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Opinions

Autumn in February

Food For Thought

One day last month, I stepped out my door and was disoriented by smells more suited to October than to February. This was the aroma of Halloween, leaf-burning, fall picnics from my childhood. Okay, so it has been a strange winter in our little pocket of the Midwest. Little snow, mostly mild temperatures, 40 degree drops and rises of the thermometer from one day to the next. But those autumn bonfires emitting that smoky, woodsy fragrance? What was going on?

Statute problems

Walkin'

Tony dropped by the other day.
He’s about as nice of a guy as you’d ever want to meet, and funny to boot. During this last visit for example, he told an amusing story about a dog his brother adopted who came with an odd warning: the canine didn’t like Mexican men playing the guitar.

Trump’s war with the media hits home

not so much

I was listening to National Public Radio’s “On Point” with Tom Ashbrook last week and he was talking on air with a Donald Trump supporter.
The Trump supporter said (and I’m paraphrasing here) he was happy President Trump was taking it to “you people” in the media.
Ashbrook disagreed politely with the caller, suggesting he respected the man’s opinion but did not feel separated from other Americans because he was a journalist.
Donald Trump’s war with the media hits close to home for me.

Slang, idiom, metaphor, poetry

Food For Thought

Four times a month I meet with groups of creative friends with whom I share ideas and accomplishments. Twice each month, the group consists of around 20 people, specifically writers; writers of poetry, fiction, fact and opinion. Another group, all poets, is smaller and while we examine and critique each other’s poems, we have the luxury of time to discuss many related topics that arise out of the discussions of poetry. The third group is made up of professionally successful artists, writers and composers, although the writers make up the majority of members.

Slipping and a sliding

I’ve been getting nervous as the date for my party to celebrate the World Champion Cubs Party nears. What if I’ve gone to the trouble and expense to set it up and no one shows? What if too many turn out? What if the Cubs didn’t win the World Series, and it’s all been a dream in which the Cleveland Indians are champs and Bernie Sanders is president?
Trading the Cubs’ victory for a Sanders’ win; that’d be a deal with devil that’d be hard to decide.
Que sera sera!

Love and marriage

We got engaged on Valentine’s Day, 1956. I don’t think either one of us planned or even thought about it being a romantic time for the proposal and acceptance. In fact, I don’t recall any mention of it being Valentine’s Day or any of the usual accouterments, such as flowers or a box of chocolates. It just happened to be Feb. 14, and the whole thing was coincidence. I guess, when you’re young and giddy with daydreams and hormones, any day will do.
Well, that was 61 years ago, and we were married for almost 50 years before my husband died.

A day in the life

Walkin'

Mom and Dad said they “shopped at Jewel’ last week.
Some readers will recognize Jewel as Jewel-Osco, a supermarket chain originating in Chicago that spread to the upper half of Illinois and corners of Iowa and Indiana.

Ultimate selfie

Food For Thought

My friend commented on the latest fad of taking photos of oneself with celebrities, be they politicians, sports figures, movie stars or any one else who is famous, admired or envied. As I thought about it, I began to realize that the practice is hardly new. The medium (the ubiquitous cell phone) may be relatively new, but the idea of having physical evidence that we have, at some time, had personal contact with this or that famous person is not. I think it is quite similar to the practice of collecting autographs of famous or admired people.

Two truths, one lie

Walkin'

Sabra and I attended the annual party for West Branch Communications, the company that publishes this newspaper as well as eight other weekly rags.
I use the word “rag” affectionately. Publisher Jake Krob has done an excellent job of keeping the editorial quality up and the bottom line black on all of his endeavors. This is not an easy task. The editions and mastheads in the archives are proof. Many people have tried and failed at threading all the needles it takes to keep a small community newspaper afloat. Few make it but Krob is one that did.

The perfect vacation

Food For Thought

About this time every year, several of my friends start deserting me and take off for places with kindlier climates. Florida and Arizona seem to be the more popular destinations, with California the choice for some who’ve either lived there in the past or who have relatives there now. Apparently it takes stronger ties to lure people that far from home. Being the unenthusiastic traveler I am, I stay home and wait for them to come back.

A day in Trumpland

Walkin'

It’s Tuesday night and the national news is on television.
In the past 24 hours, President Donald Trump has:
• Pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While not everyone agrees that the trade agreement helps the U.S. economically, almost everyone agrees the TPP includes the most robust enforceable environment commitments of any trade agreement in history. It also prohibits exploitative child labor and forced labor.

Pack-rat disease

Food For Thought

My house, built in 1971, was built for a family of six, including three lively boys who were fast accumulating piles of sports equipment, musical instruments and tools. Their little sister, having always been determined to keep up with her brothers, added a number of girl-things to her own collection of sports equipment, musical instruments and tools. They all rode horses, liked to hunt and fish, and acquired a variety of pets over the years, including, aside from horses; reptiles, rodents, felines, canines, fish, birds, crustaceans, and a few unidentified critters.