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Columns

  • 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.

  • Avoid the holiday financial hangover

    The BBB is urging consumers to create a holiday budget this season. Mapping out your spending in November will help ease the strain of a financial holiday hangover in January.

    Creating a budget, and being disciplined enough to follow it, is one of the best ways to avoid overspending during the holidays.

    Here are the steps to creating a holiday budget:

    Step 1: Consider your income.

  • No escaping the realities of global warming

    I sat down to the evening news. That’s not always the best thing to do if you want to unwind for the day, which was my intent.

    I had been to a conference sponsored by the Sustainable Religious Lands Committee of the Festival of Faiths. In partnership with the Center for Interfaith Relations and Bellarmine University’s Campus Ministry, I heard speakers address issues intended to raise our awareness of alarmingly high environmental and human risks resulting from the much-acclaimed national “energy independence” boom.

  • Speaking on Dad’s behalf

    Ten years ago, on Nov. 18, 2003, Al Isham of Elizabethtown died. Many readers of The News-Enterprise remember Al as the one who wrote copious letters to the editor and kept the gun control debate alive with his thoughtful musings and informed arguments. Others may remember him as a liberal upstart trying to limit gun owners’ rights.

  • A couple points about local politics

    The 2014 election season promises to be a contentious one locally.

    As a young reporter three decades ago, a similar election season taught a couple lessons that consistently have proven to be true.

    1. If there’s something ugly to be said about someone, it will come out if they file for office.

    No matter how tiny the perceived offense, it has the potential to be part of campaign talk.

  • When your child’s name is on a tombstone

    By Tammy Nischan

    Leaning against the doorframe of the school workroom, she shared her struggle.

    She had snapped at her daughter all morning, because she was stressed.

    “I can’t keep living like this,” she sighed.

    As I looked into her aching eyes, I saw myself. I saw a woman trying to balance a career with motherhood. I saw a woman who longs to be the best she can be at work while longing to be the best she can be at home.

  • Riding to the Capitol with a bus full of nuns

    I first planted a garden because of something an Italian monk wrote some 1,500 years ago.

    His name is Benedict — St. Benedict of Nursia. And the document he penned became known as his rule or guide for monastic life.

    As author Jon Sweeney has noted, the Rule of St. Benedict became not only the basic guide for generations of monks in various religious orders, but it established a “way of life rooted in the Gospel and grounded in the scriptural principles of charity, stability and faithfulness.”