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Blocked Dreams

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What if your dream is blocked because of circumstances beyond your control? That’s the theme of “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” a recently released movie starring Cate Blanchette. Bernadette (Blanchette) is a once successful architect who has spent the last 20 years in a psychological tailspin because one of her masterpieces was destroyed. The tragedy caused […]

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A Rainy Day Serendipity

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Serendipity. Mirriam-Webster says we experience it when we “find valuable or agreeable things not sought for.” Other definitions add the words “unexpected” and “unplanned.” Which happened yesterday. I woke early, planning to begin my bike ride at sunup. But it was raining—not that slick pavement keeps me home. But in this part of Texas, in […]

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My Elevator Pitch

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Professional writers call them “elevator pitches.” If you had only a short elevator ride to pitch your book to a (pick one) agent, publisher or reader, what would you say? Well, here’s mine: Retirement can be scary. It was for me. The temptation is to see it as an ending—to physical abilities, mental agility, important […]

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Tommy Hunter’s Ducks

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On Christmas Day, 1959, my brother Craig and I found 410-gauge shotguns under the tree, and we wasted no time taking our first hunting expedition through the field behind our house toward Tierra Blanca Creek. We were looking for jackrabbits, but when we found none, we decided to try our luck with ducks. If you’ve […]

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Hands Down, Biscuits and Gravy

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Had dinner last night at the Bellah Building on the corner of 15th Street and 5th Avenue in Canyon, so named because Bellah 1927 is written on a large, cement block just below the roof line. R. A. Bellah built the structure when my dad (his grandson) was four years old. He constructed it for […]

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Europe on a Budget

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“You can travel in Europe for the same amount, or even cheaper, than in the U.S.” So say Jerry and Nonette (Non) Robinson, a retired Canyon couple who have learned to do Europe on a budget. Both former teachers (Jerry was also a coach), the Robinsons’ fascination with Europe began in the late 80s when […]

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You Can’t Make Old Friends

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In 2013, country music legends Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton released what, in their minds, would be the last of their many hit duets. It was named, appropriately, “You Can’t Make Old Friends.”  Written by Ryan Hanna King, Caitlyn Smith and Don Schlitz (the latter wrote “The Gambler”), the piece spoke movingly of the kind […]

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My Green and Yellow Tractor

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So a guy stopped by who wanted to mow my lawn. Asked $75 for it. I told him “no, thanks.” “Is that too much?” was his question. How do I tell him? That I’ve waited all my life to drive a John Deere (even a miniature one). That work doesn’t feel like work when it’s […]

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Not Another Little Book on Christianity

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A friend wanted to know if I was writing a Christian book on retirement. “No,” was my first answer; then, “well, sort of.” I did not set out to write a theology of retirement. That is, I didn’t scour the Bible to see what the Scriptures said about the concept (the word isn’t used at […]

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Shoe Strings and Other Things

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A shoe string, an old phone charger cord and a bungee cord—that’s what it took to repair the shredded splash shield (protects the engine from underneath) on my Toyota Camry. Don’t laugh. It got us from Flagstaff, Arizona to the dealership in Reno, Nevada. Improvising, according to Webster, is “producing or making something from whatever […]