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Opinion

  • My latest walk in the woods began just outside Kent, a small town in Connecticut.

    After about 15 minutes on the Appalachian Trail an unpleasant reality set in. I had either underestimated the degree of difficulty the mountains of the Nutmeg state would present, or had overestimated my degree of fitness.

    The answer probably lies somewhere between the two possibilities.

  • Kudos to the Lawrenceburg City Council for listening to business owners and tabling the idea of requiring them to submit a federal tax return to purchase an occupational license.

  • Well, we're on our way to getting our average 3 1/2 inches of rain in June. I only hope the rest of it comes without the wind damage. The rain did save my crops and I know I wasn't alone. The long, dry spells do have their benefits. We can plant more.

    Now is the time to start seeds for the fall garden. Pumpkins, cabbage and cale crops can be planted from seed to give you more food for the pantry this winter. It's also time to pinch back mums, coleus and impatiens. If that's not enough to keep you off the streets, I've got more.

  • I don't think I've ever wanted a group of living things to die so much in my life.

    OK, so that's a little harsh, but I can't stand those darn cicadas.

    I don't like bugs at all, really. Bees and wasps are my biggest fear and I'm not even allergic to them. I'm trying to make sure we take special precautions (even if it means paying extra) to make sure no guests of the insect variety show up at my outdoor wedding. I know it's outside so it will be pretty impossible to keep them all away, but I tell myself they won't show up because they're not invited.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • I don't remember exactly when I first visited an army surplus store, but I do remember where it was located and what I purchased. It was an old knapsack, the ones that were prevalent in the first couple of decades after WWII and the Korean War ended.

  • Graduation was this weekend for Anderson County High School, and I think this time of year can get anybody reminiscing about high school. For some it was torture, and for others it was a time of glory. Either way, everybody drew their own experience and can offer different advice to graduates.

  • This summer many Kentuckians will receive a check from the federal government as part of an effort to stimulate the national economy.

    Before these checks arrive, think about what will be the best use of this money for you and your family. Spending the money on vacations or new items for your family may not be the best choice.

    If you have credit card or other debt, paying down that would be a better use of the income for your own economic future.

  • As I read about the natural disasters that occurred recently in the Far East, I'm once again reminded of how fortunate I am to be an American.

    Living in the safety of a country that does a pretty good job of protecting most of its citizens most of the time, it's almost impossible to fathom the amount of death and destruction visited upon China two weeks ago and upon Myanmar a week earlier.

  • The e-mail included information about "Mad Stones," so I naturally thought someone wanted to let me know that Mick Jagger and his aging bandmates were in some sort of a snit.

    Thankfully, the message was remarkably more interesting than that.

    Mad stones, it turns out, have ties back to the days of Cleopatra as a means of curing bites from poisonous spiders and snakes. In America, they have a rich Southern history as a remedy for people bitten by rabid dogs.

  • Friday after work, I was really hungry.

    I had a fairly early lunch and couldn't wait to meet up with my mother for dinner. I don't think I'd ever been so excited about hospital food in my life.

    Yep, I said hospital food and excited in the same sentence.

    You see, my dad had a partial knee replacement surgery last week in Danville, so I was on my way to the hospital to check on him and provide a little company to my mom.

  • I can't report that we have solved the mysterious noise behind the car wash, but we are getting closer.

    To recap, I used last week's column to ask readers to help figure out what's keeping awake at night a woman who lives in the subdivision behind The Soap Factory, located off the southbound lane of U.S. 127 Bypass.

    She called a couple weeks ago asking for my help to determine what is making the loud steel-on-steel slamming sound which begins around 3:30 a.m. several times each week.

  • Several months ago, I made one of those promises that sound good at the time, but sound less promising when called upon to follow through. Saturday, I was called upon and had to follow through.

    The promise was made to my only grandchild and absolute favorite person, Anna Cason, after we watched "Dumbo," the Disney classic about a baby elephant with huge ears. As the movie concluded, Anna said, "I've never been to a circus. I hope I get to go sometime."