Worth the Fight

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It was C’s birthday—last Friday when Charlotte and I ate with two of our favorite couples. C and S and S and L have been our friends for at least 40 years. They represent a group I’ll call my FCM-PCC-EFC friends—the initials coming from three church homes we shared in the ‘70s and ‘80s. With […]

Camp Friends

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I met my first friends in the summer of 1966 at Hidden Falls Ranch (a Christian youth camp on the Palo Duro). Sure, I had friends growing up in Canyon, but real friends—I believe one needs to be a friend to have one, and before that summer I didn’t know how. To be a friend, […]

The Lunch Bunch

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Was home sick Monday (chest cold) so I missed the lunch bunch—10 colleagues who have met weekly for nearly 10 years. We’re a dissimilar group. There’s the Shakespearian (with a timely quote for any occasion), the rancher/Karaoke singer, the comedian (who does convincing impersonations of about every administrator AC has had), the grammarian/sorority girl, the […]

My Friends: An Introduction

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“I am not aware of any other factor in medicine that has a greater impact on our survival than the healing power of love and intimacy. Not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery.” So says Dr. Dean Ornish, a Clinical Fellow at Harvard and author of “Love and […]


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Had supper Thursday with Chrystelle and baby James. You’ll remember Chrystelle as the young lady from Cameroon who lost her husband last June in a terrible swimming pool accident. After a long trip to her native land to bury her husband and receive comfort from her family, she is back in Amarillo to continue chasing […]

Not a Good Week

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This has not been a good week. A friend lost his wife after a protracted battle with cancer; another lost her son in an unexpected tragedy. Some romanticize death, putting the best face they can on it, looking for meaning in what seems so meaningless. I don’t. Death is a tragedy. Always—at 8 or 88. […]

Leisure: Fun Is What It Is

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According to Geoff Godbey, a sociology professor at Pennsylvania State University, “At the end of your life, what you’ve done with your leisure may be more important than what you’ve done at work.” To that end, researchers have written entire books on the subject (Stella Rheingold’s “101 Fun Things To Do in Retirement”); others (Dorothy […]

The Leisure Fallacy

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Current research strongly condemns equating retirement with leisure. Marika and Howard Stone say that since many of us can expect to live another 20 or 30 healthy years, we are “Too Young to Retire” (the name of their bestselling book): Mary Catherine Bateson (“Composing a Further Life”) is more blunt: Extended lifespans contain “far too […]