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Last Independence Day happened to fall on Sunday, a day of worship for many Americans and, as usual, I was at ushering at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral that morning. Because of our country’s deep tension between worship and patriotism, I felt sorry for our dean who, in her sermon that day, had to find the balance between celebrating the gospel and nationalism. She found the common ground in the word “Freedom.”

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A month ago, while flying home from Miami and landing in Atlanta, I felt a terrible pressure in my ear that had me close to screaming out loud. The pain was excruciating and left the right side of my face sore and achy for a few days.

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Kids complain about school and grown-ups complain about work. But, when gone from your life, you realize how much you miss the socialization and the opportunities that working and learning afford you.

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Oh, it is so nice to be able to shake hands, hold babies, and eat out, again.
This week, an old friend and former roommate from my twenties came to stay at my house along with her daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.

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This past Sunday proved to be an experiential lesson for me in America’s current social and global threats. And, as with all realizations, the more you learn, the more you realize you need to learn. It is never as simple as you would like it to be.

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Remember those little bells on your bicycle handle bars, that kids just love to ring? The ones where you could keep your hands in place while your thumb stretched over to push the lever on a simple, mechanical bell?

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When I overheard my daughter telling someone that her “PJ game was strong,” I had to laugh and thought, “Right now, that’s true for everyone.” Gone are the days of dressing up and going out. Now, a big outing is masking up for a run to the grocery store and back home for a night of cooking or lounging in freshly washed PJ’s with a good book, hard puzzle, or mini-series on the boob tube (that’s a TV for you youngsters).

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The best part of a vacation is, as Carley Simon sang: anticipation. It gives you something to look forward to. I always know I am due a ‘vacay’ when the smallest things at work or home seem larger than they are, and the daily grind feels like drudgery. That is when I think, “I need a vacation,” and just the thought of getting away buoys my mood and increases my productivity.

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The CDC recommends not traveling unless you absolutely must; and if you must, be smart about it. Weighing these recommendations, I thought about my upcoming and necessary trip to Miami, Florida. Should I rent an RV and drive? With a pull-along bed, bath, and kitchen I could quarantine throughout the three day drive down. It seemed like a responsible way to travel.

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I know buying a new car is a luxury, not an investment, but that does not keep me from purchasing one. Recalling the evolution of one’s cars is a lot like tracing the evolution of one’s life.

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What good is a blog without honesty? Who wants to read about a perfect person living a perfect life? Personally, I want to watch the crazies: The Osbourne’s, Trump, and daytime Soaps. By watching other poor souls struggle and make mistakes, I feel better about my own actions and the crazy voice (I like to call Devil Speak) in my head.

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Understanding the importance of art to our society is subjective. There are so many mediums that speak to a wide variety of people in different ways. For instance, I love big, vibrant paintings and ballet, my kids and now my granddaughter love singing and theatre, and my son-in-law’s family is filled with musicians.

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Well, I finally did it. I fulfilled a promise to my late girlfriend, Sarah Smith, and had the dreaded colonoscopy. The diet modification for this procedure begins a week in advance and, on the day before, you are instructed to consume only liquids. This is some good advice, because that night’s prep is eventful, and not in a good way.

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