Frozen In Time

Each time we have a significant weather event, it seems to turn into a contest for storytelling. Each person tries to top the current weather with a story of another one they lived through that was far worse.

But, during the winter storm that everyone in the state of Texas, and many or most in Arkansas, Louisiana, and other southern states stumbled through, I heard very few people trying to top what we were experiencing.

Phrases such as, “I don’t ever remember ...

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Something With A Ring To It

Most of us have a box or other container where we keep items we feel are important enough to carry with us throughout our lives. Mine is a cardboard box. It includes things that might not mean much to others, but do to me.

I call it my, “Life Box.”

I don’t see my life box very often. Most of the time, it sits on a shelf unless I’m looking for something that’s in it, I’m adding something to it, or we’re ...

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On A Tear

(Note: In a previous column, I requested recipes for homemade biscuits. Boy, did I get them. Thank you to everyone who shared their recipes. Some dated back over 100 years to great grandmothers, while others came from the packaging of flour bags. At the end of today’s column, I’ve included one that was particularly fascinating and tasty. ~ John)

(Today’s column on paper towels comes with a nod to Andy Rooney)

Do you ever wonder why they couldn’t just leave paper towels ...

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Wild Times

My father would load my sister and me into his ‘52 Chevy truck, and he’d steer down the gravel road leading to the homestead where my mom was raised.

The radio played Loretta Lynn and Faron Young as the wind whipped through the cab. Dad would shift the three-on-the-tree and the 6-cylinder hummed as we headed to our destination.

We were on our way to pick blackberries.

My mother’s parents raised their six children on a homestead in the unincorporated county community of Fomby, Arkansas.

It’s ...

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Rolling In The Dough

Please forgive me, for I have become biscuit backslidden.

I’ve become lazy.

If my grandmothers and great grandmothers were still here, they’d be ashamed. They’d send me out of the kitchen to the back yard to fetch a switch.

My entire family heritage was on the line, and I’ve failed.

I have committed the ultimate Southern sin.

I’m eating canned biscuits.

Not only am I eating canned biscuits, I’m eating them as if it’s OK to be eating canned biscuits. As if it’s normal. As if ...

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A Different Toon

Nixon was in the White House and Scooby Doo was on our school lunch boxes. It was 1969. For a kid, life was good.

Those of us in Mrs. Pauley’s second-grade class at Burke Street Elementary were fairly oblivious to the tumultuous time our country was experiencing, but we were completely aware of what was on Saturday morning television. And it was great.

But, a recent scan of the Saturday morning TV dial revealed a glaring omission. Cartoons.

I mean, real cartoons. Like ...

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Getting Into The Groove

One of neatest feelings of youth was saving up enough money to buy that next record you wanted.

Yes, I said record. Vinyl. It was a circular disc, which required a record player (or turntable – depending on how fancy you wanted to sound) to be able to hear your purchase.

If you had a dollar, you could purchase the latest hit 45-rpm single for .79¢ plus tax. If you had $4.99, you could buy the latest album by your favorite artist.

Some ...

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Sew It Seams

My mom used to make our clothes. This was true for most families we knew.

It was the mid-60s, and the majority of moms stayed home. Only the dad worked. There was one income, so there weren’t a lot of extras. We had one car. We bought little and grew much of our food. Store-bought items weren’t the norm.

People who had mostly store-bought items were considered rich.

My mom had a Singer machine and Simplicity and McCall’s sewing patterns stacked high. She ...

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Viva la Resolución

res•o•lu•tion rĕz″ə-loo͞′shən►

  1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination.
  2. A firm decision to do something.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

 

In my previous column, I mentioned my resolution to help others during the New Year. Some readers felt that resolutions were a waste of time, while others felt resolutions are admirable, but not sustainable.

As a wise person once told me, “If you think you can’t, you’re right.”

The first New Year’s resolution I can remember making was trying to ...

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Family Matters

Photo credit: eBay. https://www.ebay.com/itm/1973-The-Waltons-Vintage-Lunch-Pail-No-Thermos/323655535070?hash=item4b5b5f89de:g:TxIAAOSwuLZY2vAY

Photo: Classic TV shows seemed so real to some viewers, they believed their favorite TV families were real. Pictured is a vintage Waltons lunchbox for sale on eBay.

When trying to decide on a 2021 resolution on how to improve myself, a thought that had popped into my head recently came back to the forefront.

I was almost grown before it occurred to me that not everyone was born into a good, loving family. I assumed all kids had ...

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