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Today's Opinions

  • Text messages bring down the quality of conversation

    I think I recently contracted a case of acute text message syndrome. My fingers ache, I ignore my surroundings to finish a message and I will have whole conversations without actually speaking.

    Alright, you probably know this isn't a real disease. But it might as well be an epidemic sweeping America. People complain about teenagers texting all the time, but I actually received a text from my mother the other day.

  • Hi-tech desert hiking

    I occasionally receive books or articles about hiking, backpacking and river rafting from friends and relatives who are aware of my passion for those activities.

    My brother, who is the very antithesis of an outdoorsman (he believes the great outdoors is the space between the car door and the house door,) recently forwarded a story about Dan Neil's solo sojourn in a desert park west of Los Angeles.

    Neil, a Los Angeles Times staff writer, recently embarked on what was intended to be a 75-mile springtime hike through Joshua Tree National Park.

  • Two examples of life well lived

    The loss of Harold Ritchey and now W.J. Smith leaves a void in Anderson County that will likely never be filled.

    Ritchey, the longtime county clerk, and Smith, a walking encyclopedia of local history and former postmaster, were two shining examples of what life in a small town is about.

    Simply put, they cared about their hometown and the people who live there.

    Ritchey, the affable clerk seen jogging or walking around town morning, noon and night, passed away last Monday after collapsing while jogging on Broadway.

  • Embracing domestic roles can still be a part of feminism

    I will never forget the first time I watched Sen. Hillary Clinton in a debate. When a comment was made about politics being a "boys club," Clinton spoke up and said something to the extent of, "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. And I am very comfortable in the kitchen."

  • A purr-fect homecoming for a furry friend

    He'd been sitting under that desk for hours - basically since he got home ... well, to his new home.

    He was scared and in an unfamiliar place, so he felt safest curled up in that corner. But he couldn't stay there forever.

    So I did what any loving mother would do. I got under there with him. I smiled, rubbed his arm and told him everything was fine.

    And then, the most amazing thing happened.

    He started to purr and put his little paw on top of my hand. Izzy Sebastian Canterbury Mason had finally come home.

    OK, now that you think I'm crazy, I'll explain.

  • This company even misery can't stand

    When God stirred the dust and created Adam back in the day, life was the result.

    With life comes countless miracles and miseries, apparently all part of God's grand design and that which keeps us all - believers and non-believers alike - searching for its meaning.

    My limited linear brain until recently tended to separate miracles and miseries into distinct categories. When my kids were born: miracles. When a loved one dies or suffers: tragedies.

  • A modern Civil War

    My one sibling, Jeff, and I seldom agree about anything. It has always been that way between the two of us.

    I'm three years older and have always been larger and stronger than him. As many big brothers are wont to do, I'm embarrassed to admit that I bullied him a time or two or more.

  • School just ended, but please hurry back

    Friday was the last day of school in the Anderson County school system, and as it was such, my esteemed comrade, Katie, and I were given the task of talking to some elementary students to find out their summer plans.

    We headed off to Saffell and Turner, because I knew I'd be at Ward later in the day. At both schools we of course stopped by the office to sign in and let it be known what our plans were while we were there.

    At each school we were greeted with the same response: a warm, welcoming hello, a let-me-check-with-the-principal and a sure, go right ahead.