So long Fred’s – what will we do without you?


The shelves are almost empty and I would wager that Starkville’s Fred’s Discount Store will be gone by sunset. It’s closure follows on the coat-tails of other Fred’s stores in Mississippi and system-wide.

I’m sad beyond words and wondering where I’ll go in the future when a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup craving hits me without warning. Or it’s raining and I’m out of coffee. Or I need some potting soil on a Saturday morning and don’t want to stand in line at Walmart. Continue reading

2018 Calendar is about to get weird

If you think the world has gone haywire, consider that we are about to experience a significant cultural collision like none I’ve seen in my life time.. First, Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day this year. Talk about an odd couple. 

One holiday is the somber, reverent start of Lent. The other tends to be one of America’s silliest exercises in the marketing of sentiment and manufactured guilt.

But even more astonishing – April 1, Easter Sunday arrives on April Fools’ Day. Christians and atheists, start your engines.

For the first time in decades, maybe centuries, the two holidays collide and present a dilemma for me. 

Think about it. Valentine’s Day is notorious for promoting the consumption of sweet cavity-producing treats packaged in cheap heart-shaped cardboard boxes.   Ash Wednesday, the day after Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), is the day I typically swear off sugar for six weeks!  What’s a girl to do?

I guess this year I’ll give up leaving towels on the floor.  .

Easter and April Fools’ Day cohabiting on the same day raises other more serious questions. Can anything frivolous be expressed about Easter that is not in extremely poor taste? Can one celebrate the sacred underpinnings of Christianity and engage in broad April Fools’ Day humor on the same day?

Non-believers are certain to greet the holiday with undisguised glee.  I, for one, dread the disgusting mirth sure to be perpetrated.

I’m just warning you, and I hope someone can come up with a way to reconcile the four holidays

A Miracle a Day

I don’t believe in coincidences.  Never have, never will. 

On January 1, 2018, I began recording the small miracles that show up in my formerly mundane life.  After seven days, I have actually experienced more than seven and probably missed that many more because of mindless distractions. 

Yesterday’s miracle was the best. 

As I talked to an old friend on the phone, I glanced out the window to see a lone red bird sitting on the ugly bare branches of the huge oak tree outside. I hung up the phone and moved closer to the window.  I swear that bird was looking directly at me.  I went to the computer and looked up “red bird in dead of winter.” Continue reading

Musings in late December

        “It was late in December, the sky turned to snow. All round the day was           going down slow…night like a river beginning to flow. I felt the beat of my mind go drifting into time passages. Years go falling in the fading light. Time passages. Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight.”
I awoke way before dawn with this song playing in my head and a brief moment of panic propelled me out of bed.  So much to do and so little time!  The thought began to spin out of control as I considered how much time I’ve wasted during the past year spinning my wheels with little to show for it.

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Unconventional way to remember Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor… 76 years and counting. Yet it’s as fresh as yesterday in the minds of the greatest generation which dwindles every day.  This week we lost one of the best – Dr. Gordon Hazard – what a loss it was to all those who knew and loved him and listened with rapt attention to his stories and observations about his 94 years on the planet – especially the war. 
Gordon (pictured above with Dr. Braddock (left) his long-time running mate) was not one to complain and criticize. In his honor and In reverent memory of Pearl Harbor and the men lost that day, I’ve decided to declare this day “Criticism Free Day.”  Won’t you join me?  I betcha your day will be infinitely better because of it.  If so, we can try it again tomorrow and the day after that.

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