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Editor’s note: Guest writers featured in The News Courier are expressing their personal observations and opinions. While the newspaper does seek to ensure these columns are based on fact, the comments are the sole responsibility of the authors.

editor's pick featured

Without argument, 2020 has been quite a year. With the pandemic, civil unrest, an unforgettable election, murder hornets, hurricanes, wildfires and too much more to list, each of us can concur it’s been a challenge at best …. and it’s not over yet.

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This column is dedicated to friends. Old friends. New friends. New friends who will one day be old friends. Family you’d chose as friends. Best friends. Casual friends. Facebook friends. Editor friends I’ve never met. Peripheral friends. Understanding friends. People you casually encounter w…

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When I was younger, like most school-aged children, I started a countdown to Christmas. As the weeks would pass and the count got down to days, I could barely contain my excitement. I haven’t matured much since those days, it seems, since I go through the same unbridled anticipation when cou…

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Attending the junior prom with my future husband in 1964 is a fond memory. Still a fan of the Big Band Era, we slow danced to "Sentimental Journey," played by Les Brown and his orchestra. Those lyrics and melody remain a favorite and stir nostalgic emotions whenever I hear or think of them.

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Particularly in November, we think of those who returned as survivors of active duty service to our nation. All branches of the military have my sincere thanks and deepest respect for their service, both foreign and domestic, as guardians of America the beautiful. Many in my family, as well …

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It’s funny how you don’t give something a second (or third, fourth or tenth) thought until it becomes suddenly a first thought.

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A few days ago, I harvested the last leaves off of my basil plant and, since it’s an annual, removed it from the raised bed where it grows during the warm climate months. This always makes me sad, because I love fresh basil and a variety of other herbs in dishes that I make. The sadness only…

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When growing up, mostly during the 1950s, my sweet tooth would act up in eager anticipation of Halloween. This holiday was approached in an entirely different way back in the day. First of all, not one soul ever bought a costume. So much of the fun came from planning and putting something to…

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Hide-and-seek has changed at our house, as many things change when you progress from being nearly 2 to nearly 2-and-a-half. That is the case of our granddaughter.

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The main reasons backyard gardeners use mulch is for weed suppression in warm weather, soil insulation during colder temperatures and moisture retention year-round. These factors, as well as cost and how it looks in your flower bed, are points to consider when picking the mulch you will use …

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When the grandchildren were young, anticipation was high as we held our annual Leaf Party at a travel trailer (everyone’s favorite spot) parked on a lakeside lot a short drive from our home. Set along an area prolific with trees, dried leaves fell each fall to create a ground cover more than…

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It’s good to have the necessities when traveling. For some families, that might mean Doritos and a good cheese dip, or maybe carrots and low-fat ranch.

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Azaleas are one of the most widely planted spring blooming shrubs. The burst of color from azaleas, whether manicured or left natural, bring stunning beauty to the garden and mark the time when winter is over and spring has finally sprung.

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Over the years I’ve written several essays about hands but there has never been one mention of feet ... so here goes.

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When it comes to driving, I’ve always allowed my husband to take control of the wheel. Sitting in the passenger seat is so much easier than differentiating the brake from the gas pedal or driving between the lines, so I figure I’ve gotten the better end of that deal. But with driving comes t…

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I’ve been covering local sports for 14 years now, but I’ve been a “big guy” for 31. When you are 6-foot-6 and weigh north of 300 pounds, you learn quick that not everything is made to accommodate you.

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Fall is kind of like the Cinderella of the calendar, with three overwhelming stepsisters. The use of the word winter was the first to be established, with it being used consistently across many languages to mark a calendar year. For a very long time, it was the only noted season. Next came s…

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I barely remember not being a mom. Even more so, I barely remember my first six months as a mom. I blame it on two things: shock and sleep deprivation – not necessarily in that order.

There is one week set aside each year to salute newspapers for the important role they have played in our nation, a role that goes back to the beginning of these United States.

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Every gardener has their own style that they want to exhibit in their garden. Whether they are planting a small garden bed to be neat and petite or a large area that gives off a carefree untamed vibe, plant selection is as unique to the gardener as their fingerprints.

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Who’s your favorite famous cook? Paula Deen? Martha Stewart? Grandma? We all have one, as well as at least one infamous cook. You know those I mean — like the gal who allows her cats to roam the countertops while preparing tasty ingredients for a potluck.

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I wear a mask when out in public because that is what we are asked to do. The experts tell us masks help stop the spread of COVID-19, and I usually follow the advice of experts.

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“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” That’s just a little Shakespeare to start your day, but it’s a good question. What’s in a name?

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Marriage is not a state of eternal bliss where roses bloom eternally. Hard work is required to create a good, solid relationship. The same principles apply to other relationships as well.

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We’ve been on lockdown (or semi-lockdown) for nearly six months. It’s been interesting, to say the least.

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I always enjoy conversations with gardening people. Technically, I guess I am one of them, but there are a lot of master gardeners that have a lifetime of experience and plant wisdom that I just haven’t achieved yet. These conversations always give me a heads-up about what I should be doing …

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Familyspeak is a real thing. It consists of the language within a family or other close-knit group unique to the members therein. Generally, words and phrases under this heading are based on a specific incident or verbal exchange solely within the clan or tribal unit.

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“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Human nature coaxes us to appear at our very best. Some exhibit a public demeanor and a very different private one. As we struggle to appear perfect, we must not fall into the trap of deceit and hypocrisy despite the fact that there is a bit of Dr. Jekyll as well as Mr. Hyde within our makeup.

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None of us chooses our own name (at least not the original one). Let that sit for a moment. You might be John or Steve or Julie or Lisa, but not by choice. Most likely, your name came by the choice of your parents.

editor's pick featured

Editor’s note: Guest writers featured in The News Courier are expressing their personal observations and opinions. While the newspaper does seek to ensure these columns are based on fact, the comments are the sole responsibility of the authors.

editor's pick featured

Although I could probably name a dozen bad things about the pandemic, there are some very notable positives at work. Families are spending more time at home, which I feel is a welcome change to the busy and overloaded schedules that have become the norm. Folks are taking up hobbies, getting …

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Way back yonder in the Appalachian holler, before indoor plumbing and other luxuries, during the winter or inclement weather, every house had one or more chamber pots. That was the formal name and a more acceptable phrase in social circles; however, they were also known by various other name…

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I consider myself to be frugal. I bang on the ketchup bottle to get the last drop, save newspapers to use in garden beds, use old shower curtains as painting drop cloths, and I clip coupons — although, I usually end up at the store without them. But, hey, I try.

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Abraham Lincoln is attributed with saying, “A man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be.”

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Is your garden overflowing with vegetables, and is your family giving you the death stare when you put down another plate of zucchini or squash? It may be time to freeze some of these veggies for use during the months when they aren’t freely growing in the garden.

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Do you dread Monday? I used to, but retirement renders sameness to most days. Still, the reputation for Monday and misery go hand in hand.

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I’m not sure of the exact definition of "middle age." I guess it depends on how long you plan to live. I’m not ready to publicly admit to middle-agedness, as I plan to live forever, but I am beginning to get a feel for some of the changes that happen during the F-word decades.

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I am one of those citizens who is proud to be from the quaint little historic town of Athens, Alabama. Throughout my years in the military, whenever someone asked me where I was from, I always said Athens. Some claimed to be from larger cities, like Huntsville or Birmingham, but I always cla…

editor's pick

Editor’s note: Guest writers featured in The News Courier are expressing their personal observations and opinions. While the newspaper does seek to ensure these columns are based on fact, the comments are the sole responsibility of the authors.

When we were stationed in Germany, we had a landlord that had a huge garden. My husband was there a few months before me and had told the landlord that I was a chef. When I finally got there, he came over to meet me and, somewhere in the conversation, asked if I had ever made pickles. I told…

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What country kid hasn’t had an encounter with a mean rooster? If not, you probably witnessed one. Either way, you understand the reality of pure panic.

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