The other morning I woke up early, splashed awake by a wave of sadness. At first I couldn't identify where the feeling originated.
Half a lifetime ago I worked as a parole officer. One of my duties was to interview the families of prospective parolees. I'd get information for a narrative about the inmate's personal life, their background, education, community support and postrelease plans.
One recent morning, I tried to log on to my online banking account. I needed to check my balance since the dryer had suddenly decided to stop drying and I wasn't sure if I had enough in the account to cover the repair bill.
To distract myself from all of the drama unfolding around the Gainesville City School Board, I turned my jaundiced eye toward Clayton County. I have no vested interests in Clayton County. I don't know anyone in or with the school system there. I've never lived or worked there. Heck, I'm not even absolutely sure if I've ever been there except to possibly drive through on the Interstate.
When I first read the press release, I thought it was a late April Fool's Day hoax.
Poor Lindsay Lohan just can't catch a break.
Most moms are a repository of knowledge, both the book and folklore variety. Lately, it seems every time I open my mouth out comes my mother's voice. After all, she gave me some of the best advice I've ever received and now that I'm a parent, it's time to pass it on.
Years ago, when my Manhattan brother-in-law was single, he discovered the ultimate chick magnet: a dog.
In all, I think I've been pretty lucky. Over the years, I've come across all sorts of people. Some were sweet, funny, endearing, brilliant, downright adorable. Some were rude, obnoxious, creepy and offensive. Only on a few occasions, though, have I come across someone who I felt was absolutely evil.
Like a lot of kids, when I chose a college, I picked one far from home. In my case, it was the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
When I was in my late 20s, I thought I had my whole life figured out. I'd earned degrees in social work, counseling and criminal justice. I was working as counselor for the Department of Corrections. I'd be chief counselor by 35, assistant warden by 40, warden by 45, retire and then spend the rest of my working life teaching and writing.
Gainesville has a hometown treasure in the person of J.H. Holcomb. He taught Industrial Arts, better known as "shop" when I made my way through Gainesville Junior High in the late 1960s.
An era is coming to an end. After 17 years, "The Montel Williams show" is not going to be renewed.
Everybody needs a hero - someone who inspires us and makes us think beyond where we've been comfortable in the past.
I happen to be the mother of a child who loves to write. She's 13 and spends a couple of hours each day doing some sort of writing: short stories, poems, blog entries, essays. She's even completed a few chapters of a book.
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.
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