For those who do not follow the liturgical Christian year, it may seem strange to think of this Sunday as the beginning of a new year. The notion that a new year is upon us may not seem right when leftover Thanksgiving turkey is still in the fridge. But for those attuned to such things, this Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is relevant not only to those who celebrate Christmas for twelve days beginning Dec. 25, but also to those for whom the Christmas (shopping) season begins today, Black Friday.
Thanksgiving, for all its joy and stress, is a time of tradition. Every family I know can name five or six traditions they follow every year without fail. Some have little to do with the official day of giving thanks declared by Abraham Lincoln, but they have everything to do with forming memories that give us a sense of family and community.
In high-stakes poker, there usually comes a time when one player has an advantage over the others and declares, "All in," meaning he is betting everything he has. This forces other players to put up their fortunes, or fold.
War leaves a mark. Yesterday, on Veterans Day, we honored those who have that mark from physical war. But even more serious is the ultimate battle we are all in, a spiritual battle against sin. And on this Sunday in the Church Year (Last Judgment Sunday) we talk about its end.
"Trick or Treat." Are you ready to hear it? Chances are, you'll hear it a few times this weekend. This is the one time a year that when someone asks a child, "What do you say?" the correct answer is not "Please" or "Thank you!"
Why do you do what you do? Has it ever happened where you do something even though every rational thought and logical sense would tell you not to? Maybe you give the person a second chance. Maybe you do without so that someone else doesn't have to. Why do yo do those things that don't really seem to benefit you in any way?
Near the end of the 19th century, renowned physicist Henry Augustus Rowland was once called as an expert witness at a trial. During cross-examination a lawyer demanded, "What are your qualifications as an expert witness in this case?" Rowland answered, "I am the greatest living expert on the subject under discussion." Later, when a friend expressed surprise at the professor's answer, Rowland replied, "Well, what did you expect me to do? I was under oath."
It's always an emotional time when you leave someplace: when the child goes away to college, when the family leaves its home because they're moving to a new one, when the baby of the family moves out on her own. It's emotional, even when you know the move is what you wanted and for your good.
Congress is in recess for the November election. They left D.C. without acting on any tax issues. Fear of the electorate kept them from voting to increase or decrease taxes on different income-level groups, as well as taxes on industries that move their operations out of the U.S. Any mention of tax increases can be toxic, but I'll put on the gas mask and bring up increasing tax revenue.
As the "season for spending" (Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza) approaches, economists and, more importantly, stockbrokers will be watching the sales figures to determine whether the buying public is in ...
The events of the past 11 weeks have left me feeling like the description of Waffle House hash browns: scattered, smothered, diced and covered. Since the morning of July 26, when my mother fell and broke her back in two places, our experiences have included Dr. Dalton Hanowell's fantastic Kyphon balloon kyphoplasty surgery at Newton Medical fixing my mom's back, her three weeks of rehabilitation at the Morgan Memorial Transitional Care Unit, and 10 days at Merryvale Assisted Living Home re-learning independent living.
My mother-in-law had surgeries for lung and thyroid cancer. My wife's dog blew out ...
I recently read an article about a European butterfly known as the Large Blue. Its beautiful iridescent wings would make it a striking addition to any collection. But I was disturbed by an unusual feature of its life cycle that I found on Wikipedia: