• Enjoy a vacation making memories

    In a jet black Plymouth Fury, built before air conditioning or seat belts were standard equipment, the vacation of a lifetime began.

    The massive vehicle would accommodate four adults, three children and a baby on a trip to California to meet Mickey Mouse. At 8, I was the oldest of that pack of kids.

    Disneyland was a novel concept in America, a new idea that became known as a theme park.

    In our household, summer vacation was a novel concept. It came about thanks to the prosperity offered by my father's first factory job.

  • Listening to Dad

    I still call my dad most every morning. While I'm driving to work, he's slowly but surely making his way to breakfast in the retirement facility where Dad and Mom now live.

    I sometimes have difficulty communicating on the phone with Dad since his hearing is not what it used to be. Dad just turned 89. So, I was encouraged when Dad told me he was getting new hearing aids. I thought that would make our conversations easier.

    "I just got my new hearing aids," he proudly announced one morning not long ago.

  • Doing your best during adversity

    Recently, I came home from work one day and felt a sharp pain in my stomach. It was a familiar pain, one that has occurred eight times over the past 17 years. Each time, I was hospitalized for a number of days until the blockage dissolved.

    But this time would be different and much more challenging. This time I needed surgery. The surgery went well, but the recovery time was lengthy and unexpected. Bad things happen at the most inconvenient times.

  • If you see something, say something

    At a recent Homeland Security meeting, I heard about the "If you see something, say something" campaign. The initiative was created to encourage people to report suspicious activity in their community.

    The "See Something, Say Something" campaign was developed to address terrorism happening in our country. While it's hard for me to imagine that there could be terroristic activity going on around here, I understand that it's not outside the realm of possibility.

    The advice given by this initiative should be considered by everyone.

  • Community battles drug addiction


    It happened nearly a month ago, but the message has stayed with me ever since.

    I attended a Town Hall Forum earlier this month, featuring a speaker I thought was sure to not leave a dry eye in the house.

    The forum addressed something that many people don't like to talk about - drug abuse and what it does to a family.

    I have found the topic makes some uneasy, as if they don't want to realize it's a problem everywhere, even in small towns like Campbellsville.

  • The well on the old farm

    Recently my son bought a small farm that has an old well pump in the front yard.

    In looking at it the other day, it brought back memories of my childhood when most farm families had a water pump in their yard, along with a tin drinking cup that hung from the side. It suited us just fine, though, especially on summer days when hard work in the blazing sun seemed to bake every drop of liquid out of you. In fact, I've never tasted anything sweeter than the cool, clear water we pumped by hand from deep under ground.

  • God in the storm

    I grew up in Tornado Alley. Tornadoes were more of an event I enjoyed than a threat I feared, so invincible did I think I was as a child and teenager.

    As we gathered in the Shively's storm shelter with other neighbors, I rather enjoyed the social gathering and naively hoped the twister would somehow be bad enough to cancel school but not destructive enough to hurt anyone.

    Questions of why, an inevitable response to suffering, weren't in my purview, at least not then.

  • How I became a tree hugger

    "What are you doing, Dad?" my son asked when he called me on his cell phone.

    I was sitting on our back patio, admiring the work I'd done, having just planted the first third of my garden with the non-genetically modified seeds I had oh-so carefully selected. I wanted to come as close as I could to having an organic garden.

    Then just as I as I leaned back to relax, I stood up straight, squinting at the tractor spraying the field behind my house. It was coming closer and closer to my garden.

  • Stay safe Memorial Day weekend

    Tomorrow is the beginning of a much-anticipated three-day weekend, thanks to Monday being Memorial Day.

    A day set aside for honoring those loved ones who are no longer with us, Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial beginning of summer.

    While many of us will experience some sadness this weekend as we place lovely flower arrangements on the tombstones of our loved ones and listen quietly as the names of people who died in the last year are read in church, we also look forward to spending time with our families and having some fun in the sun.

  • What Mama said ... and what she didn't

    Growing up, my mother was like a lighthouse to me. Her light was always on, a beacon guiding me through the daily adventures and bumps and bruises of childhood and adolescence. At the end of the day, she was always there, welcoming me to the safe harbor that was my home.

    Years later, when I left home for other places, and the home lights were but a distant flicker, I would remind myself of Mom’s words. And often, they would light my path.