2024

Gatsby Officially Earns Title of Therapy Dog

It has finally come to pass. Gatsby, our rescue Cavapoo pup, has been certified by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. He can legitimately wear his therapy dog vest and volunteer in classrooms, nursing homes and other public places. The entire training process took a little more than a year. When we adopted Gatsby from Texas Star Rescue here in Longview, he had spent the first nine months of his life as a puppy mill dog, locked up in a crate for almost his life. He was afraid of everything, spent hours hiding in corners and under couches. Our hearts nearly broke watching him trying to figure out how to run in our backyard....

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Let’s Celebrate Taylor and Travis, Not Snipe at Them

Since this is the off weekend before Super Bowl LVIII (58 in English), it seems a perfect time to weigh in on the Taylor Swift/Travis Kelce romance that has dominated sports news for months. For the 12 people in America who are unaware, Taylor Swift — the dominant figure in popular music — and Travis Kelce — the superb tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, who are heading to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in six years, are an item. Sightings of her in a luxury box with Kelce’s mom, Patrick Mahomes’ wife and others, spike television ratings to atmospheric heights. Unsurprisingly,...

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Memories of the 1968 N.H. Primary

The New Hampshire primary election concluded with the winners being no surprise to anyone who keeps up with such matters. As always, I enjoyed seeing familiar scenes from my native state in the news broadcasts, even if I was not exactly thrilled with the election result. The 2024 primary brought back memories of a more consequential primary held on March 12, 1968. At the time, our family lived in Allenstown, N.H., a small town about 10 miles southeast of Concord, the state’s capital and my birthplace. Allenstown now boasts almost 5,000 residents. In 1968, that number was more like 1,000. The public...

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Braving the Cold for a Winter Walk

My morning walk on MLK day was much quieter than usual. U.S. Hwy. 259 is normally a busy road filled with folks heading to work in Longview, from Diana and Ore City and points beyond. That highway is three-fourths of a mile east of our farm. The constant hum of traffic on 259 is the aural backdrop to my three-mile walk up and down Mustang Drive most days. But not today. A wintry mix began falling late yesterday afternoon and continued through the night. By the time I headed out the door, it was 21 degrees and flurries continued to fall. I was bundled up like the Michelin Man, wearing a beanie,...

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‘Swedish Death Cleaning,’ Also Known as Decuttering

“Decluttering” is a word one hears often as the new year arrives. Books are written providing advice. Videos are made, lists created of how to tackle the often-daunting task of getting rid of stuff. My Beautiful Mystery Companion and daughter Abbie have been busily decluttering over the past few weeks – before the semester began, and we all had to return to academia. I was primarily the designated driver to Hope’s Closet, which received several contractor bags worth of stuff. I also got rid of a bunch of clothes and shoes. There is more to be done as always. We have a three-car garage...

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Back in Library as New Year Begins

A new year lies in front of us, a blank slate upon which we can write, I don’t know, graffiti? My brother Scott texted his two siblings on Jan. 1: Happy New Year! It’s going to be a great one! That’s the spirit! I am going to do my utmost to adopt his attitude. Sincerely. As a rule, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. They are too easily broken, leaving one feeling shamefaced and scolding oneself on the lack of resolve and willpower. Better to fashion achievable but vague goals, such as being grateful every day for good health, family, friends, and the continued ability to consume...

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