The Norm

For someone named Norm, he was anything but.

Norman Rockwell was my favorite artist even before I had any idea who he was. From a young age, I recognized his work as easily as I knew a sparrow when I saw one.

The phrase, “An American Treasure” has been used to the point of dilution, but if the phrase was ever applicable, it was absolutely the right label for Norman Rockwell.

He was and still is, an American treasure.

If you aren’t familiar with ...

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Going Out On A Limb

When we moved into our house several years ago, it was during the month of June. A scruffy tree with small green leaves was blocking our view of the pond. I said I was going to cut it down.

Glad I got busy and didn’t. When it bloomed, it turned out to be the prettiest, largest, and oldest dogwood either of us has ever seen.

A tree is a lot like life. It starts out small. Once a root system is established, ...

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Dream On

I’m fairly certain my dreams have a drug dealer.

What is it with dreams? Sleep is supposed to be an 8-hour window (mine’s never that long) when we rest, regenerate, and arise feeling as refreshed as the person in the Folger’s commercial who throws back the covers and stretches with a smile before jumping out of bed and heading to the kitchen to commence guzzling a gallon of java.

But it’s impossible for me to feel that good or do morning gymnastics ...

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They’ve Got Our Numbers

(photo credit: Smithsonian Institution www.postalmuseum.si.edu)

 

I’m old enough to remember needing to dial only four numbers to call someone. And when Zip Codes weren’t necessary.

Today, everyone requires numbers for everything we do.

Everything.

I’m actually old enough to remember not having a phone at all. I think I was in third grade when dad finally agreed to get one. Once it was installed, it seemed to be something we couldn’t live without.

But before it was put in, we seemed to do just fine. ...

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‘Nana Puddin’

If you grew up in the south, you could tell what your momma was about to make based on the bowl or casserole dish she had sitting on the kitchen counter.

You knew it was meatloaf if it was the long and tall metal pan. If it was a deep cast iron skillet, it was either going to be fried chicken or chicken potpie.

But, if we saw the big, swirly, green glass bowl, we knew were going to have banana pudding. ...

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Taking The Fall

They call them seasons. I think that’s because each adds a specific type of sensory spice to that quarter of the year.

Summer should actually be called, “Simmer.” Winter should be called, “Chiller.” Spring is appropriately named since nature goes from dormant to an awakening that springs flowers into the air and pollen into our nostrils.

All things considered, fall is my favorite. Fall doesn’t seem to want anything from us. It just asks the waiter for the check and heads back ...

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Just One More Thing, Sir

Photo Credit: columbophile.files.wordpress.com

 

Columbo is the best TV detective America has ever had.

That, of course, is my opinion, but I’m willing to speak on behalf of everyone else because I believe that I’m correct.

The Brits have Agatha Christie’s Poirot, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.

But I argue that America’s Columbo is far superior.

Peter Falk, of whom I do a pretty spot on impersonation if I do say so myself, (which you can hear if you listen to my podcast version ...

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Write Now

I was in my 50s when I started my writing career. When most people were enjoying their newfound discounts at Denny’s and Cracker Barrel and planning for retirement, I was reinventing myself.

And I have my father to thank for this.

I speak at a lot of events in Texas, Arkansas, and other places they’ll have me. Civic organizations, corporate events, and other groups are always looking for speakers, and their invitations give me a chance to share the story of how ...

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The Scales of Just Us

“Like many pals, Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg could have a pretty good argument now and then, but not let it affect their close friendship.” – NPR’s All Things Considered. February 15, 2016

 

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. As I write this, I’ve just heard the news. As you read this, some days have passed; but the impact of her departure is almost certainly still being assessed.

One of Justice Ginsburg’s best friends preceded her in death – her ...

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It’s A Sign

Do signs really change anyone’s mind?

We must think that they do. We buy and put out a lot of them.

Some signs are intended to sway your way of thinking, while others are meant to be funny.

Sometimes, they’re meant to be the former, but wind up also being the latter. In other words, the intended message gets lost and winds up being amusing.

For example, when I was driving past the lake, I saw 59 Trump signs; 1 Biden sign; and 12 ...

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