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Columns

  • Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays ... who cares?

    Every year about this time, great debates arise about keeping "Christ in Christmas" and whether it is proper for stores to use "Merry X-mas" or the more generic "Seasons Greetings" in advertising or for clerks to greet customers with "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

    I think we should be grateful for clerks who are polite enough to offer any greeting, much less pick apart how they say it. Friendly clerks are a blessing.

  • Unexpected Christmas gifts

    Christmas gifts come in a variety of packages, but the best ones come as surprises, off the cuff, bouncing off the wall, the where-did-it-come-from kind of surprises.

    My wife asked me the other day what special Christmas memories I had. No way, stressed as I was with getting ready for Christmas, could I think of any Christmas memories. But, Christmas gifts, like memories, most often come in unexpected ways.

    Don Hughes has cancer. That's why I know him. I visited him for the first time over a year ago.

  • A few of my favorite things

    I love to go to movie theaters. There's just something about seeing a movie on the big screen that is exciting to me. Surround sound speakers and larger-than-life picture make the stories seem so much more real than watching at home.

    I also love to read mysteries, crime dramas and real-life survivor and hero stories. You can escape to anywhere in a good book.

    And I love to listen to all genres of music, but my favorite is country. Give me anything by Sugarland, Keith Urban and Little Big Town, and I'm set.

  • Flip-flopping speed limits don't make sense

    It's quite a humbling experience to get caught doing something wrong in front of one's children. But about four years ago, that's just what happened.

    The kids and I were traveling home from a soccer game when blue lights flashed in my rearview window. I glanced down. Uh oh. While we were laughing and talking about the game, the speedometer needle had crept upwards without my realizing it.

    The kids were shocked: Mom was getting pulled over by a police officer.

    Of course, they laughed about it later, and they still won't let me forget it.

  • No one has to live in abuse

    Tammy's world was spinning out of control. (Tammy is not a real person, but many have lived in similar situations.) First, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Tammy lived closer to her mom than any of her brothers and sisters, and this meant Tammy transported Mom to chemo and radiation treatment.

    Second, Tammy had three children of her own who were in many different activities after school and on weekends. Though she was married, Tammy had no help in transporting and supervising the children.

  • No time left for double-checking

    I'm starting to get a little worried. OK, to be honest, I'm getting a lot worried. Christmas is just 22 days away, and I'm nowhere near ready for it.

    We do have the Christmas tree and a few decorations up. But Christmas cards haven't even been bought yet, let alone addressed or mailed. Barely half of the gifts have been purchased, and not the first one has been wrapped.

    I'm ashamed. Usually I'm much more prepared than this. I like being organized, with calendars and lists and such. But it just hasn't happened this year.

  • 'New Moon' doesn't disappoint 'Twihards'

    By the time these words hit newsprint, I'll have seen the movie three times.

    That's a pretty low number for me, actually, considering I saw the first one six times in various theaters and "Titanic" nearly 15 times.

    Yes, I know how that sounds, and I just really enjoy going to movie theaters.

    If you have read my columns before, you'll know I'm a "Twilight" fan. I loved the books, loved the first movie and can't wait to see the next ones.

  • Courthouse Square should have been packed Wednesday

    Wednesday's Veterans Day celebration was quite a ceremony. There were several guest speakers, an amazing performance by the Campbellsville Middle School choir and a flag ceremony.

    But something was missing.

    Including the 20-members-strong choir, I counted about 60 people. That's a nice crowd, but as Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers said, the Courthouse Square should have been overflowing with people there to pay due respect to the many local men and women who served our country.

  • 'When I am on that road I am in the heart of myself'

    The title? That's a quote from one of my favorite short stories - "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" by Stephen King. Re-reading that story, combined with something I saw at the side of the road brought back a few memories.

    It was a pair of tire tracks in the ditch beside the intersection of Old E'town Road and Phillips Lane. Someone did some fancy driving to avoid rear-ending another vehicle.

    And that reminded me of my dad.

  • Finally together again

    It has been nearly five months since she came home with me. And it has taken every bit of those five months for her to finally become part of the McKinney clan.

    I adopted a kitten in July that had crawled under a vehicle at the Taylor County Courthouse. That little dirty kitten meowed her way into my heart ... and now, hopefully, finally, into my other two cats' hearts as well.

    After deciding to adopt Jennie, she had to go the vet for a checkup. Bad news. She wasn't coming home for about 10 days. She had a contagious eye infection.