Old School

I can still smell the aroma of the freshly opened box of crayons and two sharpened Husky pencils. The distinctive scent of Crayola Crayons and shaved wood just smelled like the beginning of education.

Noisily rifling through the rest of my school supplies, my mother’s voice rounded the corner from the kitchen and into my ears.

“Johnny, school doesn’t begin for another week. Don’t use your crayons and pencils up before you even start,” she said.

I was so ready to go to ...

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What’s Cooking?

In the summer of 1977, I was finally old enough to get my first job. My first real job, that is.

I mean the kind of job where you get a paycheck, instead of a wadded up fistful of $1 bills, like Mrs. Bone always handed me after I mowed her yard. (A yard that seemed endless and was filled with magnolia trees and plants I didn’t recognize.)

The kind of job where your pay came after withholdings, which awakened me to ...

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Husbands and Wives

The brains of men and women couldn’t be more different. I’m sure that by pairing the two, the Good Lord above has had lots of laughs.

It really makes you wonder how the thought patterns of husbands and wives ever find common ground.

Men primarily think of red meat, Three Stooges marathons, and cars.

Women think of everything else. All the time.

I believe this is why husbands can go to sleep seconds after their heads hit the pillow, and wives lie awake for ...

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Some Light Reading

As I drove to work, the first thing I noticed was the flashing yellow lights in the school zones weren’t blinking.

Official notification that summer is here.

As a kid in Ashdown, Arkansas, we didn’t have flashing yellow lights. We had one flashing light. It was red.

Located at the main intersection at Highways 71 and 32, that flashing red light was a symbol of who we were. Not every town qualified for a flashing red light, so when we stopped there, we ...

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Let It Slide

Remember when you’d visit family and they’d pull out the slide projector for the three-hour presentation of their trip to Carlsbad Caverns and Dodge City?

Now, I loved family vacations as much as the next kid. But, they were our family vacations, not someone else’s. And the vacations that included a three-hour presentation of your kinfolk donning swimsuits, tank tops, and tennis shoes, while smiling and standing in front of some tourist trap in New Mexico, was not how ...

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It’s Time to Heat

There are two culinary camps. Those who believe in spicy, and those who don’t.

This message is for those who don’t. I was taught long ago that preaching to the choir isn’t the best use of an argument. So, this message is for the ‘never-peppers’ crowd.

Other than ice cream, there isn’t much that I don’t put jalapeños on. I know that I just ended a sentence in a preposition, but good, spicy food will cause that.

I grew up in a home ...

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Cheesy Choices

What has happened to this great country? We once held high standards for ourselves. But no more.

I opened our refrigerator and what do I see?

Fake cheese. Actually, fake, fake cheese.

On the package, I read: “Imitation Process Cheese Food.”


Does this mean the process of the cheese food is fake, or processed cheese food is imitation and there’s a real version somewhere else for purchase?

Stay with me here.

On top of that, the package says it’s, “American Flavor.”

What exactly is American flavor? Honestly, ...

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Saving The Day

Planes used to be a means of travel for the rich. You’d see people in the movies or on TV flying first-class with five-course meals, champagne, cloth napkins, cocktails, and a nice restroom at the back of the plane.

Regular folks traveled by Buick with cans of Vienna Sausages, saltine crackers, and a tree off a state highway somewhere on the way to Carlsbad Caverns.

If we (the regular folks) were lucky, the car had air conditioning. Working air conditioning.

I’ve always had ...

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There It Is

I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to find something you’ve misplaced is to buy another one.

I don’t know what magical event occurs when you buy a replacement for that one thing you really need but can’t find, but it’s a real occurrence.

No? Then why do I have six measuring tapes? Two battery testers? Four lawnmower keys? Seven TV remotes?

It never fails. Whenever a measuring tape is needed, it’s nowhere to be found. I dig through the toolbox, ...

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Discounting The Past

It wasn’t my idea of a vacation, but I went anyway.

Reagan was happily in the White House. I was reluctantly in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The choice had been either a relaxing summer trip to the lake, or a marketing convention.

I lost the coin toss.

In an effort to make the best of it, I arose early before the first day of the convention, quietly dressed, and steered the Dodge out of the motel parking lot and into the morning.

I was searching for ...

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