• Between stories and real life by Jessica Tanner

    In my head, I hear the sounds of the latest story I’ve dreamed up. Cannons blaze from ships that can fly. A hero scales a castle wall to rescue a fair maiden from a kingdom under siege. Too bad he doesn’t know she’s the daughter of a captain and has excellent aim with a musket. The smell of gunpowder coats my nostrils. Whinnies from frightened horses and the shouts from terrified civilians mix with sharp pops, reverberating bangs and deep booms. And then my mind goes blank. My hero is inches fro…

  • Words are powerful by Helen Smith

    “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Children used this phrase on the playground in elementary school to defend against ugly words spoken by bullies. In my home growing up, I heard positive, encouraging, and loving words. Seldom did I hear a discouraging word, even in times of cloudy skies. Other children were not so blessed. Mean words stuck to some of my schoolmates and hurt them. They were not equipped to deal with the negativity and their lives were affected.…

  • Connections are worth protecting by Richard Gammill

    A friend of mine, Henry, lived to be nearly 105 years of age, passing away in 1995. He was well-known in our community, as for several years he drove his car for Meals on Wheels, delivering to folks 10 or 20 years younger than himself. Henry and I were members of the same Rotary Club and we all had cake every year on his birthday — with a candle on each slice. Henry spent his career with the telephone company. Our local newspaper ran a story with a picture of him supervising rows of telephone op…

  • The Gift of Frozen Donuts by Jan Davis

    I sat in the small hospital room and watched Travis sleep. Once a picture of health at 8 weeks, he was my baby. The youngest of three and my only son. It was hard to imagine something might be wrong. My mind played over the events of the previous few days. His doctor became concerned over his lack of weight gain. I thought it might be the colic, the doctor wanted to be sure. So far, tests were inconclusive. Travis’ big sisters, Carla and Andria, tried to be brave. They missed their mom and worri…

  • Dressing Up After the Change by Hank Slikker

    I’ve never been much on fashion, but how I appear in public has a little bit to do with how I dress. I never want to leave a bad impression. For the most part, however, my checkbook and my comfort govern my dress. Being comfortable, for me, is better than being cool. This doesn’t mean I’m against fashion. I would enjoy having a laundered tuxedo hanging in the closet to wear at least once a week. Like the dressed up stars at the Oscars, I would really impress my wife. But in my world not many of …