You can take the boy out of the country, but . . .

I shake my head some days. I grew up in a rural farming community where small, simple church steeples outnumbered taverns and watering holes and you had to drive 30 minutes to get to the nearest grocery store.  Each small village had a post office and maybe a gas station. When I was young, I …

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What do you believe?

I’ve walked up to a grieving mother, asked about her deceased daughter, and wrote about it. I’ve watched Army reservists, called to active duty, give good-bye hugs and kisses to teary-eyed friends and family members before they shipped out to the Middle East, and wrote about it. I’ve dived headfirst into the most personal topics …

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Calming an impatient heart

At the first spot I stopped, an old man clasp his hands together across his chest, casually leaned his head back, and closed his eyes. In the next stop, packed with people nudged up against each other in tiny chairs, the teen next to me bent forward with his headphones on and scrolled through his …

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Ten years from now, will this matter?

I came out of the classroom and wanted to scream. I had spent hours studying for the Econ 101 test, but I felt like I had been lied to by the professor. His test included a number of questions on topics that had been barely covered in class or our textbook and other content that had …

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My five biggest parenting mistakes

I checked the calendar on my smartphone one more time. My coworker was running late. We were supposed to meet for coffee early in the morning before our schedules got too crazy. We needed to come to agreement on a key section of our project plan. He's normally an obsessively punctual person so I was …

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Trashing a good story

The old man’s eyesight was fading and he couldn’t get around well without his walker, but you could usually find him each day on the front porch of the local grille. He’d be dressed in a pair of denim bib overalls and soiled work boots gently rocking back and forth in an old rocking chair. …

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You’re only 21 once!

I’m having a panic attack. It’s not your normal kind of attack. I’m not stressing over work or home. It’s not a mid-life crisis. I have no desire to run into work, throw my laptop onto my boss’ desk and get on the first plane to Hawaii or the Maldives or run to the nearest …

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Getting good at saying college goodbyes

The inevitable happened. Several weeks ago, we dropped our middle child, our oldest son, off at college. He’s starting his freshman year and he couldn’t wait to start. As soon as the car was unloaded, he was ready for us to say “goodbye.” And then this past weekend, we loaded up the SUV and drove …

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