• How good is your imagination?

    I have a friend who keeps her watches and clocks set an hour ahead at all times. By doing so, this perpetually late creature of habit has convinced herself that she is always tardy, and when she does show up for appointments, she's on time or early.

    Now of course, somewhere deep within her psyche she knows that her clocks and watches are wrong and that could give her incentive to dally more and being really, really late.

    But she's used her imagination enough over the years that the con works, thereby saving her from embarrassment and reprimand from family and employer alike.

  • Good news, Carolyn

    Chiefland's sewer plant personnel have listened to a salesman and come up with a way to cut their energy use, cut fuel use, and cut the amount of sludge the City Water Reclamation Plant produces.

    If you read the story in another part of this newspaper, you thought it was a story about money and saving energy.

    Really, the story is about building relationships and trust.

    Randy Wilkerson said it was his working relationship with a sales rep from TSC-Jacobs Group, the company that supplies the city with much of its wastewater equipment, that led to the savings.

  • Heard any good news lately?

    As I have interviewed interns and reporter candidates over the last few weeks, one resounding theme kept coming up when I tell them what I think is the best part of working for a small town paper: the interesting people you meet.

    Of course there are the obligatory meetings that must be covered, the birth announcements and wedding news that need to be shared, but by far, the best thing for any reporter is getting out and meeting people who have done things that you only dream or have been places you've only read about.

  • Advice to live by

    I never thought my father and I had much in common despite my mother's ever-constant lament, "You're just like your daddy."

    Back then I scoffed at the idea.

    But then in 1993, my father died suddenly one week after his 62nd birthday and in the 15 years since, not a week has gone by that I don't somehow recall him, his words and his actions.

    He wasn't an affectionate man. He grew up in an era and place where children were begat to work. He didn't know much about tenderness or bonding. His way of showing love was through providing and sacrificing so his family was secure.

  • 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.