Something about the current state of things in our country invites me to share this post from a few years ago, updated a tad to account for the passing of time. When I was a boy, it was my family’s New Year’s Eve tradition to gather for an oyster soup supper, followed by a rousing…

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I was back in my native southeastern Illinois last week, and I happened to have a little dust-up with a stranger at the local fitness center. Let’s say we should have agreed to disagree and left it at that, but we didn’t. She, a very nice elderly lady, broached a subject she shouldn’t have brought…

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My father used to tell me, when I was a small boy who liked to think he knew a thing or two about a thing or two, “You’re just talking to hear yourself roar.” Or sometimes he’d use a variation, “You’re just talking to hear your head rattle.” I’m remembering these sayings here at the…

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Often ideas for stories can come from things we overhear people say, things that make us curious. For example, I once heard a woman say, “I’m just a drunk girl in stilettos.” Okay, I confess the woman who said it would one day be my wife. The actual facts of the story don’t matter, What…

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Cathy and I were in Home Depot on Black Friday, looking at items for our front porch Christmas display, when an elderly woman with an empty shopping cart said to me, “I used to play Santa Claus.” It was a dreary night, cold and damp, but there in Home Depot surrounded by the artificial trees…

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