The Heat Is On

After a recent meeting, a coworker mentioned that she and her family had bought a new home. Actually, it was new to them, but it was built in 1963 in what was then and is still now one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods.

What seemed like a typical workplace side conversation took a very positive turn when she mentioned that the appliances were all original. And they still worked.

No doubt, I’m a sucker for vintage anything, but I’ve always been ...

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Ohm Improvement

I remember when VCRs came out. It seemed that no one over the age of 27 knew how to stop the clock from flashing 12:00.

It was such a simple fix that I never understood why the adults couldn’t figure it out. Even after I showed them how to fix the clock, they still couldn’t grasp it.

The same was true for programming the thing to record Columbo, The Andy Griffith Show, or any of the other programs that grownups couldn’t live ...

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A Magazine Issue

I have a hard time getting rid of magazines.

I know that I could remove my name and address and donate them to a library or a hospital, but I just know that one day I’ll want to dig one back out to reread something.

Even though I’ve never done that.

My piles of Mother Earth News, Countryside & Small Stock Journal, Smithsonian, Cooks Country, and Guns & Ammo, are growing ever larger.

But magazines are dwindling in number, and many of the best ...

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Cutting Out

If I ever find a bottle with a genie in it, I’m using all three wishes to have someone else mow my yard.

I know, you’re thinking that I should use one of my three wishes for a permanent genie lawn boy and the other two for a winning lottery ticket and TV news with no arguing. But, I’m fairly certain that even an eternal genie would tire of mowing my yard. It’s fairly large.

When I was a kid, I couldn’t ...

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The Canning Jar Quest

Forty-five years ago, my mother began collecting a series of antique canning jars. I can’t remember why this happened, but my best guess is that she came across one that was unique, she liked it, and she bought it.

This purchase would start a chain reaction and a multi-year search for my family.

Specifically, she sought green Atlas jars with glass lids. These were also known as “Lightning Jars.” Allegedly, the name came from how much faster they were to open than ...

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Diners, Drive-Ins and Memories

Chain restaurants are rapidly replacing what I believe has been one of the best facets of small town America: the local diner or restaurant.

Unexpectedly and unannounced, the drive-in in our small town closed last week. In fairness, it was a Sonic, which technically is a chain restaurant, but it wasn’t a corporate location, it was locally owned.

Whenever we lose an eatery that was owned by someone who lives in our town, we lose a little bit of who we are.

After ...

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Kids and Christmas

Santa came to our house on Christmas Eve, before we went to bed. Some of my friends had to go to bed before Santa would come. Their gifts would be under the tree when they woke up.

Not me. I didn’t have to wait. My grandmother would take us for a Christmas Eve ride in the station wagon to look for Rudolph’s glowing nose in the sky.

All of the local radio stations would give Santa sighting reports. The North American Aerospace ...

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Picturing Grace

When I was a child, there was a painting that hung on my grandmother’s kitchen wall. It portrayed a man who was praying over a meal of bread and what appeared to be a bowl of soup. Near the man was a book, which I always assumed was a Bible, and a pair of spectacles.

From my earliest recollections until my dad’s mother passed, I remember looking at this painting while we ate in her home and wondering many things. Who ...

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The Fall Guy

Hands down, fall is my favorite time of year. I just wish that fall lasted a little longer in Texas.

Had I been born and raised in a different climate, this might not be the case. But, growing up in the south, the fall won my appreciation at a young age.

For those who are reading this and are sitting in a geographical location that is visited by four equal seasons every year, pat yourself on the back and say, “I am ...

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Candy, Man

Wanna hear something really scary? If the estimates are correct, you’ll drop an average of $74 bucks for Halloween.

$6.9 billion. That was Fortune Magazine’s estimate in 2015 for the total amount Americans spent on Halloween. That included candy, costumes, and decorations. This year likely will be close to the same totals.

So, why do we celebrate Halloween? What makes us shell out hard-earned cash for large quantities of candy and dress up like ghoulish figures and politicians? Please forgive my redundancy.

According ...

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