Just about each week I enjoy a long talk with a long-time friend during which he catches me up with whatâs going on in town and we reminisce about the good old days and, of course, conversate on how to fix whatâs wrong with the world.
We met in high school, first because I was attracted to his sister, but she felt she could do a lot better (grin,) and of course â she was right. But, our friendship was my introduction to the kids at Bauxite High School, who might as well as been from Mars before he and I started hanging out.
One topic that inevitable arises when baby boomers gather is how things were different when we were younger. Peppered throughout the conversation are the words "You can't let kids do that anymore." When my generation was younger, we played outside until it was way beyond dark. We came home from school and rode our bikes everywhere. We walked to town to buy candy at the Sterlings Store downtown. Every generation looks back. It's natural.
It's also a natural progression of society, unfortunately so.
My mother recently read me something she saw on Facebook. I believe it's worth sharing here in its entirety:
âDon't we all want a joy-filled life? Then let's get it. Life is too short not to, my friends. Strengthen up those struggle muscles (yes, we all have them) and get an emotional makeover. It is time to start clearing out the junk and stop tolerating the funk. You have done all you can do as long as you can, and it's time to give it all to God.
âHow? Stand up â¦ Kick the dirt â¦ Breathe in â¦ Pray â¦
On St. Patrick's Day, everyone is either Irish or an Irish wannabe. It's a time for parades, Irish dancing, parties and having fun.
As a Parnell (my maiden name), I can boast of Irish heritage and say unequivocally that I love all the traditions normally associated with St. Paddy's Day. (With one exception: I don't drink beer, green or otherwise, but I can sip on my Dr Pepper if someone else chooses to do so.)
There are signs of life in our economy, without a doubt. Unemployment is down, the stock market is riding an all-time high win streak, and the housing market is showing signs of sustained life. Weâre in an energy boom, and every day we hear stories of a few manufacturing jobs returning to the U.S. It is an uptick, to be sure.
Chances are your cell phone(s) and cellular-connected tablet computers are being held hostage. No, the criminal doesnât have a gun or hide in shadows waiting to reach out and snatch it (them). Believe it or not, itâs a so-called âpublic servantâ ( ha ha ha ha) paid with your tax dollars.
Just who is this vile person? Is it a member of Congress? No â¦ funny how that was your first guess.
Believe it or not, itâs the Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, who has held the office since Sept. 14, 1987! He is the 13th person to hold this august title.
Spring break will soon be upon us. Schools will empty and many homes will do the same as the annual trek to warmer climates takes place. A popular destination for Saline Countians is Florida. The surf. The sand. The sun. Paradise.
Or is it?
This year, travelers may encounter what is described as an aggressive mosquito. The scientific name for this so-called monster is Psorophora ciliata, but often goes by the name "gallinippers."
When I referred to them as a group, it was by the moniker "The Magnificent Seven."
This wasn't a band of American gunmen hired to protect a small agricultural village in Mexico from a group of marauding Mexican bandits. Indeed they bore no resemblance to Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, and Horst Buchholz, who portrayed the mighty seven in the movie that was actually a western-style remake based on Akira Kurosawa's 1954 Japanese film "Seven Samurai."
Congress is still putting on a circus regarding the sequester. Republicans are saying if we do not not have budget cuts this year, the whole U.S. economy will collapse because of the nationâs enormous indebtedness. The Democrats say economic recovery will be derailed and the automatic cuts of 8 percent for the Pentagon and 5 percent for other programs will compromise our nationâs defense.