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Columns

  • Gas pains aren't fatal

    Judging from the amount of traffic on I-75 this past weekend, motorists are oblivious to the fact that gasoline isthisclose to being $4 a gallon.

    Or perhaps those motorists are like me.

    They know that we are a nation that moves on four wheels-or 18-and to get from Point A to Point B, you have to get in a motorized vehicle and drive, whether you want to pay the price at the pump or not.

  • Unconditional and unconventional

    I am not at all the maternal type. I'm too selfish, too distant, too "suck it up and move on"-like to be called a nurturing pillar of motherhood.

    And yet I have three children.

    Like many of you, I grew up watching Donna Reed, Harriet Nelson and June Cleaver (in reruns, mind you) as they set the example for future generations what a woman's role was in the home.

  • Why I Relay–my son's life

    When Gail Osteen told me last week that she had no history of any kind of cancer in any of her family, I was more than surprised.

    I didn't know any such person existed, because it seems for as long as I can remember cancer has been a very real, and very unwelcome, facet of my life.

  • Denise is the answer to world peace

    Do you remember that poster from the 70s that said "A friend is someone who knows everything about you and still likes you anyway"?

    We're fortunate if we can find such a person in this life-someone who accepts you for who you are, doesn't try to change you and knows your deepest, darkest secrets and never passes judgment, loves you unconditionally and makes every moment you spend together an adventure.

    I've really been blessed to find a friend like that in Denise Matthews.

  • Lost in legalese and rhetoric

    For years we have pointed fingers at the residents of cities and counties for not being more proactive in local government.

    Apathy is often blamed as the reason people don't get involved in what's happening in their communities.

    While that may be true in part, I think another reason may be it's just too darn confusing for the average person who has to sit and sift and then leave wondering, "What happened in there?"

    It's been a while since I covered a Chiefland Commission meeting. About 18 months, in fact.

  • How to spell nightmare? H-A-R-T-S-F-I-E-L-D

    I must be a real party animal. This past weekend I had about 60 beers, stayed up all night, caroused with total strangers, wore the same clothes for two days and crashed and burned immediately when I got home.

    How can this be?

    Well, I didn't drink 60 beers. Remember a few weeks ago when I said that missing one hour of sleep is equivalent to drinking two beers?

    This past weekend I had more than my share without ever popping a tab.

    It started innocently enough.

  • Sew what?

    I am ashamed. Eight girls, eight young girls who are three, four, even five times younger than I am have shown me just how incompetent I am in an area where women are, by tradition, supposed to excel.

    Of course it's sewing and when it comes to the fine art of stitchery, I am all thumbs. The gals of the Suwannee River Fair have accomplished more in their short lives than I have in four decades.

    My grandmothers were seamstresses, but of course, back in the day they had to be out of sheer necessity.

    I grew up with feedsack dresses trimmed in rickrack.

  • Anabolic steroids are not the rage

    Anabolic steroids become a public issue of greater importance each year. Baseball, football, and most of our beloved professional sports have all fallen victim to some degree of illegal steroid activity.

    The continued rise of Internet advertising as well as the proliferation of dietary supplements has also given "performance enhancement" more prominence. This has created a relatively new market for steroid products. Not only athletes, but more average guys are now using or considering anabolic substances.

  • You'll hear me coming

    It wasn't until the nurse practioner pointed it out last week that it dawned on me.

    I've become Phyllis Vining.

    I worked with Phyllis a very brief time around 1995. She was hired to sell ads at the paper I worked for and from the time she walked in the door, I knew she was different.

    I thought she was elderly back then-now I realize she was probably mid-50s but in her mind Phyllis was no more than 25-only the lines around her eyes gave away her secret.

  • Television

    My name is Jeff and I am a television addict." I can picture my first visit to the televisionaholics anonymous meeting. Well, I am not quite so bad that I must join TA. Of course, all of us "aholics" say we are not so addicted to those things to which we are addicted.

    We can all give up "x," or "y" or "z" any time we want.

    For instance, I might say, "Just let me watch The Simpsons, Family Guy and King of the Hill and I'll let American Dad go by the wayside this week, just to prove how I can handle this habit."