• Times are tough and businesses are hurting.

    I see it when I drive past local eateries and retail stores and their parking lots are nearly empty.

    I hear it in conversations around me at church, in the grocery store and at the post office.

    Business slows down and workers get laid off.

    Laid off workers don’t go out to eat which means less tips for local waitresses and waiters. Less tips mean less money to purchase items from the school fund raiser.

  • In December of 2007, I lost a friend.

    Only two years older than me, Kyle was a friend from high school. Since he could drive, he would help me get from place to place, coming in through the clutch over and over again whenever I needed a ride.

    When he died, I took it hard. I hear all the time that young people think they’re invincible and nothing can ever harm them. I knew that wasn’t true, but when Kyle passed, I had to confront the fact that I had taken things for granted.

  • Contrary to unsubstantiated rumor, which might be floating around Grant County, I did not and I repeat DID NOT kill Rudolph last week.

    I was completely full of the Christmas spirit or maybe it was that awesome steak and gravy or macaroni that my mom made for dinner on Friday night after we put up her Christmas tree.

    As I headed home, she said, as she nearly always does, “Watch out for deer, dear.”

    I nodded and sprang straight to my car, or at least my husband’s car and away we went quick as a wink.

  • It is that time of year again, the time you sit down and make your list of things you’ll do different or things you want to change. And if you’re anything like me, around Jan. 2, the New Year’s resolutions that you made already seem to be forgotten.

    I don’t know what it is about the resolutions that make them so hard for me to stick to them. Maybe I make too many, or maybe I make the same ones each year hoping that this year will be different.

  • A new year brings new possibilities and promise.

    I look forward to a fresh start in 2009 because I think that 2008 was a hard year and I’m glad to see it’s in the history books.

    There were a lot of good things that happened during the year, but there were a lot more that I found made the year long and tough.

    There was the cold, cold weather and the storms that kept ripping through our community. There were shootings, thievery and death from accidents.

  • The holidays seem a little bit different this year to me.




    For a year and a half, I’ve lived in Grant County. And for a year and a half, I’ve been on my own.

  • How many of you were crazy enough to be out and about on Black Friday?

    Hold up your hand if this applies to you.

    My hand is in the air. Yep, I’m one of those goofy people who get up at the crack of dawn, after eating way too much turkey the day before, who looks for bargains.

    I am not, however, one of those people who doesn’t go to sleep Thanksgiving night so they can get the really good bargains.

  • I cannot think of many worse jobs to have than a journalist when you lose your voice.

    I recently had the unfortunate chance to experience this first hand, the day of the election no less.

    For some reason, people do not take you seriously or even acknowledge you at all when your lips move but nothing comes out.

    I should not say that I was completely voiceless, but I may have well been for what good I was worth.

    I tried to communicate by e-mail, but, to my chagrin, not everyone is on call waiting to jump up to respond immediately to my queries.

  • Change is inevitable. Sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes it’s not quite what you hoped it would be or in other words a work in progress.

    That’s kind of the way we feel about the look of our new Web site.

    We had grand plans for a Web site that had all the bells and whistles and that would just take your breath away when it popped onto your computer screen.

  • I’ve got a shameful secret. I am awful with directions.

    Awful doesn’t even really convey how terrible I am with directions. If I stood next to my bed and had directions to my bedroom door, I would end up in my closet. If I was Columbus, I would have discovered the Artic. If I was George Washington leading his men across the Potomac River, I would have ended up in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Last week, I had my first taste of winter here in Kentucky. It was the end of October and it was freezing. How could that be?

    Growing up in South Florida, I can remember Halloween as a kid and hating to wear a costume because it was too hot and sweaty. So you can understand why at the beginning of October, I was breaking out my winter coats. But apparently my idea of what a winter coat is and what they truly are, are two different things. I’ll explain later.

  • Nineteen sixty eight was a difficult year for Americans. Ultra conservative bullets took the lives of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. American cities were on fire, neighborhoods were burning and ducks and boats did not fare any better.

    The miracle chemical DDT was poisoning the ducks and everything around them and polluted water was poisoning and destroying the boats. If you were a little duck-boat then it was a double whammy with a bigger whammy soon to arrive.

  • As an Episcopalian child I remember living in a far northern rural Indiana community where Episcopalians were as rare as indoor toilets.

    Let me digress. It was 1955 and the community decided to protest higher water rates by flushing all the toilets in town at the same time. I am sure you can appreciate the logistics of accomplishing this and it was carried out 100 percent. The problem was, you can’t make much of a point flushing six toilets and the protest went by un-noticed.

  • Prior to loading my van with empty aluminum cans, I squeezed in a greenhorn Grant Countian for their first unique adventure into the isolated Canadian wilderness. The greenhorn had me stop at an ATM machine to pick up cash for the trip. My son and I had to snicker about the incident.

    We crossed the border at Port Huron, breezed through Sarnia, Ontario, and made our first stop deep into the northland. The greenhorn ordered a horseburger and fries. (When in the Canadian wilderness, never ask what kind of meat you are eating unless you really want to know.)