When I think back on the days of my youth, that time when I had the privilege of traveling on the NASCAR circuit, it would be hard to pick a lesson learned that was more important than another.
I happen to love the song "Happy" from the movie soundtrack, "Despicable Me 2."
Most mornings, I spend about five minutes pulling my freshly washed hair into a ponytail. It's easy, it's efficient, and, I like to tell myself, it's even chic. When I know I'll be meeting important people or attending special events, however (like, say, the United Way annual campaign kick-off party or a chamber of commerce breakfast), I break out the products and utensils and spend an extra 20 minutes or so coaxing my locks into what I hope is a more professional-looking style.
I've always been one of those persons who won't hire someone to do something for me if I can do it myself, such as painting my house, building a deck, building a utility barn, caring for my own lawn, installing new flooring, etc. It was just the way I was raised. And it stuck.
Editor, This is an open letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.
Editor, It seems like we just cut the ribbon to our new location at 154 Thunderbird Drive. Our brand new 10,000 square foot facility seemed so BIG next to our little white building on 10055 Ford Ave. Site 3B, where the YMCA had resided in for the previous 10 years. We moved with excitement, added more equipment, larger classes, and exciting new family programs.
I'm not sure how many wilderness survival shows there are on television right now, but it appears there is some kind of obsession going on with this type of programming. And they are running the gamut from being naked in the wild to being fat in the wild. That's right, there's a show now titled "Fat Guys in The Woods." Fortunately, they keep their britches on.
• President Ronald Reagan, Jan. 30, 1984: "Exports create and sustain jobs for millions of American workers and contribute to the growth and strength of the United States economy. The Export-Import Bank contributes in a significant way to our nation's export sales."
Win at life! Isn't that what we all want to do? That is the headline gracing one of the magazines sitting on our coffee table. I guess the real question is, "what defines winning at life?" After all, life has a pretty broad playing field. Maybe what best defines winning in life is society's dire need to be in control. Everyone values their independence and sense of control, right?
Editor, Recently, I've spotted some news headlines - around the region, state and country - that I never thought I'd see. It really makes me wonder, "Whatever were they thinking?"
Editor, The following is an open letter on sequestration to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, from retired U.S. Army Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, head of the Association of the United States Army:
Remember the story of "The Little Engine That Could"? That could well describe the city of Dalton, a town of some 34,000 nestled in the corner of northwest Georgia, not far from the Tennessee line.
Lately, I've been thinking about the treasure trove that can be found in life's challenging times - the wisdom, the victories, the emotional muscle built and, of course, the stories. As those who know me well often say with a smile, "It's always about the story with her."
I realize, perhaps better than anyone, that it's not polite to ask others about their reproductive plans. I've long ranted about how much it annoyed me when friends, family members and even perfect strangers would inquire about a possible plunge into parenthood. Even now, as most of my readers know, I get aggravated when people ask whether my 2-year-old daughter, Reese, will ever be a sister.
History is fickle with heroic humans, even when they loom over their generation in service to humanity. Even presidents suffer the fickle hand of history, especially when events in their administrations overshadow them. It happened to Herbert Hoover.
Editor, Our country is in a precarious position. Our government is intruding in our personal lives, and our religions are under attack. The government is ignoring the invasion from south of the border, as well as the dangers imposed by ISIS and other terrorist groups.
Last week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia.
Editor, Those of you familiar with the Long County School System are aware of the student growth and financial struggles faced by our system for many years. We are a low-wealth system, ranked 171st out of 180 school systems. Our students and teachers presently occupy many classrooms built in 1951 or earlier. The hardships we have faced have been many, but with the dedication of previous and present boards, superintendents, administrators, teachers and staff, we have survived.
Yes, I know that I am, occasionally, prone to embellishment. But trust me when I say this is the law and the gospel: I have a longtime friend who only calls me when someone dies. Most times, I know the person, but sometimes I don't have a clue the person ever existed.
Go get a flu shot. Also, make sure you're children get flu shots. It's a plain and simple set of instructions, but following them could save a life. Please, go do it.
Editor, Watch out, Bryan County, in case the Sunday-voting issue rears its head in your neck of the woods, just as it has in Liberty County. This is something I think everyone in our region needs to be aware of, because it involves something greater than just run-of-the-mill politics.
I have asked the two major gubernatorial candidates to talk to Georgia public-school teachers about their respective education platforms. This week, the floor belongs to Jason Carter, the Democratic challenger. Next week, it will be Republican Gov. Nathan Deal's turn.
The talking heads and politicians love to use the term, "boots on the ground." It sounds macho.
A friend of mine, long embroiled in upsets, distractions, problems and tribulations, called one day to announce happily that she was learning to let things roll right off her back.
Letting a child watch too much TV may be as bad for parents as it is for little ones. In fact, depending on which shows a child is allowed to watch, it may be worse for parents.
Last week, the Georgia Ports Authority approved allocating up to $3 million for maintenance of the shipping channel to the Port of Brunswick, marking the second-straight year the GPA has had to supplement federal funds for this project.
I talk to a wide variety of people throughout the week. The topics of our discussions vary greatly, but it is safe to say that many of my conversations deal with aging parents and aging issues in general.
Over the next three years, as many as 60,000 military members are expected to return to Georgia. Already, 770,000 veterans call Georgia home. In fact, the Peach State is home to the fourth-largest population of veterans nationwide. In addition to those returning to Georgia, more than 10,000 service members will be transitioning from the state's Army installations - 4,000 from Fort Stewart alone.
If I die anytime soon - and I have no plans to do so at the moment - please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, "He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association." You can save for later paragraphs the part about my being often mistaken for Brad Pitt and my uncanny ability to put commas where they don't belong.
"It's a funny thing." That's what Mama used to say when something baffled her. Like Mama, I prefer that things make sense. Otherwise, I'll ponder, figure, study and try to decipher that funny thing until it's somewhat sensible.