National Library Week was “Eclipsed” today

Clouds rolled in just as the partial eclipse began in North Carolina. But they held a silver lining. I sat in the yard, felt the temperature drop, and listened to the birds (and a few crickets) as they reacted to the diminished daylight. The cloud cover waxed and waned, obscuring the sun to varying degrees. At a certain point between blinding and invisible, I stole a few quick glances and observed the phenomenon without safety glasses. Foolish, I know, but at my age I take a few risks. It was amazing. Still, I’m glad I witnessed totality during the 2017 eclipse, shown here in my picture as it passed over Nebraska.

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Epic Poetry Isn’t My Bag . . .

I’ve been trying to round out my reading list with several of the “classics” that I somehow passed over during my school years. Most of the books have been wonderful reads, but this one was tough. I checked out Homer’s Iliad from the library, and it took me two full weeks to wade through it.

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Now or Never: Hot Off the Press and on Podcast

One of my stories about my adventures as a newspaper correspondent appears in Now or Never, Randell Jones’ latest Personal Story Publishing Project anthology. Fit To Be Tied chronicles a reporter’s escapade involving frigid temperatures, ice climbers on a sheer cliff high above wickedly sharp rocks, and a patient park ranger.

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Has print journalism’s decline contributed to a drop in civic engagement?

Over the past couple of decades, I’ve noticed that citizen participation in everyday local government affairs appears to have declined. This seems to have intensified in recent years as partisanship and political posturing have increased. I find this both sad and alarming because I think now, more than ever, it is important for regular citizens to keep abreast of current events in our communities. “Knowledge is power” may be a cliché, but I believe it is true.

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Spring is Springing

The strawberries arrived this week, yum! Every year the local elementary school sells them as a fundraiser. It’s my unofficial start of spring. They bring me cheer—and endless possibilities. Those red jewels liven up the dreariest of breakfasts, add sweetness and color to salads and desserts, and generally just make me a happy camper. I even sliced some and flash-froze them for out-of-season enjoyment.

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April 2024

National Library Week was “Eclipsed” today

Clouds rolled in just as the partial eclipse began in North Carolina. But they held a silver lining. I sat in the yard, felt the temperature drop, and listened to the birds (and a few crickets) as they reacted to the diminished daylight. The cloud cover waxed and waned, obscuring the sun to varying degrees. At a certain point between blinding and invisible, I stole a few quick glances and observed the phenomenon without safety glasses. Foolish, I know, but at my age I take a few risks. It was amazing. Still, I’m glad I witnessed totality during the 2017 eclipse, shown here in my picture as it passed over Nebraska.

Read more »

Epic Poetry Isn’t My Bag . . .

I’ve been trying to round out my reading list with several of the “classics” that I somehow passed over during my school years. Most of the books have been wonderful reads, but this one was tough. I checked out Homer’s Iliad from the library, and it took me two full weeks to wade through it.

Read more »
March 2024

Now or Never: Hot Off the Press and on Podcast

One of my stories about my adventures as a newspaper correspondent appears in Now or Never, Randell Jones’ latest Personal Story Publishing Project anthology. Fit To Be Tied chronicles a reporter’s escapade involving frigid temperatures, ice climbers on a sheer cliff high above wickedly sharp rocks, and a patient park ranger.

Read more »

Has print journalism’s decline contributed to a drop in civic engagement?

Over the past couple of decades, I’ve noticed that citizen participation in everyday local government affairs appears to have declined. This seems to have intensified in recent years as partisanship and political posturing have increased. I find this both sad and alarming because I think now, more than ever, it is important for regular citizens to keep abreast of current events in our communities. “Knowledge is power” may be a cliché, but I believe it is true.

Read more »

Spring is Springing

The strawberries arrived this week, yum! Every year the local elementary school sells them as a fundraiser. It’s my unofficial start of spring. They bring me cheer—and endless possibilities. Those red jewels liven up the dreariest of breakfasts, add sweetness and color to salads and desserts, and generally just make me a happy camper. I even sliced some and flash-froze them for out-of-season enjoyment.

Read more »
February 2024

Influencers, Part 3: Teachers

Teachers, both traditional and non-traditional, rank just after family and elders on my list of people who have most influenced me. These folks opened up new horizons and introduced me to the wider world beyond my home.

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January 2024

Influencers, Part 2: Kindred—But Not Kin

Some family members aren’t related by blood, but they’ve had a tremendous influence on my life. These elders were mentors who lifted me, steadied me, pointed me in the right direction, and stuck with me for the long haul.

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Paper, Ink, and Letterpress

I just finished watching a great documentary about the amazing survival of ancient letterpress printing into the 21st century. Pressing On (Bayonet Media 2017) blends the incredible history of the technological revolution that in the mid-1400s catapulted printing from laborious hand transcriptions to the first mass production of the printed word.

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To Everything There is a Season

The other night I finished reading Neil Howe’s book, The Fourth Turning Is Here: What the Seasons of History Tell Us About How and When This Crisis Will End (Simon & Schuster 2023). What an “aha!” moment! 

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Influencers - Part 1: Family

Recently, I read an article about social media influencers, as if that’s new. The social media part may be new, but influencers have always been with us. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what (and who) has contributed to my becoming the person I am today. Every place I’ve lived is part of me, and everyone with whom I’ve developed any kind of relationship has affected me. Just for fun, I made a list of my most powerful interactions: the people and places that have shaped me.

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December 2023

2023: My Year in Books

This year I finished a record (for me) of forty-three books. The list includes nonfiction (always my favorite), fiction, poetry, memoir, and—for the first time—a sampling of banned books (eight of them). I wanted to see what all of the fuss is about. After reading them, I didn’t understand why most of them had been banned. Only one truly shocked me, and it was one that received a Nobel Prize. Although I did not like that particular tome, I’ll vigorously defend our right to read it. Wishing each and every one of you a new year full of good reading.

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Peace on Earth

The wind blew hard here in the southern Appalachian Mountains today. It rained off and on. We needed the moisture, but maybe not the downed trees and branches. It’s like so many contradictions in our world: “Yes, but . . .”

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Lessons from a Christmas Tree

I've been a bit lax about blogging this month. This little Jane Lee Logan drawing reminds me that it's okay. I hope you all are having a good December. I'll be back in the saddle soon.

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November 2023

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