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home : opinions : columns April 24, 2015 

A few thoughts on aging

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


What's first in the morning? Coffee or computer?
Here’s something I found interesting circulating around cyberspace. The author is unknown. You know you are living in 2015 when: 
1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave. 
2. You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years. 
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three. 
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you. 
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don’t have e-mail addresses. 
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries. 
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen. 
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn’t even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it. Worse if you lose it. 
10. You get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee. 
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :) 
12 You're reading this and nodding and laughing. 
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message. 
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list. 
15. You actually looked back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A re-visit to Swan Lake
The weather was beautiful on Saturday afternoon and since I was in the Sumter area with my granddaughters, I took them to Swan Lake Iris Gardens. We all enjoyed watching the swans and other water fowl who make their home here, as well as a long walk along the paths around the lake, stopping to enjoy the flowers and trees already in bloom. After what seems like a long winter, it was just great being outdoors. Both my parents were from Sumter, so they took me and my siblings to the park many times during our childhood. 
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A touch of Phyllis Diller's humor
Remember the comedienne Phyllis Diller? Here are a few of her funny quotes passed on to me from a friend. 

“Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age. As your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.”
“Best way to get rid of kitchen odors: Eat out.”
“The reason women don’t play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.”
“A bachelor is a guy who never made the same mistake once.”
“I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them. “
“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Backstage with 'Noises Off'
I’m working backstage with the play “Noises Off” which is currently running at the Florence Little Theatre. It’s a play within a play, written by playwright Michael Frayn. I’ve heard that he wrote this play as a love letter to the theatre because it depicts the activity and craziness which sometimes takes place behind the scenes during a production. Often, as “Noises Off” demonstrates, the show backstage can be almost as entertaining as the show on stage. Frayn’s play is a British farce which means the acting is melodramatic or “over the top,” and the actors are British. 
Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Funny e-cards found in cyberspace
I have to share some of these funny e-card sayings that I have collected from emails sent to me and from Facebook. 

I didn’t make it to the gym today, that makes five years in a row
I wish more things in my life could be blamed on auto correct. 
Sure, I’d love to come over and hang out with you while you talk and text with other people on your phone the entire time. 
Let’s go spend a day at the beach checking our email. 
To drink responsibly to some people means don’t spill it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hardware stores are not just for men
I love hardware stores, especially the old style hardware stores. They are fun to browse around because they have so much stuff – not just nuts and bolts and plumbing materials that interest men, but they have some unique gardening, kitchen and home wares. Most of the guys I know, will spend some of their time off from work at a hardware store, when not fishing, hunting or playing golf. My all-time favorite hardware store, Barringer’s Hardware, is gone now. It was located on West Evans Street for as long as I can remember and closed in the late 1990s when owner Jack Barringer died.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My granddaughters are now double digits
They say time flies and it sure has for this grandmother. Sunday was my granddaughters,’ Caroline and Madison, tenth birthday. They told me they reached double digits. Born premature, a few minutes past midnight on Feb. 15, 2005, I considered them my tiny little Valentines. Not tiny anymore, they are still my best Valentine gift ever. We’ve had some great times together over the last 10 years.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Having fun with oxymorons
Consider the following oxymorons from God’s Little Acre, a Christian website:
Act naturally 
Resident alien 
Genuine imitation 
Hospital food 
Same difference 
Government organization 
Alone together 
Silent scream 
Small crowd 
Soft rock 
Military intelligence 
Software documentation

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Finding joy in dipping slaw
I was blessed to able to spend last Thursday at the West Florence Volunteer Fire Station volunteering with about 400 others preparing and serving chicken bog during the Cooks For Christ benefit for Robby Ott. Robby, a husband and father of four children, has been fighting colon and liver cancer for more than two years. He serves as the associate pastor at First Baptist Church where I am a member. For years I have been amazed and and thankful the wonderful ministry of Cooks for Christ. They make me proud of the caring and loving people living in our community. Although I have supported and praised their efforts over the years, this is the first time I have spent time there as a volunteer.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Observations of men versus women
A reader sent the following email about differences between men and women with the title “Men Are Happier Than Women.” I Goggled and found that it has been floating around cyberspace since 2009, but I could not find who the author is. I know some of you will enjoy these observations. Nicknames If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah. If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wildman. Eating Out When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back. When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators... yep!
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Troopers' replies to lawbreakers
A reader sent these comments supposedly made by South Carolina troopers and taken off their car videos. I have not been able to verify if these are true or not, but they are entertaining. I think you will agree. 
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

True insensitivity is making excuses for murderers
Two weeks ago terrorists attacked the offices of a French satire magazine and murdered 12 people. Most of the Western World showed solidarity with France and thousands of millions declared “Je Suis Charlie.” And then the inevitable backlash came. Naïve elements of the left joined with conservative dinosaurs like Pat Buchanan to say Charlie Hebdo was a racist magazine that should never have existed. The implication was clear: Charlie Hebdo had it coming. In fact, an Al Jezeera reporter said, “I guess if you insult 1.5 billion people chances are one or two of them will kill you.” To many, the issue becomes one not of freedom of speech and press, but freedom from ever hearing an offensive world or utterance.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Let's talk about value investing
Two fundamental styles of investing, growth and value, historically have performed “countercyclically.” This means that when one style falls out of favor, the other type becomes the preferred choice. Thanks to wide fluctuations in the stock market lately, some investors are rediscovering value investing once again. While growth investing focuses on companies that are believed to be in the early stages of considerable earnings growth, value investing concentrates on stocks that are temporarily out of favor with investors on Wall Street and are believed to be undervalued by the market. A more conservative approach than growth investing, value investors tend to approach investing with a long-term perspective.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Remembering church ladies in hats
I watched a rehearsal of “Crowns” last week and it reminded me of the importance of ladies hats when I was a child. Growing up in the 1950s, it was common for ladies to wear a hat to church on Sunday morning. In fact, it was unusual if they did not. Today, that custom seems to have ended with caucasian ladies, but continues with the African-American church ladies. The musical “Crowns” deals with their tradition of hats, tracing them from African rituals to contemporary times. I remember looking at all the pretty hats women wore to church because I was there every Sunday. The styles varied from wide-brim hats to tiny little headbands. Every year I got to pick out a hat of my own to wear with a new outfit, including gloves, on Easter Sunday.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What technology to expect this year
The new year has dawned, so what might we expect in this time of rapidly advancing technology? A quick Google of what to expect in 2015 and we discovered the following predictions: If you think the smartphone is smart enough, think again. It is about to get even smarter – and cheaper. The cell phone experts say that smartphones will be faster, four times faster. That might make talking and texting a little difficult for us “slow talking and slow typing” southerners. More good news is smartphones may get less expensive. Samsung will be introducing its Tirene-powered Z1 in India in June and it is expected to come with a price tag of $100.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Looking back as a new year dawns
A new year, 2015, is on the horizon and I am still getting used to idea that I’m living in the 21st century. The older I get, the faster time seems to pass. And, I am amazed at the technology we are witnessing and experiencing. Since the dawn of the New Millennium, we have been introduced to cell phones, texting, IPads and IPhones, FaceBook, DVRs, YouTube, GPS, Apps, WiFi and Google. Thanks the Internet and the Google website, history and knowledge are at our fingertips. Taking advantage of this technology, I “Googled” the year 1915. Here are some of the things I found: Technology was on the move 100 years ago when the first coast-to-coast long-distance telephone call took place. 
Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Celebrate the miracle and the mercy
Another Christmas is here. No matter when we celebrate or how we celebrate, the best is the fellowship with others – whether it is spending time sharing a meal, drinking coffee or gathering around a Christmas tree. Some of us get overwhelmed trying to do so many things to make Christmas Eve or Christmas Day special. But, in truth we have no power over the specialness of Christmas. It is special because of what it represents, and that is that God came to earth as a man in the form of a little baby born in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago. That miracle brought hope to a sinful world along with the wonderful gift of mercy whereby we might escape death. So enjoy your Christmas knowing whatever you have or don’t have doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Enjoy the light displays
One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is drive around town to enjoy the decorations and lights. I have found some spectacular home displays on Edisto Drive, St. Anthony Ave., Brunwood Drive, and I always enjoy driving down Juanita, Oleander and Iris Drive. This year Florence has the added light displays at the Florence Festival of Lights which continues this weekend, Dec. 19 and 20. This is at Hoffmeyer Place, which is located at 2441 Hoffmeyer Road. There is a small fee, $10 for cars with eight of less people, but the money goes to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. The bonus is you can see a lot of colorful displays located in one place and you can stop to visit Santa’s Village where there is hot chocolate and hot apple cider. Gates open at 5 p.m. and close at 9 p.m. The Festival of Lights is similar to the Lights at James Island County Park near Charleston. 
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas thoughts and quotes
  • Remember, This December, That love weighs more than gold! – Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon 
  • Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. – Peg Bracken 
  • It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. – W.T. Ellis 
  • I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. – Charles Dickens 
  • When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs? – G.K. Chesterton 
  • Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. – Larry Wilde, 
  • The Merry Book of Christmas At Christmas, all roads lead home. – Marjorie Holmes 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Can you find the mistletoe?
Now that the trees are dropping their leaves, you can see mistletoe flourishing off their branches. I love searching and spotting mistletoe high up in naked trees. When travelling with my granddaughters, I encourage them to help me look for the green masses tugging on tree limbs. They indulge me, but really don’t get into it as much as I do – at least not yet. I’m not sure if it is the legend of Mistletoe or just a fondness of nature that appeals to me, but I love finding and breaking off a twig of the small green leaves and white berries that have become entangled in our Christmas traditions. I’ve been fascinated with mistletoe since hearing as a child the song “I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Under the Mistletoe Last Night.” 
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Being thankful for everything
As we approach the day of Thanksgiving it is easy to look around and find many blessings that God has provided. Sometimes, however, we go through circumstances wondering where the blessings are. That is the real test. Usually, time and patience will provide the answer. God’s Word instructs us to give thanks for everything. (1 Thessalonians 5:18). So, how do I give thanks when someone I love passes? My best answer at this point is to be thankful for the relationship with that person, their love, and for the time we had together. I can also be encouraged knowing that person is with the Lord! How do I give thanks when someone comes into my home and steals my gold jewelry, including pieces that were sentimental and irreplaceable? My best answer today is that while I miss having those things, I really didn’t need them – I am fine without them.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Quotes and Jewish proverbs
  • Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them. – Albert Einstein 
  • If life were fair, Elvis would still be alive today and all the impersonators would be dead. – Johnny Carson
  • If the rich could hire other people to die for them, the poor could make a wonderful living. – Yiddish Proverb
  • America is the only country where a significant proportion of the population believes that professional wrestling is real but the moon landing was faked. – David Letterman
  • The wise man, even when he holds his tongue, says more than the fool when he speaks. – Yiddish Proverb
  • What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t invent with your mouth. – Yiddish proverb
  • When a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife. – Prince Philip
  • A hero is someone who can keep his mouth shut when he is right. – Yiddish Proverb One old friend is better than two new ones. – Yiddish Proverb
  • The only reason they say “Women and children first” is to test the strength of the lifeboats. – Jean Kerr
  • I’ve been married to a communist and a fascist, and neither would take out the garbage. – Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • Wood burns faster when you have to cut and chop it yourself. – Harrison Ford 
  • The best cure for sea sickness, is to sit under a tree. – Spike Milligan
  • Lawyers believe a man is innocent until proven broke. – Robin Hall
  • “Having more money doesn’t make you happier. I have 50 million dollars but I’m just as happy as when I had 48 million.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger. 
  • We are here on earth to do good unto others. What the others are here for, I have no idea. – WH Auden
  • We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein
  • One of life’s greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn’t good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world. – Jewish Proverb
  • Thanks to Charlie Howle for passing along these quotes and Jewish proverbs

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Old sayings from the Bible
Many of you will recognize these old sayings that originate from scripture: DOUBTING THOMAS This phrase comes from John 20: 24-27. After his resurrection Jesus appeared to his disciples. However one of them, named Thomas, was absent. When the others told him that Jesus was alive Thomas said he would not believe until he saw the marks on Jesus’ hands and the wound in his side caused by a Roman spear. Jesus appeared again and told Thomas ‘Stop doubting and believe!’ EAT DRINK AND BE MERRY This old saying is from Ecclesiastes 8:15 'a man has no better thing under the sun than to eat and to drink and be merry'.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Facts about our great state
If you remember your South Carolina history, you know that our great state entered the Union on May 23, 1788 to become the 8th state. Here are a few more facts and trivia concerning our state, according to www. 50states.com The introduction of tobacco in 1894 rocketed Mullins into the Tobacco Capital of South Carolina. As many as 200 tobacco barns sprang up throughout the community. Warehouses were also constructed and the first tobacco sale took place on August 28, 1895. Sumter has the largest Gingko farm in the world. South Carolina is the nation’s leading peach producer and shipper east of the Mississippi River. South Carolina’s smallest county is McCormick at 360 square miles while the largest county is Horry at 1,134 square miles. Campbell’s Covered Bridge built in 1909, is the only remaining covered bridge in South Carolina, off Hwy. 14 near Gowensville.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The new museum is now open
On a mild and sunny Saturday morning, under a beautiful cornflower blue sky, about 100 of us waited anxiously during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the official opening of the new Florence County Museum. We were treated to remarks by Pulitzer Prize winning author Jon Meacham, executive editor, Random House and former editor of “Newsweek.” During his remarks about the importance of our local history, he was interrupted briefly by the whistle and rumblings from a nearby passing train, and he paused to remind us that it was the railroad that started our town.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014








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