•  I sat down to the evening news. That’s not always the best thing to do if you want to unwind for the day, which was my intent. 

  •  The days are shorter and colder making the holiday season a perfect time to snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie, if you are lucky enough to find the time to do so.

  •  I was saddened to learn last week of the passing of former Sheriff Carl Meece. I had the pleasure of talking with him several times during the last five years.

    Although I hardly knew him, I’d heard and read enough stories about his two decades of service as a law enforcement officer to know that he was a lawman’s lawman.

    The man is a legend and as his good friend Tommy Weddle told me, the stories from Carl’s law enforcement days will probably be retold 100 years from now.

  •  I love food. I love everything from pinto beans and cornbread to haute cuisine. Besides American food I love Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Thai, and other regional cuisines that I have tried.

    Whoa! Let’s back up a little. There are some foods that will never be found in my kitchen. There are some foods I hate so much that I would rather starve than eat them. 

  •  In my columns I have discussed sports, historical events, and other casual topics, so I guess it’s about time to discuss the weather.

    The radio stations have been playing Christmas music for almost a month now and I find myself attracted to songs such as “Winter Wonderland,” “Let It Snow,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside (the Dean Martin version of course),” and “Sleigh Ride.”

  •  Is it just me, or have we skipped Thanksgiving in order to go straight to the Christmas season?

    By Christmas season, I don’t mean the celebration of Christ’s birth, the season of good cheer, family, caroling, Yule logs, and all that.

    I’m referring to the CHRISTMAS SHOPPING SEASON.

    Now, I want our merchants to do well and I hope that this holiday season will be a good one for them.

  •  On Sunday, Jimmie Johnson celebrated his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in Homestead, Fla., hoisting the trophy as confetti fell from the sky, which has become an all too familiar sight over the past decade. No longer will he be known as “five-time,” he now has a six pack.  

  •  I have heard this saying most of my life and Baptist church members like to quote it when a preacher or someone else in the church proposes a new way of doing something in the church or community.

    While I understand that we traditionally are creatures of habit accustomed to doing things the same old way, the world is changing and we need to adapt, especially to things that will make life better.

    My wife and I served in west Africa alongside an agricultural missionary who wanted to help local farmers increase their grain yields.

  •  Nov. 22 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It was one of those days that everyone who was alive and old enough will remember their whole lives and they will also remember where they were when they heard the news.

  •  This week we celebrated Veterans Day to pay tribute to the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. However, there are numerous other memorials held throughout the year for equally brave and courageous people whose actions are just as worthy of commemorating. These services may not be televised or have a special day on the calendar, but they happen just the same. A memorial service takes place every Nov. 10 in a city in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

  •  The recent typhoon which struck the Philippines, leaving 600,000 people displaced and killing about 10,000 others, should certainly give us pause to reflect upon our many blessings. It should also motivate us to help Filipinos financially through an international aid agency such as the Philippine Red Cross.

    And our prayers should certainly undergird the family of Debbie Cooper, who died on Monday from injuries she received in a house fire on Friday. May God bless and comfort that family and friends during this time.

  • Are you a pumpkin pie lover? I used to be when Mom made them. When was the last time you had a really good pumpkin pie? I haven’t had one since before Mom left us.

  • “Tonight We are young
    — Fun.
    It’s 7 a.m. on any given weekday, and the regular crowd shuffles in. No one asks where to sit; it’s been settled by habit over the years.
    I’m at the retirement facility in Lubbock, Texas, where my mom and dad live. And on this day, I join my dad’s breakfast bunch. This morning Dad, age 89, is undergoing a knee replacement while Mom, 92, waits in their apartment.

  • As a follower of all things news, I’m constantly scanning Internet headlines looking for interesting articles.
    One I ran across had to do with a preacher in Mississippi who has banned fried chicken from his church.
    Dr. Michael Minor, pastor of the Oak Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Hernando, has banned fried foods of any kind from the menu on church potluck dinners.
    While a steady diet of anything fried isn’t good for a body, I think fried foods can be enjoyed as an occasional treat.

  •  Last Wednesday, Oct. 23, I was driving home in Lincoln County (I’m a foreigner as one nice Casey Countian told me last week) and hit five o’clock rush hour traffic.  Four Amish horse buggies in a row were going up a steep hill and there was no option of passing once they started their ascent. 

  •  Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Julie Andrews sang that these were a few of her favorite things in “The Sound of Music.”

    I like some of those things, too, but if I had to sing about a few of my favorite things, the song wouldn’t rhyme. What rhymes with sweatshirt?

  •  My wife and I were privileged to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary last week in Hawaii.

    Having never visited the 50th state, I looked forward to warm tropical breezes and seeing the sites in this beautiful paradise.

    We landed in Honolulu on the island of Oahu after about 10 hours of flying time. Those airline seats are no treat but it’s the only way to get there.

  •  The government shutdown is over, thank goodness. I had a call from the mayor of Labascus, Roger Coffey, and he said they never had a local government shutdown there. 

    “We had to cut back a little on the farm subsidies, but we were still giving out food stamps,” he said.

    I haven’t checked with the mayor of Yosemite, Dennie Johnson, but things seemed to be perking right along there. 

  •  I arrived before daybreak at the Abby of Gethsemani, unaware that the day I had chosen as a personal day of prayer and reflection happened to be the Feast Day for St. Francis of Assisi, and for me that made the day all the more special, for St. Francis is one of my favorite religious persons in all of history. His decision to seek simplicity, walk the pathway of peace, love animals and respect nature has been an abiding source of inspiration to me.

  • It was a war! There was a sound like several machine guns. Rat-a-tat-tat, rat-a-tat-tat! Then there was the boom of mortars. Bang, crash, bang! Run for the hills, hide under the bed, call the sheriff! It’s a terrorist attack!