Columns

For well over a year, I feel we have lived in a hole and a muddy one at that! We collectively experienced events most of us never dreamed would occur. A nightmare of global death and destruction brought us to our collective knees and challenged most all human beings across our planet.

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Over the past year, as the impacts of the pandemic accumulated, I wrote several columns about how children might be particularly vulnerable to emotional and mental health problems. The disruption of a sense of normalcy, feelings of isolation and loss, and for many families, grief, all increa…

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Beneath the old oak tree, framed in twilight, a lone silhouette, an old man with his box sat and watched while the graveyard spirits spoke of possibility and certainty.

The last couple of weeks have been real interesting from a news perspective. HCA making deals to spin off some of its hospitals — including Redmond Regional Medical Center and Cartersville Medical Center — came out of the blue. But it was not a complete shock, particularly given the fact tha…

I’ve been thinking about women who do not have children. I am one of them. When I was still a young child myself, I played “pretend Mommy” and dreamed up scenarios where I tended to my own house and had my own brood.

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At the end of the film “Thelma & Louise,” the heroines make the choice to drive off the edge of the Grand Canyon rather than get caught by the cops.

I dream a world where all Will know sweet freedom’s way, Where greed no longer saps the soul Nor avarice blights our day. — Langston Hughes

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I watched her slowly get out of her car. She would take a few steps and stop for a bit. She had the Atlanta Journal in her hand. She had come up for coffee and for me to read the paper to her. Her vision was failing because of macular degenerative disease, and she missed reading her paper.

Last weekend was much ado about plenty. High marks were in order for everything from the weather to sports competitions, reverberating scenes from here to there, bringing about an enduring appreciation for the good things in life.

A couple of weeks ago, the Christian church celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday. It is marked with the reading of the Gospel text of the Good Shepherd, typically from John 10. It’s an image many are familiar with from Psalm 23, as well. It celebrates the gift of Jesus as the Good Shepherd in our lives.

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There are many activities that we have gotten away from since the pandemic began. As things slowly start to get back to normal we will likely pick many of them up where we left off. There is one for which I hope this is especially true – small talk. No, I’m not crazy. Let me explain.

This past year has been a difficult one. A year of losses, the deaths of friends and family to the pandemic and its isolation, racial injustice and community being different than it has ever been in our lifetime.

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It’s dangerous to look back, to think where you were then and where you are now, to gloat a bit over the idea you are better than you were. If you met your younger self, wouldn’t you be guided by your observation to say, “What joy, how far I have come?” Are you not also tempted to see only y…

The community got good news earlier this week when Ann Hortman, director of the Rome Sports Commission, told the Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism board that the Atlantic Coast Conference tennis tournament would be back in Rome next year. That was not a surprise to me, but it wasn’t a certain…

Choosing to get vaccinated or not is truly a personal choice, but please remember that no man is an island unto himself; each man is a part of the main.

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Let’s think about food and the different foods you associate with certain people. You might smell something cooking and immediately a person’s face comes into your mind. Usually it’s a good memory of someone you love or loved from your past.

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Having preceded the computer era — when I reflect back, I have to say the days of the typewriter weren’t so bad — it took a long time before the habit of reaching for the dictionary to look up the spelling of a word was broken.

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Sitting at my desk I knocked some old movies from a shelf behind me. Picking them up, I came across one that sent me back to a memory that happen quite a few years ago.

Like many small towns in the South during the 1950s, men would gather near the county courthouse on clear, warm Saturdays to whittle, smoke a pipe, and solve the world’s problems. In the Tennessee mountain town where my grandparents lived, I loved to travel to town with my grandmother (aka G…

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While I often use this column to write about issues related to behavioral health – mental health, substance use and disabilities – from time to time I feel it’s important to write more specifically about Highland Rivers Health. And though I am conscientious about trying never to sound like I…

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In a more naïve and simplistic time, when minuscule pains hovered and cast their shadow large over an otherwise carefree existence, when each imagined injury seemed unending and suggested life would never fulfill a novelistic perfection, I searched for a simple God.

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Poetry is often referred to as an art, and it is one, but it’s also a practical tool. It can jostle your brain into new thoughts, change your mood with only a few words, keep you company like an old friend. Because April is National Poetry Month, I want to share a few poems that have kept me good company through the years. They’re poems I’ve turned to for enlightenment or consolation and sent ...

For years I’ve held the that the lyrics to John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” may have been the most wonderful ever written. For the most part I still do, but as I reflected on some of those lines while I was wide awake at 4 a.m., I see the dilemma Rome finds itself in.

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Every couple of hours, I read about some group of people boycotting a national business or company because of some political or religious reason, canceling this or that. This got me to thinking.

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Somewhere in your youth or childhood there are glimpses or vignettes that just seem to stay burned in your brain, aren’t there? They don’t necessarily make sense as particularly pivotal moments, and yet there they are, sticking in the corners of your mind like honey on a plate.

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EATONTON – Here in the heart of Georgia’s Piedmont, native American history has been said to date back as much as 3,000 years — long before the first dairy farm came about in Putnam County and long before Joel Chandler Harris began writing folk tales that were popular in his day but not so m…

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I was thinking about things that have changed. Back when I was growing up, life was much simpler than it is today. Now days everybody is in a hurry to get somewhere with a telephone in their ear. Sometimes it seems the only ways they talk are on the telephone or texting. They will talk in a …

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It was four years ago, almost to the day, that I moved to Rome. Circumstances in my life had reached a point where the move from metro Atlanta to Rome made sense. I was moving in with someone who was very special to me, starting a new job and a new chapter of my life.

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Streets across America, and in other parts of the world, filled with cries of celebration as Derek Chauvin was pronounced guilty on all counts of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd on Tuesday.

When I was a child, my parents used certain southern expressions that my brother and I understood well. When Mom and Dad would say, “We need to have a come-to-Jesus meeting,” I shook in my loafers. This event usually meant that I was in trouble because of my errant ways or bad behavior.

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Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had risen from the grave and was now being seen by his disciples and hundreds of others. He was making ready for His ascension into Heaven to be with his father.

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Quite incidentally and unknowingly, mimicking professional golfer’s swings when we were kids, we stumbled into a key step in the habit formation process. Naming a particular swing or move the “Nicklaus” or “Trevino” or even something simple like “blue” enables the brain a way to cement the s…

This next week is going to be a pretty big week in Rome and Floyd County. It’s Earth Week and it’s the week of the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s and women’s tennis championships at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College.