Earlier this week, my sister Kathy called me, "Am I correct in thinking that Mom used to send us little kid Valentine's like the ones school children use?"
In grammar school, Valentine's Day meant wrapping a shoe box with brown craft paper, cutting a slot in the top for cards to drop in and decorating the outside of the box with hearts and cupids. Store-bought Valentines were labeled the night before and carefully taken to school to be given away. When the big day came, it wasn't only if you received Valentines that counted, it was from whom, and if they gave you your card first that mattered.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill, Britain's prime minister during World War II. Churchill took up painting as a hobby in 1915, after the Gallipoli debacle, where 46,000 allied lives were lost over nine months of the campaign. He went on to paint more than 500 paintings during his lifetime. As wartime prime minister, he took a break from painting, focusing instead on the task at hand - winning the war, no matter the cost.
Enthusiastic, entertaining, energized and eminent, President Obama's demeanor and delivery at the State of the Union belied his political reality. Unbowed, unbroken and possibly unaffected by the recent midterm Republican wave, Obama displayed his great skill by delivering an emotional teleprompter-driven speech that was a throwback to his first election. Varying tempo, pitch, passion and inflection, his speech was more a theatrical performance than a delivery of a prewritten, pre-released text.
As members of the 114th Congress were sworn into office on Tuesday, their party affiliations described what happened last November: 246 of the 435 representatives and 54 of the 100 senators are Republican.
New Year's is the almost-perfect holiday (Christmas takes the blue ribbon). It's a combination of reflecting, celebrating or possibly just being glad of getting rid of the old year - while at the same time looking forward to the potential and possibilities of the year to come. It's the bridge between the past and present, where what has been done is over - but the future still looks bright, if a bit hazy.
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Our two children are into the second week of their final quarter of the school year. Warm weather, longer days and budding plants are pushing their thoughts toward summer. For them, summer equates to vacation, travel, sleeping late and the absence of homework, quizzes and tests.
As a mother, I often dwell on my role and that of my husband in influencing our children. I also think about the roles their peers and their environment play in affecting their growth.
Georgia may appear at first glance to be a red state, solidly Republican, but its history is more complex. Those unfamiliar with its political history might be surprised to learn that, for 90 years, the Democratic Party so dominated Georgia that no Republican would run for the governor's office.
Almost two decades ago, heartbroken and single, I wrote out a list that described the man of my dreams. Less than two years later, my husband and I married, proving that dreams do indeed come true. (Yes, he met and even exceeded all criteria).
As Americans, we have the unfortunate habit of thinking about others by seeing their actions and reactions from our point of view. We put ourselves in their figurative shoes, i.e., we know about their situations, constraints, advantages and options, but we don't know what is going on in their minds. This may be due to our relative lack of diversity, the geographic size of our nation or our relatively insular upbringing.
The first two months of 2014 are all but done, and there is only a little more than eight months left until the midterm elections. The House is projected to remain Republican. In the Senate, the seats up for election are currently split between 21 Democratic seats and 15 Republican seats. This difference in open Senate seats, combined with a midterm election, a sluggish economy, and the decline of President Obama's international performance creates an opportunity for the Republicans to potentially pick up the Senate.
Thursday is my mother's birthday; she would have been 78. This is the first year that she won't be with us to celebrate, but will be in heaven looking down. In my mind, she is still with us in spirit and love.
They can make fun of us if they want. Georgians know that grace and generosity are more important than blame. While others may make fun and cast blame, the important stories are not about how weather happens, snow comes and we get caught in traffic jams for hours or how we abandon cars and pick them up a day to two later. The real stories are about strangers handing out food and water, stores and restaurants welcoming those who are stranded, providing them shelter for the night. They are of neighbors getting together for large dinners, friends walking miles to ...
Two ads are seared into my memory from childhood. One is by Keep America Beautiful for Earth Day in 1970. The commercial portrayed what appeared to be an American Indian crying over the pollution that littered our country. Later, we found out the actor was neither an Indian nor really crying.
As parents of two middle-schoolers (eighth grade and sixth), my husband and I spend time attempting to help them develop characteristics that we believe are useful and good.
My mother's father died of cancer before I was born. My mother was pregnant with me, but had not told her father that she was to have a second child. The story I've been told is that they opened him up to remove the cancer -- and found it everywhere. They closed him back up and sent him home to die.
The start of the year is when many companies, organizations, families and people review their plans and their priorities. This process often includes deciding where they should focus their time, energy and effort, and how to judge, at year's end, whether they have succeeded.
The discord between Democrats and Republicans regarding the three-month extension of unemployment benefits will be used by the Democrats for political fodder against the Republicans, if Republicans let them.
It's the beginning of a new year and a great chance to start over - but how? Here are 10 ways to gain a fresh start in 2014.
The week between Christmas and New Year's Day has always been one of my favorite times of the year.