It was an early summer morning, an enchanting time when flowers were blooming, blackberries were spurting to full growth and the birds were happy to have sunny warmth. I had taken myself out to the back porch, where I often settle down to write after I have finished a gentle run.
Toddlers have very active imaginations. My 2-year-old daughter comes up with some pretty tall tales and, while I know they aren't malicious, I'm conflicted about whether I should draw a line when it comes to "fanciful fibs." I don't want her to grow up thinking it's acceptable to lie; however, I'm also quite certain that at the age of 2, she doesn't even understand what a lie is. How and when can you teach a toddler not to do something she doesn't even realize she's doing?
In my home hangs a photograph of a rather large and deep hole on the side of an asphalt road. It is the aftermath of an improvised explosive device - or, in more simple terms, a homemade bomb - that went off just as the Humvee in which I was riding passed over it.
What's a state to do when the federal surface transportation program heads toward its Sept. 1 expiration date with little promise of a new transportation bill, and the Federal Highway Trust Fund's expenditures outpace tax receipts about $1.25 billion a month?
Voter turnout was abysmal during last month's primaries, despite important races for governor and both the First Congressional District and one of Georgia's two seats in the Senate. Statewide, less than 20 percent of registered voters participated. In Liberty County, that number was even lower - only 17.6 percent of the county's 24,733 registered voters bothered to exercise their right to help elect their leaders.
Mama used to fry biscuits. If you had known Mama, that wouldn't surprise you, because she fried every food possible. In the course of her life, I knew her to fry green beans, corn, grits and cornmeal mush.
I wish toddler enthusiasm was infectious. I love seeing my 2-year-old daughter happy about anything and, to an extent, her elation at simple things does wear off on me. However, it would be nice if I could get as excited about anything in life - anything at all - as Reese does about blowing bubbles. Or sitting in a wading pool in the backyard. Or getting a taste of apple juice that hasn't been cut with water to reduce the sugar content.
MOULTRIE - I recently tried to make a phone call to a company to address an issue relative to my profession. As I would expect, I got a recording. This is the world we live in today.
Editor, On April 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a proposal in the federal register that would greatly expand the authority of the federal government to regulate water and wet areas on private property.
I have said it before, but it bears repeating: If I don't qualify for Heaven - a distinct possibility - my preferred alternates are (a) Athens, Georgia, on a crisp fall Saturday afternoon; (b) Athens, Georgia, on a warm spring day or (c) Athens, Georgia, on any day.
Editor, The federal government is at it again. Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency released new rules regarding greenhouse-gas emissions for existing power plants. The EPA is forcing electric companies to cut their emissions 30 percent by 2030. Although this is 16 years away, the power plants will have to start making changes now to meet that requirement. Coal provides almost half of Georgia's electrical power.
There are many things I love about the South. Southerners are fiercely patriotic. We're neighborly. We're storytellers without equal. We're unabashedly and unapologetically faithful. We're proudly hospitable. But here's what I love just a little bit better than all the rest: We believe mightily in courtesy and manners.
Politically speaking, perhaps the biggest news story last week was the historic loss of U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary election.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. It seems to me that there once was a time - now, this was decades ago, mind you - when, if a father did anything out of the ordinary, he was commended and praised for going above and beyond.
Nostalgia is popular these days: Retro fashions, disco and '80s pop, "Throwback Thursdays" on social media. What's old is new again, what used to be hip turned square and then back to cool.
For many environmental organizations in Georgia, Earth Day will never be the same.
Editor, My hat goes off to the Tri County RC Flyers for their recent airshow and the thousands of dollars they raised for wounded veterans. Unfortunately, the Courier's story contained a description of the Wounded Warrior Project organization that was misleading and is inaccurate. It read "… which helps veterans wounded in conflict…"
Editor, My wife went grocery shopping the morning of Aug. 21 with our 2-year-old son. While shopping, she bumped into another shopper along the way several times and made small talk. My son started to get bored and upset, so my wife cut her trip short and headed to the checkout.
It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.
I am fascinated by how other countries approach recycling. I recently visited a website called Recycle More from Ireland. Their approach, like so many European countries, is detailed. They expect their citizens to make the effort to recycle as many items as possible. And they certainly don't limit their recycling to plastic bottles and aluminum cans. There is no one-stop drop-off for many items. If you are Irish, you take electronics back to electronic shops, batteries to shops that sell them, etc.
As an unusually mild, rainy summer was melting away - or rather, frosting its way into autumn - I took to noticing signs that our mountain people always have used to judge the forthcoming severity of winter.
Football season is upon us. I'm sure some of you are thrilled about its arrival. I am not.
We are constantly reminded that the world is a very deadly place - not just for our military personnel - but also for members of the Fourth Estate. Some journalists working in dangerous regions in a globe full of conflict will not return home. The latest: 40-year-old James Foley. His gruesome death at the hands of ISIS has been available for all to see.
The regional transportation sales-tax referendum failed two years ago across most of Georgia. So it's encouraging to see movement again, in the form of a joint study committee on transportation funding that met Aug. 5 for the first of seven meetings around the state before the legislative session.
Editor, I would like to respond to the Long County audit for the year ending June 30, 2013, which is - needless to say - a joke.
Rap! Rap! Rap: "The special called meeting of the Loyal Order of Liberals will come to order. Let's begin the meeting as we always do - with the Liberal Pledge of Allegiance:
Editor, I lost a friend last week. I lost a longtime coworker. I lost an Army comrade, though we never served together nor did we share "war stories." And Liberty County lost someone who was a loyal, extremely dedicated and tireless worker until his "untriumphant" retirement last year.
A while back, a messy problem loomed ahead. I don't like confrontation. If that makes me less than a person then consider me to be itty bitty. Life, I figure, is too short for squabbling. My motto is "whenever possible, step out of the way."
My 2-year-old daughter, Reese, adores the Disney movie, "Frozen." I admit, it's a cute flick with plenty of catchy tunes and even a few good one-liners. There's one part, however, that I'm having trouble explaining to Reese, and I fear I'll have even more difficulty with it as she gets older.