more than 100, asking for any relevant photographs or video that might provide a clue as to the person or persons responsible...
Guns aren't the problem (04/10/13)
Gun violence is in all the news these days. The tragedy at Sandy Hook is the latest atrocity that claimed too many lives, both young and old, but Dylan Quick's attack at Lone Star Community College in Cypress, Texas, with a box cutter knife of all things, makes it plain that guns aren't the problem, and never have been...
Secrets feed a dangerous anger (04/03/13)
Most people don't know that I have quite a temper. I do my level best to stay on an even keel, with family, with co-workers, with store clerks and even with telephone solicitors. My dad, you see, had a terrible temper. And we never knew what would set him off. ...
Spring planting (03/27/13)
If our weather ever settles down into spring, I'm planning some changes. When we bought our home in 2003, one of the first things we noted was that the covered, wrap-around porch is perfect for a swing. Ten years later, that's definitely on the list...
Come let us reason together (03/20/13)
A news story in the San Francisco Business Times reveals that Americans are less religious than ever. According to the story, researchers noted that in 1972, only 5 percent of Americans said they had no affiliation with an organized religion. The number jumped to 8 percent in 1990, and more than doubled to 20 percent in 2012. ...
Hope is help along the way (03/13/13)
I have been accused of being a "Pollyanna" more than once in my life, as if that was a bad thing. Pollyanna, you may recall, believed that hope held is hope fulfilled, and that hope shared is hope doubled, not halved. But where does hope come from? You can't buy it at the local discount store, saving by buying in bulk. ...
Sometimes it's hard to be human (03/06/13)
BooBoo Kitty was crestfallen Sunday to see that his position as comforter had been usurped by LilBit, when I fell victim to a stomach flu. I seldom nap on the sofa in the living room -- bedrooms are made for sleeping, not sofas. But when I'm ailing, I'll grab a pillow and blanket, and tuck in. ...
Creating a map (02/27/13)
The story of the prodigal son offers a unique perspective of God as Father, waiting at the gate for his rebellious son to return to his senses. When the son, after squandering his inheritance, now hungry enough to envy the pigs their slop -- finally hungry enough to be humble -- returns home, his father throws a party...
Feasting while fasting (02/20/13)
I love my slippers -- and almost think I could train LilBit to fetch them for me at day's end. I won't even try though. He loves it when I put on my "walking shoes" and seems to understand that we're done walking for the day when the slippers are on. He'd probably do it, he loves to please, but he would do it grudgingly...
A glimpse at the banquet to come (02/13/13)
Alcoholics Anonymous created a relatively safe environment for those who had fallen victim to a cruel taskmaster; a slave driver; a heart breaker; the demon rum; to find freedom from that curse. (I have other names, but they simply aren't suitable for a family newspaper.)...
Yep, he's a dog (02/06/13)
I was just getting ready to heat leftovers for dinner last week when LilBit pranced into the living room, tail wagging, eyes smiling, a bright yellow tennis ball in his mouth, and Danny and I looked at each other and exclaimed in unison, "He's a dog!"...
The labels we wear (01/30/13)
I recently discovered a new identity. Apparently, I'm a "get-byer." The law of averages indicates that you, too, are most likely, a "get-byer." We have our place in the culture -- supporting the economy by earning a wage and expending those wages in the marketplace. And, according to the writer, that's pretty much our entire reason for being. The "get-byer" designation is one of only three possibilities, the writer states. The other choices are "doers" or "slackers." Class warfare, anyone?...
Time travel is possible (01/23/13)
We are absolutely loving our new (old) stereo phonograph. As long as we avoid mirrors, it's a lot like time travel, to hear the songs of our youth coming through the speakers. Singing along, I am reminded at how deeply music becomes ingrained in our minds. ...
Identifying 'the least of these' (01/16/13)
They didn't know us from Adam. We were just the latest of many families to sojourn for a season on Capitol Hill, a well-integrated inner-city neighborhood adjacent to City Park, the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Natural History. Admission was free to these attractions and we frequently walked through the marble halls at the museum and through the animal exhibits at the Zoo. I liked the aviary best...
Examining the blessings of atheism (01/09/13)
The headline caught my eye: "The Blessings of Atheism." What could those blessings be? I wondered as I clicked on the link and proceeded to read the op-ed piece from the New York Times written by Susan Jacoby, author of the forthcoming book "The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought."...
Passing the test (01/02/13)
"This is a test." The phrase is often heard in the walls of Castle Cribbs -- when there's more money than month, when the phone doesn't ring, or rings in the middle of the night, or when our pleas seem to fall on deaf ears. A particularly trying time came upon Danny in mid-summer and the phrase, so frequently at the front of his mind as his world contracts, just wasn't cutting it. ...
A unique generation (12/26/12)
I was so sure the Mayans were right, I spent my last day on Earth cleaning cabinets and mopping floors. No, I'm not a compulsive housekeeper, bent on entering eternity only after completing every task perfectly. I spent the day that way because it was the last official day of my two-week vacation and I didn't dare waste it...
Man proposes, God disposes (12/05/12)
Summery Saturday mornings in the 1980s were spent power-walking, with all three kids in tow, through a Denver flea market at 88th and I-76. It started small, but as the years went by, more and more vendors set up shop, hoping to turn trash into treasure...
The heart of God (11/28/12)
We received a Thanksgiving surprise Sunday evening when the elder of my two younger brothers, Dave, and his wife of 37 years, Joyce, appeared at our back door. We hadn't seen Dave and Joyce for several years -- another quick visit before they traveled to the Mayo Clinic searching to discover what ailed my little brother. (Little is a bit of a misnomer, Dave is well over six feet tall.)...
Z is for zebra (11/21/12)
The turkey is completely defrosted, nestled safely on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. The ingredients for stuffing are set aside, and even though it'll be just Danny and me for Thanksgiving dinner again this year, I'll polish up two place settings of my mom's china, and double Danny's dish duty by putting each menu item in its own serving container. ...
Dealing with deception (11/14/12)
There they were, again, on the evening news. Bad news, of course. News exacerbated by the fact that people have needlessly died and others continue to suffer, needlessly, because this company -- entrusted to supply vital medicines -- failed at nearly every level of production to ensure the safety of their patients, already beset by serious health issues...
God never lies (11/07/12)
"The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him." ― Leo Tolstoy...
It's a small world after all (10/31/12)
In the grand scheme of things, my world is pretty small and it's getting smaller every day. In less than two years, we've had to say good-bye to four good friends, and are still getting used to the idea that Mom has gone on. Our lives and our world are diminished by their passing. Our hearts, however, are enlarged with treasured memories, now that they are free of their jars of clay...
Don't waste the pain (10/24/12)
Indian Summer has fallen on the Golden Plains, providing brilliant blue as the backdrop for the vibrant colors of fall, warm daytime temperatures and a decided lack of winter's chill through the overnight hours. What a glorious time of year. According to the weather forecast, it's almost over. ...
Let the debates begin (10/17/12)
The view from my desk has improved dramatically. No, they still don't let me sit near a window. I'm too easily enthralled by nature's daily dance -- whether sun-drenched, rain-swept, or covered in a thick layer of God's pristine white -- that I would never get each day's myriad tasks completed in time for the press run if they did...
A little bit of what I've learned from LilBit (10/10/12)
I thought I outgrew my impulsive nature years ago. I was wrong. In the days immediately following the death of my mother-in-law, as we processed our loss, we realized that the loss, keen as it is for us, is keener still for those for whom Mom was part of the fabric of their every day lives...
40 years later, hindsight is still 20/20 (10/03/12)
Here is the story. This is exactly how it happened. Or is it? One of the most unique attributes of the human mind is the power of perception. Two people, four, or more, at the same place, at the same time, tell two, four, or more, differing stories about the same event...
'Fess up or you'll all pay (09/26/12)
Although I did find myself using many of the parenting tools my parents employed when raising me, there were exceptions. The shame game was one of them, as was the "why can't you be more like..." gambit. Name-calling also was taboo. Another technique I eschewed was the oft-applied "'fess up or you all pay."...
'What Really Matters' really does matter (09/19/12)
As a child, preteen and teenager, when I read, I read rapidly. I never knew when Dad would grow weary of seeing me with my nose in a book and snatch the book out of my hands. Usually, I could pick up where I left off, but if I had been particularly "distanced" the book would disappear and I would never know how it ended...
Holding back the darkness (09/12/12)
This week marks my 15th year in the McCook Daily Gazette newsroom. To say that I was a "cub reporter" when I first walked through the door would be a gross overstatement. As it was 15 years ago, there are eight desks in the newsroom, assembled in two groups of four, each desk designated for specific daily duties: city desk, local desk, feature desk, sports desk, etc. The newsroom is a beehive of activity on an ordinary day. There are some days, however, that are anything but ordinary...
Listen, and you will hear (09/05/12)
I grew up with an insatiable appetite for words. In an effort to satisfy that hunger, I read everything, and I mean absolutely everything I could get my hands on, including items I had no business reading during my tender years, or adult years for that matter...
Lying in green pastures, next to still waters (08/29/12)
My new letter-writing campaign is paying dividends in a big way. Not everyone likes writing letters, but almost to a man, everyone loves getting letters written especially to them. I have enjoyed several lengthy phone conversations from recipients who do not care to write, but do care to keep in touch, in response to my missives...
Shining lights (08/22/12)
My traditions are disappearing, one by one, and I'm sorry to see them go. For years, the Fourth of July belonged to us. Fireworks were popping all day long, Danny leading the pack. Fire up the grill, make Mom's potato salad, slice the tomatoes thick, and wait for night to fall. ...
Come out of her, my people II (08/15/12)
The Affordable Care Act's requirement that every policy issued for health care include coverage for contraception has become a lightning rod for conservative Christians, and with almost one voice, they have cried, "Foul!" Not so fast. This is not our fight, and to take up the standard against such a requirement is the height of hypocrisy, and shames the Name of the One we purport to follow...
Tending the garden (08/08/12)
I was on the phone with my mother-in-law a few weeks back. A long-time friend and neighbor whose health has been a concern for years, had suffered some setbacks and the prognosis wasn't good. I called Mom to see if she'd had any word on his condition and was pleasantly surprised to hear that Mike had rallied yet again. As we talked, we acknowledged that the reprieve was temporary. In fact, mere weeks later, Mike died...
Getting to know you (08/01/12)
The summer of 1971 is memorable simply because that's the year my great adventure with Danny began. Since we were all of 15, lived 18 miles apart across the center of the metropolitan Denver area, and weren't yet eligible for the "privilege" of driving in the great state of Colorado, a lot of our early courting took place over the telephone. ...
Believing just isn't enough (07/25/12)
James warned the first generation of believers in James 2:19 that even the demons believe, "and tremble." Those of this generation -- 2,000 years in the making yet just as new to faith as was that first generation -- also must give heed to his warning and discover what lies beyond simple belief...
I've got a tip for you... (07/18/12)
Jobs in Worland, Wyoming were scarce in 1975. But, since we had (deservedly) been exiled to that small town in north central Wyoming, jobs were what we needed. We found lodging at the Cook Hotel, long gone now, for the princely sum of $17.85 per week. It was a simple bedroom, with a shared bath down the hall. I made Danny stand guard whenever I was in the tub. The television was in the lobby and the walls were paper-thin. But it was shelter from the storm and we were grateful...
Birds, songs and stories (07/11/12)
I love birds. I love their songs in the morning and their lullabies at night. I love to watch the soaring hawks and eagles and I delight in translating their busy chatter as they go about their daily bird business. I learned to speak bird from the bird family that built their nest in the drive-through window at a Brighton, Colorado bank. ...
Farewell to Facebook (06/27/12)
As my 100+ Facebook friends may or may not know, I've said good-bye to Facebook. (My posts disappeared when I did.) Facebook proved to be too much of a gossip fest and I've seen too many hearts broken by careless comments. Also, the whole "de-friending" issue is problematic. I'm not much for slamming doors, at least not since I slammed one in anger many years ago. (The slam was insufficient to the anger level and the next thing I knew, I had ripped the door completely off its hinges.)...
Cheerleader tryouts are tonight (06/20/12)
Our recent heat wave is reminiscent of 2002, a broiling summer that saw temperatures in the high 90s most days, and for 34 days, in excess of 100 degrees.That figure tied the record for the most days over 100 degrees in a season, set in the early 1930s. (Some records should never be broken.) Couple the high temperatures with the dearth of precipitation and we may be looking at a summer-long storm that will exhaust community resources and test the mettle of every man...
Writing a memory with sand (06/13/12)
I have always had a sweet tooth. Oh, I can't eat an entire stack of restaurant pancakes anymore, my tummy can't take all that sugar, but I confess that I treat myself to something sweet on a daily basis. Growing up, we only had candy in the house at Halloween and Easter. ...
Encountering angels along the way (05/30/12)
Our Colorado girls are due in next week. They had their choice of when to come, as long as it didn't interfere with church camp and other family celebrations, and they chose the first full week of their summer vacation. We can't wait. We spent the three-day holiday weekend feathering our nest, clean linens and shiny floors all ready to get mussed up, fussed up and used up in the coming days...
Bringing BooBoo home (05/23/12)
I walked to our back door April 27, parted the curtains in the window, and as I peered out into our driveway, I burst into tears. I made my way into the living room, and fell into Danny's arms, sobbing, "I don't want my BooBoo Kitty to be dead!" "Neither do I," he replied, choking back his own tears...
Whose opinion really matters? (05/16/12)
Holidays irk me. Especially those so cleverly managed by Madison Avenue it's sacrilege to miss them. Apparently, Mother's Day took in an average of $172 per mom this year. So to my dear mother-in-law, "Sorry Mom, once again, we come in well below average."...
Power in the blessing (05/09/12)
The last high school graduation I attended, when someone I knew and loved had donned the hard-earned cap and gown, was some years back. And in those long-gone yesteryears, I attended only one Baccalaureate. Apparently, the entire concept, to bless those brave, young hearts as they go forward into a world that will seek only to see how many kicks it will take before they cry "uncle" and surrender, had fallen out of favor...
Come out of her, my people (05/02/12)
"My kingdom is not of this world." This was Jesus' answer to Pilate, recorded in John 18:36, when asked if he was, in fact, a king. His answer is still true, even though American Christianity has done its best to coronate the United States as our own version of Jesus' kingdom. We were told that this was all part of that original, breathtaking dream, forged in the hearts of the nation's founders...
Worthy of the cost (04/25/12)
I'm spending some time in time-travel land this week, trying to get through another tome by Stephen King before it becomes overdue at midnight tonight. This book deals with a rabbit hole that allows someone from today to walk into the world sometime in the late 1950s. ...
An all-purpose prayer (04/18/12)
God's very best for you is my new, all-purpose prayer, because whether you're in financial straits, your health is compromised or your children are filled with rebellion and little else, God's very best for you is your only hope. It's all-purpose because this prayer works for anyone, even meeting Jesus' command to "pray for your enemies."...
Congratulations may be in order (04/11/12)
There is a passage in Scripture that has always fascinated me, but I didn't want to look at it too closely, lest it require more of me. "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. ...
'The truth is out there' (04/04/12)
Frequent readers know that my early television viewing involved stark, black and white images that could not adequately camouflage the blood, the bruises or the tears shed as violence erupted on the streets of America during the height of the Civil Rights movement...
Give me my nine days! (03/28/12)
I truly didn't think it was possible, but apparently, there is no shortage of "end of days" scenarios, and Hollywood is doing its level best to make sure they capitalize on all of them before Dec. 21, 2012. Yes, that's the correct date, if you're a fan of the Mayan calendar and believe that somehow this ancient civilization possessed the secrets of time, including when it will end...
We really must do lunch (03/21/12)
Even though I am not a member of a fellowship that adheres to any organized observance of Lent, I must admit that this is one of my favorite times of year. The way I understand it, the Lenten tradition is intended to bathe believers in the grim reality of what our great salvation cost the one who came to seek and to save the lost. For my part, I cannot seem to separate his sacrifice from my salvation at any time of year, and woe to me if I ever do...
Are we there yet? (03/14/12)
Watching the world unwrap another day this week, we took a brief trip through time and circumstance, retracing the unusual places and people that we encountered along the way. Those who live where they grew up enjoy many benefits from that reality. Since time out of mind, up until the last century or so, where you were born was where you died, after living many fruitful years traveling the same highways and byways as you unwrapped your days...
No storybook ending here (03/07/12)
When the movie "A Perfect Storm" came on television a few years ago, the rolling waves, the pounding rain and the sheer guts and determination of the fishing crew immediately swept me into the story. As the drama continued, as the waves grew and the wind speed increased, I watched for the sure-to-come rescue. ...
In the absence of light (02/29/12)
The cold temperatures and long dark hours that are our lot in mid-winter can take a heavy toll on the human heart. When the sun shone brightly on a recent Sunday afternoon, we fled the winter confines of the house and busied ourselves cleaning up what winter rubbish we could wrest from the pockets of snow still lurking in the northern corners of our world. The light, and the warmth, were gone too soon...
Where did the line go? (02/29/12)
Originally published March 1, 2000 in the McCook Daily Gazette
Two rooms, each with a purpose (02/29/12)
Originally published Feb. 2, 2000 in the McCook Daily Gazette
A reality that is hard to understand (02/29/12)
Originally published Feb. 16, 2000 in the McCook Daily Gazette
Waiting for a loved-one's return (02/29/12)
Originally published Oct. 17, 2001 in the McCook Daily Gazette
School is now in session (02/22/12)
I'm off to summer school. At least, I hope it will be summer school. I certainly don't want to go back to the days when we had to walk to school, in the blinding snow, uphill both ways. In any case, I think I'm going to enjoy the classroom curriculum. Time has come for me to learn how to be a child again, and just in time. This grown-up stuff is getting old in a hurry...
Who's in charge? (02/15/12)
I was nearly speechless. Nearly. A news broadcast revealed that somewhere in the United States of America, we now have the school food police. Not just to check on the USDA approved menu items and whether or not they are offered in the appropriate quantities; but to inspect -- and pass judgment on -- whatever is packed in a child's lunchbox from home...
I want to be just like you (02/08/12)
My mother had beautiful hands. They were small and delicate and her fingers were perfectly tapered and ended with nails women today pay a small fortune for. My hands are perfectly functional, but rather large, with oversized knuckles. My fingers are long without a hint of a taper, but I can grow the same nails, although I can seldom be troubled to maintain them. ...
Who goes there? (02/01/12)
It had been a particularly challenging week and I was delighted when bedtime arrived Friday night and I could turn the radio alarm clock to the off position. Even without a nudge from that appliance, I started waking up, right on time, but repeatedly settled back into a deep sleep, reminding myself over and over again that it was Saturday morning and I could sleep as late as I wanted...
Lead me to your door (01/25/12)
Over the past several weeks I have spent an inordinate amount of time helping to develop step-by-step instructions for a computer program at the McCook Daily Gazette that allows paginators to send their page directly to the platemaker, a process known as CTP...
This world is not my home (01/18/12)
As a child I dutifully stood with my classmates and, hand over my heart, recited the Pledge of Allegiance with patriotic fervor. In fact, watching the fifth graders paint a mural based on "America the Beautiful" earned me the ire of my third-grade teacher who grew weary of me constantly ignoring her at the front of the classroom so I could look over my shoulder and watch in wonder as purple mountains and amber waves of grain appeared from the mixed tempura paints reserved for the upper-classmen. ...
Let mercy lead (01/11/12)
"It's my money and I want it now!" is the cry on the television each night as wanna-be opera stars sing the toll free phone line of a company that would be happy to give you your money now, for what I am sure they consider to be a nominal fee. As the credit card bills and department store chits come in from the holiday shopping sprees, certainly there are some who are anxious for a windfall that will allow them to pay off their the green and red debt and are willing to part with that nominal fee in order to get out from under. ...
I hereby resolve ... (01/04/12)
'Tis the season to take a good long look in the mirror (just not first thing in the morning on Jan. 1), to see if there is any room for improvement. If the mirror doesn't reveal any needs, just ask friends and family, they're sure to have more than one suggestion...
What a ride! (12/28/11)
Growing up in the metropolitan Denver area meant that we had a choice between two amusement parks, Lakeside Amusement Park and the more well-known and much lauded Elitch Gardens, my personal favorite. I write of the original Elitch Gardens, complete with shaded boulevards, gorgeous flower gardens (hence the name) and well-shaded family picnic areas. (I've never dropped a dime at the "new" Elitch Gardens, though my children love it.)...
Lay down your arms (12/21/11)
Shameless commercialism takes center stage, beginning on the Friday following Thanksgiving and continuing through the closeout sales that mark the end of the year. It's almost as if everything we gave earnest thanks for on the fourth Thursday in November is suddenly not enough. Not good enough. Not new enough. Not pretty enough...
Take a closer look (12/07/11)
Deconstruction. In this day and age of reuse, repurpose or recycle, deconstruction is all the rage. There may be a treasure trove in the old siding or in the 100-year-old glass, still unbroken after a century of battling heat, cold, rain, sleet and winds that would bend the strongest of branches...
Protection from unintended consequences (11/30/11)
"Oh, I love Mac's Drive Inn. I guess I'll never get to eat there again," was the lament of a former McCook resident who broke all ties with the community when she divorced her husband. She texted the remark to her 8-year-old daughter who was eating at Mac's at the time, her ties unbroken by the broken pledge between her mother and father...
In everything give thanks (11/23/11)
Danny and I started a list at the beginning of the year, detailing notable events worldwide. Danny was of the opinion that 2011 was going to be a year to remember. I really hate it when he's right. Eventually, I had to give the list up. After filling more than three pages with earthquakes, insurrections, wildfires and flooding -- before even half of the year had passed -- I just couldn't take it anymore...
Where do we go from here? (11/16/11)
Most of the favored traditions in the old neighborhood were well-steeped in alcoholic beverages. Every adult turned a blind eye to the ages of those imbibing as well, as long as they weren't younger than 14 or so. In fact, the drunkest I ever got in my entire life was at the tender age of 16, in full view of the adults that had settled this particular neighborhood when the homes were first built in the 1950s. ...
It matters (11/09/11)
The verdict is in. Conrad Murray has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 death of pop legend Michael Jackson. Halfway across the nation, a stay of execution has been granted to Hank Skinner, sentenced to death for a 1993 triple murder involving his girlfriend and her two adult sons. The stay is temporary while the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals decides whether or not a new state DNA law, SB122, signed by Gov. Rick Perry, applies in Skinner's case...
Preparing for new life (11/02/11)
When news that a new life is expected, everyone gets busy. There are diapers to stockpile, baby afghans to crochet, crib sheets, receiving blankets, a car seat, a crib, sleepers and bottles to acquire. For the more affluent, a room must be made ready. Blue or pink? Bunnies or cowboys?...
Freckles, faults and foibles (10/26/11)
This is the time of year that gave me fits as a young mother. With three children requiring costumes for the traditional Halloween party at school, costumes that could also be worn while they trekked up and down the streets of our neighborhood, the stress of Halloween was nearly my undoing each year...
It's a question of choice (10/19/11)
It is an all too common malady of modern man. So much so, in fact, there is a saying (which I have come to abhor, having heard it too many times to count) that springs from the malady of assumption. The saying is a play on the word "assume" as in "I assume..." Using the first three letters of the word, the saying warns the speaker that to assume is to make an ass out of you and me. I cringe to hear it spoken aloud...
Who can stand? (10/12/11)
At the time, I thought it was the worst thing that would ever happen to me and I was nearly undone by the entire experience. In February 1972, I was an overnight "guest" of the good people of Eureka County, Nevada, sleeping on an un-sheeted, blue tick mattress that was covered with numerous unidentifiable stains. ...
Waiting for the day (10/05/11)
Built in the 1950s, the curved streets of Danny's childhood neighborhood sat adjacent to Centennial Race Track in Littleton, Colorado. It is now a mature neighborhood, those gleaming brand new homes showing their years, the saplings planted with so much hope now fulfilling that long ago promise, a canopy shading nearly the entire length of the street. ...
An open invitation (09/28/11)
I am a total sap. If the Trix rabbit had shown up at my childhood breakfast table, I would have slid my bowl over to him and let him use my spoon. That is, if I had been able to persuade Mom to buy a name brand cereal. I always root for the underdog and if there is any good thing to be found in even the worst situations, I seek it out. ...
Testing one, two, three (09/21/11)
Beep, beep, beep. Designed to call the populace to attention, the signature beep, beep, beep of the Emergency Broadcast System soon became just another annoyance in modern life, initially inspiring alarm -- alarm that undoubtedly contributed to an entire generation's fatalistic outlook on life...
How much paint do you need? (09/14/11)
Old houses need a lot of tender, loving care. Especially those made of wood. And, since Danny has spent the past three summers reconditioning his 1969 Ford 3/4-ton truck, complete with forest service-approved utility bed, also reconditioned, our old home place was starting to look a little ragged around the edges...
Ten years later: What have we learned? (09/07/11)
These are not happy memories. The visions from that day, nearly 10 years old now, still chill us and many of us would like nothing better than to let this anniversary pass, the wounds still too fresh for picking. In the newsroom, however, everyone has been helping to compile collective memories for a special tab and I prepared five radio broadcasts for KNGN 1360 AM, recalling columns written immediately after the terrorist attacks and in the weeks and months following...
Turn on the radio (08/31/11)
I don't remember listening to the radio much as a youngster. Dad had an extensive LP collection and loved all genres of music, so when we listened to music, we listened to those. But, in 1968, I did have an AM transistor radio, a Christmas gift that year if I remember correctly, and I listened to it for as long as the battery lasted...
Hold on tight (08/24/11)
Danny's love affair with motorcycles started when he was quite young. Perhaps inspired by the Haney's collection of Harleys across the street, he made up his mind early to ride as far, as fast, and as frequently as he could, with the wind in his hair...
Start with the man in the mirror (08/17/11)
If Britain's prime minister David Cameron is serious about restoring that nation's moral compass, as he stated following nearly a week of riots and mayhem there, he needs to first look at the man in the mirror. This is not a personal attack on a public figure. It is a statement of fact that can be applied to any man or woman -- every man or woman...
Do all you can, wherever you can, whenever you can (08/10/11)
The images were haunting, the locale foreign and mysterious. The people were different from any I had ever seen before, and not just because of their dark skin and unusual clothing. It was something in their eyes, a haunted look in some, a frightened look in others while some contained that thousand yard stare that reveals more than it hides as they focus on nothing, having seen far too much darkness in their days...
What a difference a year makes (08/03/11)
I have always marveled at how much a baby changes during the first year of life. Vulnerable from conception, let alone first breath, they never fail to bring a tear-tinged smile to my face at first meeting. I know that their helplessness will soon be replaced by tiny hands reaching to touch everything in their world, first testing it for its viability as food for the body. ...
Dealing with minor irritants (07/20/11)
I spent a recent lunch hour scouring the shelves of a local discount store with murder on my mind. Our Boo Boo kitty has apparently rented out space to a local family of fleas and they are prolific reproducers. He's miserable, and so am I. He is frequently stopped in his tracks to do battle against their feasting and I am afflicted with itchy ankles. Apparently, Danny has a natural immunity...
You never know where you'll meet a Samaritan (07/13/11)
Memory lane opened up recently and I took a trek back to the high desert of Nevada, riding in the back of a Nevada state trooper's vehicle. We were bound for Eureka, a wide spot in the road some 77 miles from Ely, Nevada, where we had topped off the gas tank in Danny's 1959 Rambler, lemon yellow with a 6-inch black racing stripe right up the middle...
Mercy falls like rain (07/06/11)
If Mom hadn't mentioned the iron that day, I would have walked right past it without a first thought, let alone a second one. But, she warned me off, saying "I've been downstairs ironing all day, so that iron is hot. Don't touch it." Of course, that meant I had to touch it. ...
One last celebration? (06/29/11)
The cacophony of fireworks has already begun. The requisite photograph of youngsters buying fireworks has already been taken, with Page One publication due any day now, perhaps even today. The sale ads for the discount stores all feature the latest and greatest in outdoor grills and grilling supplies (but the single raffle ticket I bought to win a new one is no doubt in the bottom of the trash heap by now, since no one has called to congratulate me on my good fortune)...
I used to drive (06/22/11)
I have never been very athletic. I squeeze my eyes shut if anyone throws anything at me, including a softball or a basketball. And running? Well, I have avoided that heart-pounding, sweat-inducing exercise all of my life. A brisk walk suits me just fine, and I've even been known to power-walk the aisles at the local discount store. (It helps me avoid those all too important to the store's bottom line impulse-buys.)...
Call me Lazarus (06/15/11)
The chorus from an Air Supply song, written by Graham Russell, has been running through my head for the past couple of days. Actually, it's just that first line, "Here I am, the one that you love." I'm sure I knew all of the words back in the day and turned up the radio each time it came on. It's a love song, with the one who is loved asking for "just another day," promising that he in turn loves her "in so many ways."...
Letting go of the shovel (06/08/11)
We seem all too ready to believe the worst about someone and are all too eager to dismiss any favorable reports. A case in point is found in yet another forward in my e-mail inbox. This one was introduced with the incendiary (to me) headline "Don't buy Pepsi."...
Getting what we need (06/01/11)
Not realizing the significance at the time, I failed to write down the official beginning day and date of what would become and continues to be the great and ongoing saga of Danny Lee Cribbs and Dawn Elizabeth Carlson. But the 40th anniversary will take place sometime in the next couple of weeks. I think...
A long road home (05/25/11)
When we first left Wichita, bound for home, the miles couldn't go by fast enough. The decision to return to Colorado had been made much like the one that had landed us in Wichita in the first place -- on the spur of the moment, with no forethought and zero preparation...
Places to go, things to do (05/18/11)
Many years ago, during a job interview at an insurance agency in Worland Wyoming, I was asked, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" The inquiry was met with a blank stare. I've never been one to set goals, so I had no satisfactory answer to offer that day and left the interview in the same condition I had arrived in -- unemployed. Maybe the question is of particular importance to those in the insurance game...
Turning away from wrath (05/11/11)
When the Twin Towers fell September 11, 2001, video of fanatic Muslims cheering in the streets across the Middle East added another layer of pain to the newly broken heart of the United States. And, although the death of Osama bin Laden wasn't unwelcome news in this nation nearly 10 years after he ordered those attacks, I was immediately dismayed to see Americans and people worldwide cheering in the streets because of his demise...
Dawn Cribbs
Dawn of a New Day