First-world problems. You know what they are. We all have them. They're the issues confronting and irritating those of us living in wealthy, industrialized countries that would leave people in the third world either scratching their heads in bewilderment or shaking them in disgust.
If I met Sharon Budd, I know I'd like her. She's from Uniontown, Ohio. She's raised four kids and worked as a seventh-grade language arts teacher. She's a breast cancer survivor.
In less than two weeks I'll celebrate my 60th birthday. Just for giggles, I perused some 60th birthday cards and, well, the outlook suddenly seems sort of grim. The creepiest of all pictured an empty deck chair on an emptier beach and contained these heartwarming words: "A sunrise is beautiful but so is a sunset. /For turning 60 today don't harbor any regret. / The autumn of your life will be so serene./ You will be the happiest that you have ever been."
The cellphone video told the story. A U.S. Postal Service van was parked beside a ravine. The driver was systematically taking packages from the back of the vehicle and tossing them down the hill. All in a day's work.
When Nicolai "Nico" Calabria was born, his mother phoned her sister. Excitedly, she told the new aunt about the baby's blond curls and blue eyes, that he weighed 6 pounds 7 ounces. Then she added, "He only has one leg."
I hate when a local business closes. The only exception is when the long-time owners are folding up shop so they can move to the tropics.
Last Sunday was Mother's Day. For me it was a solitary one, the first I've spent alone since becoming a mother in 1986.
It all started when the Harley Avenue Primary School staff decided to cancel the yearly kindergarten musical. It's long been a tradition at this Elmwood, N.Y., school and many parents were understandably unhappy. So much so that one parent even started an online petition to restore the performance.
It was around 1989 when some permutation of the Ku Klux Klan and a motley group of affiliated miscreants applied for and was - as is their right - given permission to demonstrate in Gainesville. At the time my business was located in the Jackson Building on downtown's Washington Street.
Last night, I realized I had failed my daughter. She was home from college for a brief visit and we settled in for some TV time. We flipped through a couple of thousand channels, most of them permutations of various "Law and Order" franchises, until I stumbled across a 1961 episode of "The Andy Griffith Show."
I came of age in the 1970s. Carole King composed the soundtrack to my early college years. And not just mine, it appears. Her 1971 album, "Tapestry" is, even to this day, one of the best-selling albums of all time.
It's not hard to identify with Utah mom Judy Cox's frustration. She was recently shopping in her local mall with her 18-year-old son when she spotted the window display in the PacSun boutique.
Every family has its little traditions. When I was growing up, each year from the time I was 4 until I entered high school, there was a birthday trip to the Atlanta Zoo. Every August, I would invite a friend and my parents would take us on a day trip.
I'm writing this on one of the coldest nights I've ever experienced. I'm sitting at the kitchen table encased in flannel pajamas, a fleece robe, earmuffs, a Chenille infinity scarf and two pairs of socks. Across my lap is a heated throw and a space heater buzzes industriously at my feet.
Let's look at some numbers, shall we? Africa disproportionately bears the burden of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. There are 34 million people living with AIDS worldwide; of those, 69 percent live in sub-Saharan Africa.
I don't pay a lot of attention to football. Even though I was a proud Red Elephant during the heyday of Bobby Gruhn and Tommy West, I just never caught the fever. Four years at the University of Alabama during the reign of Bear Bryant did nothing to pique my interest. Since I married a man whose football apathy mirrored my own, there was never an incentive to learn or follow the game.
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