• Column by Charles C. Haynes
  • Supporting United Way will advance early learning here

    By Nannette Johnston

    Think back to your first day of kindergarten. Were you nervous? Excited? Did you know what to expect? 

    It’s very likely that your feelings about that day were determined by the experiences that you had leading up to it. If you had the chance to be around groups of kids beforehand, then you were more prepared. If you had an adult who read to you and worked with you on shapes and colors, then you were more prepared. 

  • Supporting United Way advances early learning
  • There’s no shame in shedding tears

    This particular emergency room is all too familiar to me: I know the room numbers and their location almost by memory, having been called upon to pray here more times than I care to recall.

    But every situation is a bit different; this one caught me by the throat.

    I had known Colin since he was a pup, baptized him, watched him grow to young adulthood and prayed over him when he left home on the way to fulfilling his dream of a military career.

  • When you're a kid, nothing tops a snow day

    Does anything in adult life quite compare to a snow day?

    It simply has no equal.

    As the temperatures dove and Friday’s forecast became an alert, then a watch and finally a warning, kids in countless homes crossed their fingers and offered silent prayers for snow.

    Remember the anticipation and excitement building as the forecasters predicted pending gloom?

    When accumulation figures were described in terms of inches, we became almost giddy.

  • Sometimes, the joy truly is in the journey

    I pressed on, hiking about 50 feet in front of Mary, who was straining to keep up. Dave, not in any particular hurry, lagged behind her another 15 yards or so.

    “I just know the clearing in the woods was right about here,” I shouted back to my two grown children.

    Still unable to find the clearing, I picked up my pace even more, stretching the distance between the three of us.

  • A box filled with memories of a life well lived

    eople step into our lives daily. Some are just passing through. Others leave lasting impressions.

    Helen Byrd seldom crossed paths with people without touching their lives — and always for the better, it seems.

    Over the years, she would go by many names among her huge assortment of friends: Mrs. Byrd, Ma Byrd, Helen, Aunt Sis, Gravel Gertie. But her light and her life always shone as brightly as her smile.

  • Convergence of holidays prompts unique ideas

    It won’t happen again until the year 79811. That’s 77,798 years from now. So if you’re Jewish, enjoy the moment.

     I’m referring to the concurrence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

    Some American Jews are calling it Thanksgivukkah.

    Actually, Hanukkah begins on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, which this year falls on Nov. 28. It’s a rare occasion for Jews to celebrate two holidays at once, one uniquely American and the other singularly Jewish.

  • Earliest news memories are black and white

    In the blur of memories that define childhood, a few images jump forward with vivid detail.

    A neighbor removing the storm door after I locked my baby sister alone inside; Uncle Earl carrying my bed from our old house next door to the new house; and TV news coverage following the Kennedy assassination.

    I was 5, almost 6. In that time before kindergarten, still a preschooler with his days largely dictated by games, pets and imaginary friends living in a tree stump.

  • Giving thanks for holiday diligence

    The website TodayIFoundOut .com contains hidden facts about Thanksgiving that should make us appreciative for blessings beyond our table’s bountiful spread.

    Take, for example, the pioneering Sarah Josepha Buell Hale. Chances are you’d be pulling an 8-to-5 and there would be nothing at all special about November’s fourth Thursday if it had not been for Hale, who lobbied five different presidents for 20 years to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.