A vacation impasse

When North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano gathered his basketball team together for the first time prior to the 1983 season, he set up a ladder and had the team practice cutting down the net as if they had just won the NCAA Championship. He viewed it as good practice for the real thing. …

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50 Shades of gray

As I get older I find that I’m becoming a contrarian. Well, I suspect I've always been one, I'm just becoming even more of one. When everyone goes left, I go right. Whenever everyone goes right, I go left. It's that way with big and little decisions Here’s what I mean: Guns When gun control …

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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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Losing a phone, a wallet, and then my marbles

We waved to my youngest son and he came running over to the car. As he got closer, I noticed a troubled look on his face. He’s usually all smiles. On this day, there was something else. He had a look of fear, like he was worried, but didn’t want us to know. He opened …

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God’s gift: A little perspective

I pull into a parking spot and before I cut-off the engine and walk into work, I look at the inside of my car, how it’s aged, and then outside again at the sleek new German sports car in the adjacent spot. I marvel at the new car; everything about it seems to sparkle and …

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If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

James Lipton, the executive producer and host of the Bravo television series Inside the Actors Studio has had some of the biggest names in the film industry on his show. The guests have included a who’s who of personalities: Paul Newman, Barbara Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Al Pacino, Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron, Harrison Ford, and a …

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Operating on fumes

The minute I step outside the door the crisp air hits me with the force of jackhammer drilling into my sidewalk. It's hard, it's with a jolt, and it's with definitive force and power. I wrap my overcoat tighter around my body and walk briskly to my car. For the past several weeks, I’ve been rushing …

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My difficult day: life & death up close

I’m not sure what put me over the edge. My first thought was two sad stories I saw on my local news on a terminally ill teenager and a woman fighting breast cancer. It could have been the realization that my children are getting older. They’re no longer little kids, running around the house. In a few …

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Stern parent to trusted mentor

When our daughter was young and regularly wore pink, she would sit at our dining room table, feet not even big enough to touch the ground, and I would sit at my make-believe throne. I would harangue my daughter to eat her breakfast, go to school, do her homework, clean her room, etc., etc. I would …

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Patiently waiting for more patience

I remember the night like it was yesterday. I tossed and turned. My mind raced with questions and outcomes — some good, some bad. I turned on some music to help me fall asleep, but nothing really seemed to work. I was worried. I had spent the day in a series of panel interviews. I …

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