Wednesday, July 30, 2014
     

Columns

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The calendar says spring is here. It's time to leave behind the winter of my discontent.

And what a long one it's been.

This is the first time I've seen winter span five months. It began in November with bitter cold air and lasted until now.

Homes sustained roof damage from ice buildup. Some homeowners complained of interior water damage. On top of that, home heating costs have skyrocketed.

Plus, there were more icy roads and chain-reaction traffic accidents this winter than any time in recent memory.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

At 12:41 a.m. on Saturday, March 8, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 took off bound for Beijing on a routine red-eye flight. In less than seven hours, the routine flight became the latest transportation mystery to captivate the world after the flight's transponders were shut down and the plane apparently kept flying for several hours before becoming totally lost to satellites and ground radar.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I have a good friend who is really into astrology. He has spent decades studying it and is a disciple of using astrology to help shape his life.

Now let me say up front that I consider this friend to be intellectually well grounded and one of the most financially astute people I've ever met. I respect his opinion so much that I tend to seriously consider what he says.

He was nice enough to do an in-depth astrological chart for me. That includes a reading of the planets at the time I was born and an analysis of how that shapes my personality and preferences.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

There are four seasons to a year, but there are also many more, defined by sights, smells and sounds instead of a calendar. There are the seasons of woodstove smoke, wild onions, raining yellow leaves, geese calling at dawn and dusk, construction crew hammers, burgers on a grill, lawnmowers, and the sizzle of soft snow.

And the sound of a baseball against a bat.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My granddaughter was diagnosed around 6 months of age as having optic nerve hypoplasia.

While the condition can come with many symptoms and problems, the most obvious was the inability for her to control the movement of her one eye.

To look at her, it always appeared that her right eye was looking to her far right.

The condition was even more prominent when she became tired almost concealing her iris and pupil in its entirety.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

For seven weeks, I counted the days until March 3.

Every night before I fell asleep, I counted how many days I had left until I could get out of prison.

"Prison," in my case, was using a wheelchair and walker and not being able to bend past my waist. That meant if anything fell on the floor, and it often did, I couldn't even pick it up. Nor could I put on my own socks or bedroom slippers.

This fiercely independent person was reduced to someone who needed a lot of help.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

If you have ever seen a live magic performance, perhaps at a birthday party, on a stage or close-up in a restaurant by a skilled performer, it should have created a sense of wonder or awe. After all, that is the purpose of magic to create a sense of astonishment in the minds of those watching the magician seemingly bend the laws of nature to his or her will.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Boy! Have I got good news for those of us growing older.

Thanks to Dr. Michael Ramscar of the University of Tuebingen in Germany and his research team, we old-timers are not nuts. Nor do we all have the start of Alzheimer's.

Whew. I gotta tell you, I had been a'feared.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A few years ago I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes.

A high blood pressure diagnosis soon followed.

At first I was on one pill to control my sugar; however after a couple of years, an additional medication was introduced.

I had periods of time where I dieted and exercised, but I always became so frustrated when I would never see a reduction on the scale and would manage somehow to experience some type of injury. Every. Single. Time.

First it was my arm.

I went through physical therapy as prescribed, but to this day, it still isn't right.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

One of my favorite movies is "Field of Dreams."

It's not because of baseball and not because of Kevin Costner, though that doesn't hurt.

No, it's because of the famous phrase by the deep-voiced James Earl Jones.

"If you build it, they will come."

The "it" in the case of the Gougers is bird feeders and "they" are songbirds of every variety.

My mother introduced me to birdwatching. When she died in 1991, I inherited all her bird books, including my favorite, "A Golden Guide to Field Identification Birds of North America."