Over the weekend I spent time with my wife and four kiddos finding our family Christmas tree. This tradition is one we have done since the kids were toddlers. We have added different components to our tradition, like going through and finding old ornaments and talking about our experiences m…

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During this Thanksgiving week, a woman I know showed extraordinary courage. She lost her husband of 40 years last May after his long, hard-fought battle with cancer, and as is usually the case for the grieving, the holidays loomed difficult to bear. Instead of turning inward to console herse…

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In early October 1863, Secretary of State William Seward sat down to write a proclamation of Thanksgiving. President Lincoln gave him the task. Other presidents had issued such proclamations before. President George Washington proclaimed the first one in October of 1789. President Lincoln ma…

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I have been an avid “techy” going on 10 years now. Ask anyone who knows me about my opinions on technology and they will tell you that I am someone who loves any tool that makes life easier or allows people to do things more efficiently. However, recently I have become more aware of the impo…

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A dialogue prompt for a writing contest arrived in my email the other day. It challenged writers to include this line somewhere in a short fiction submission: “What a time to be alive!” Given the uncertainty present in the very air we breathe lately and the ripping divisions in our society, …

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In my last voicemail from my Aunt Roberta, she could still breathe. She asked me to call her back, and when I did, she told me that her colon cancer had spread.

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November is a special time for our family. I feel fortunate and blessed to be a husband and a father. I am thankful to have a wife whose birthday occurs this month. She’s a beautiful lady, and I am grateful she puts up with the likes of me. I tease her about history and ask her what historic…

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My first job as a teenager was working as a bagger at the local grocery store in Boone. The hours seemed to drag on, and I would go home each day feeling drained and unmotivated. One day I went to my father and explained my frustrations. He said something that stuck with me: “You can do anyt…

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During the predawn hours of last Thursday, I kept waking up to the sound of hard rain on the roof, not the gentle patter conducive to sleeping, but the pounding force of an extreme downpour. As soon as one intense burst of rain tapered off another would begin. I thought to myself, this is a …