The fast pace of the 2014 session of the Georgia General Assembly slowed down considerably last week when Tuesday's winter storm paralyzed metro Atlanta traffic systems.
My fellow Georgians, in order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is a requirement that I annually submit to you a State of the Column message. This I do today. (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!)
Southeast Georgia recently escaped the worst of a winter ice storm that ravaged other parts of the South, particularly Georgia's capital, Atlanta. The utility companies that serve our region had personnel on standby and monitored the storm closely enough to at least be prepared for the worst. Thankfully, the severe ice and snow that accompanies such storms did not come our way and, for that, we should be thankful.
The Second Amendment. Made in the USA. Jobs for Georgia. These are three of my favorite things.
"Someday," Daddy used to say often as I was growing up, "I'm going to the Holy Land. I want to walk where Jesus walked."
The next big milestone on my parenting horizon isn't really something that's fun to talk about, let alone figure out how to handle. It's not a dinner-table conversation topic, but it certainly is a necessity - potty training.
Awhile back, I wrote an article that included the poem "The Bridge Builder," by Will Allen Dromgoole. I discovered this poem in my father's briefcase after he passed away. I sent it to him in 1985 for his birthday, and he always kept it with him.
As spouses and mothers, we far too easily let the needs of our family come first. As members of the military community, we give and give, tirelessly supporting those alongside us. While the challenges often faced by our community aren't dwindling anytime soon, instead of letting our lives and goals and intentions pass us by, let's go out and make big things happen.
American humorist Will Rogers once said, "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." Ol' Will would have loved the Georgia Legislature. They are the gift that keeps on giving.
After taking a day off to celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, we continued our session Jan. 21. Traditionally, the shortened week is set aside for budget hearings, so only members of the Appropriations Committee would need to be in attendance. However, with the fast pace that we have started out with this year, budget hearings were held the week of Jan. 13 in order to save time.
Back years ago, when Mama was widowed, it became suddenly and shockingly clear that she wasn't completely capable of being on her own. This was news to us because she had always stepped up and did whatever it took to look after our family. She was quite ingenious and hard-working.
Awhile back, I worked with a woman who was vocal about her belief that potential parents should have to pass a strict screening before welcoming children into the world. Although, from a purely scientific standpoint, there was no way to enforce my coworker's slightly far-fetched proposal, she maintained all human beings should be stripped of their fertility at birth and should have their ability to procreate returned to them in their mid-to-late 20s only if they meet certain criteria.
Editor, I was very pleased to read that Coastal Electric Cooperative recently has been named the best electric co-op in Georgia and also received the 2013 Georgia Electric Membership Corporation "Community Service and Volunteerism Award."
Now that Congress has its immense, $1.1 trillion bipartisan funding bill in hand, Capitol Hill is breathing easier.
My best friend's grandfather passed away last week from a fall he had in the front yard of his home. He was walking across the lawn to visit with a neighbor and tripped over a landscape brick that was sticking out just far enough to catch his foot. The fall was serious enough that he died within moments of the incident.
In 1965, Wilbur Mills, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, brought legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid to the floor of the U.S. House.
March was International Women's Month, and while we are moving into April, it is still worth mentioning that women have been trailblazers in their communities, right alongside their men.
Editor, I cannot be the only one who is tired of the status quo in Washington, D.C. Primary election time is coming up and we have a tough decision to make. We can either elect somebody who is a career politician like Buddy Carter, or vote for Dr. Bob Johnson, an Army veteran who has never run for public office.
Even by my impossibly high standards, this has been a good week. It began with a whack upside the head from a reader in South Georgia after I opined that those who want to change the way we teach our children in public schools ought to have their kids in public schools. I was referring to the efforts led by Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, to overturn the Common Core curriculum in the recent legislative session.
Editor, April marks the nation's "Month of the Military Child" - a time to honor youth and their service to our country. On Tuesday, April 15, as a visible way to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices, the public is invited to "Purple Up! For Military Kids." Everyone in the community is encouraged to wear purple shirts, scarves, shoes, buttons and pants. If it's purple, or can be turned purple, make it happen.
I was unable to attend the recent hearing on the Highway 144 widening project. I am pretty excited about the project and glad to see the investment in the infrastructure of Richmond Hill.
It happened recently - the 20th anniversary of stock-car racer Davey Allison's death. Maybe you remember him. Maybe you don't. But I shall never forget him.
There is nothing more important than the safety and protection of innocent children. Not constitutional rights, not animal rights, not thoughts, opinions, feelings or political beliefs. The lives of children must be given top priority.
In 1984, I moved to South Florida from the Keystone State, Pennsylvania. Five years later, after graduating from college, getting married and having our first child, I and my newly formed family moved to South Georgia, where we have lived for the last 22 years.