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If your grown children ask what you want for Christmas this year, don’t bother telling them. Sure, you have plenty of suggestions of gadgets and gizmos you would never buy yourself but would l…

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Once upon a Thanksgiving I spent the morning with my Dad making his favorite fudge while we munched on celery and cream cheese — a tradition started years ago by Granny.

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He was a black-and-white wonder; a marvel of manhood. With the vigor of a lumberjack, Jack LaLanne grinned and cajoled his way into the living rooms of women all over America in the '50s.

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“God, what will my life be like when I grow up?”

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Mom used to wake up early on Thanksgiving morning and begin preparing a meal that would feed the army of family still asleep beyond the kitchen.

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I just re-watched the old movie, "Panic Room." An independent, much-too-thin-to-have-ever-given-birth woman and her sassy, I-know-bad-words-wanna-hear-them daughter are trapped together in a r…

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I have been singing the praises of my husband a lot lately — well deserved ones with the hard work he's put in at our new place this last year and a half.

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Mom always had the perfect box ready and waiting. I’d climb onto the bed and under the covers, all sniffly and feverish, and wait for the sound of a serrated kitchen knife cutting through cardboard.

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Once again, I find myself pondering why I am so odd sometimes.

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Want to stay safe this Halloween? I’ve lived this long by following the rules I learned by watching horror movies.

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Here is something I have learned over time, and by that I mean in the last year or so, because my job is pretty public.

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I flashed my most vibrant "I’m about to be a grandma again!" smile. My cart was full of baby shower gifts and I only needed one more thing. I decided to search for a salesclerk.

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October is an object lesson from God. We may plod unwittingly through the other 11 months, tossing hours and minutes away like loose change from deep pockets. Our thoughts may run shallow; lif…

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We play a little game at our house. I’m sure you’ve played it, too. The only equipment you need is a TV. Two can play, provided they are over 50 and about the same age. This is an adult game.

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Step outside on a late September afternoon and you will hear the sounds of a million voices singing about life. It is at once raucous and soothing; rhythmic and staccato. Close your eyes and f…

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Waiting at the window, I arranged the blue ruffles on my brand new dress and flipped my hair around to look just right.

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When God created Mankind, he knew we’d need the basics. Food. Water. Shelter. He provided a lush garden to meet those needs. Then Adam took a nap, Eve was added to Eden, and Paradise was complete.

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When I was 7, my brother turned out all the lights, pretended to be a ghost, and chased me into the first-floor bathroom. I sat crying in the tiny room until a note flew under the door — a mes…

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I am a member of an exclusive group of humans. Though small in number — only 15% of the world’s population are members — we have infiltrated every arena of life and learned to adapt to the maj…

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Logan was about 5 years old when he walked into the kitchen one day, loudly wailing about something.

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Every morning before high school, a collective expletive could be heard in the air above my small hometown in the 1950s and early ’60s, as teen girls twisted and shouted themselves into their nylons.

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Upon moving into our temporary home while renovating our forever home, which we have now been in since April, I boxed up some precious family photos and documents and took them to my mother an…

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The moms of our own childhoods were not much different from us, but they DID have one important tool for child rearing that we in the 21st century have dropped. And sold. And thrown away.

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I recently learned that my brother-in-law Kent has been preaching regularly at a small church in southeast Missouri.

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The carnival’s back in town

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This month marks my one-year anniversary since I started working full time at the newspaper and it’s been a whirlwind of learning, growth and trying to figure out exactly where I fit into the …

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Glossy signs were tacked to electric poles all over town each July. The carnival was coming! The dusty, burnt grass and cracked parking lots of the city park was about to turn into a wonderlan…

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It was somewhere between 2009 and 2013 and I sat in the passenger seat with neighborhood scenes going frame by frame as we drove along our street.

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As crazy as it might sound, my hobby of photography — which I enjoyed for several years — helped me to develop a weather eye.

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If you are anything like me it is not uncommon to encounter items or situations that rekindle memories that you may not have thought of for quite some time.

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A house is not a home without a junk drawer. It’s the one place everybody in your house will sooner or later find themselves rummaging through, muttering frantic words, like: “I KNOW I saw it …

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We are officially country bumpkins, but looking back I have come to understand that we were always bumpkins — we’ve just added the country part.

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Do families have a designated deliverer of bad news? In the Henley clan such a person would be my sister, Jane.

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The steering wheel brands my palm with the searing heat of the summer sun. I breathe in oven-hot air and emit steaming curses while I wait for the car's air conditioner to start blowing cool. …