Today, as I was nearing the five-mile mark of my run, a woman yelled out at me, “Step it up! Step it up!” Of course, I know this was just good-natured joshing, but on this morning, when I was feeling every bit of my almost 65 years, it was the last thing I needed to…

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Last week, I went pretty much off the grid in my native southeastern Illinois. One of my joys was running or walking at Red Hills State Park, just outside the small town where I grew up. Aptly named, the park has a beautiful lake surrounded by rolling hills. Accustomed to running and walking the flatlands…

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When I was an only child growing up on a farm in southeastern Illinois, my closest friend was often our television set. I’d watch anything—sitcoms, westerns, game shows, talk shows, children’s shows, even a soap opera from time to time. I disappeared into whatever happened to be on, caught up sometimes by the stories, sometimes…

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On Friday, Cathy and I had some unruly bushes removed from the landscaping around our house, and yesterday we went shopping for some that we thought would be reasonable replacements. We were, in a sense, revising our landscape design. “You know,” I said to Cathy, “maybe we should have had these plants picked out so…

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