With Thanksgiving Day only hours behind us -- which I'm guessing is the equivalent of a decade in "shopping years" -- the Christmas holiday season is officially underway.
It's hard to figure us Yanks out, my British friends say. We still go simply gaga over royal weddings like the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Yet we historically rejected royalty -- and increasingly we're even rejecting marriage.
During this holiday season, I'm thankful for:
Yeah, yeah, I know it doesn't take too much mental capacity to conjure up what you're thankful for and put it down on paper. But, frankly, I don't care if it's a cop-out column. Here's my 2010 Thank List, in no order at all:
NEW YORK -- In the accelerating debate about airport pat-downs that feel like a clumsy third date and body scans that border on Peeping Tom shows, it's hard to find a sane place to land.
As the Christmas shopping season approaches, we should all be reminded of just how important shopping at home really is. Studies show that money spent at independently owned local businesses stays in a community, multiplying as it circulates.
Ask any 10 voters what motivated them to go to the polls, and you'll probably get 10 different answers. Taxes, unemployment, government spending -- Americans had a lot on their minds as they approached the ballot box.
Now that the elections are over, the real work begins. The election season is generally a time when rhetoric trumps reality. Now, reality takes center stage. In a nutshell, here's the reality. The state budget has shrunk by over $2.5 billion over the past two years. State support for K-12 education has shrunk by almost $730 million during this period. (There are folks, bless their hearts, who have been using creative math to make the case that K-12 funding has actually increased. If only it were so.) Because federal stimulus/stabilization funding will drop off at the end ...
"Refudiate," a word Sarah Palin created by conflating "refute" and "repudiate" in a Twitter tweet, has entered the New Oxford American Dictionary. It could also serve as her party's new congressional battle cry.
What is the worst ordeal a family can endure? What event could cause you the most anxiety, stress, or heartache? For one local family, the heartache was tripled in just a few days.
Ever wonder why college tuition is going up so rapidly while the economy is in the doldrums and inflation is non-existent?
It was, or so I thought, a dandy column idea: an imaginary, missing chapter of George W. Bush's "Decision Points," in which the former president would admit to having made the wrong call on taxes.
As I sit down to write this column, I still can't believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This year has flown by much faster than any other year I can remember.
So here we are, a few weeks after one of the weirdest election cycles of all time. The optimist in me says, "Oh, look! The people are waking up and realizing they do have the power after all."
I was happy to see President Barack Obama continue his outreach to the world's Muslims during his Asia trip. It's important for Muslims overseas to hear that Americans are waging war against terrorists, not Muslims, even though some Americans have a hard time telling the difference.
We spread Steve last week.
WASHINGTON -- We want to move out. We want to own our home. We want to marry. We want to work.
It sure has felt good to have some cooler days lately. After a long, hot summer, it's nice to know the more pleasant breeze of a pre-autumn day. I have heard many people say similar things in the past week or two, and then there's usually also a follow-up comment about how it won't be long until we're complaining about how cold it is or there's snow and ice on the roads. All true.
Hot, hot, hot! We're on the second day of 99 degrees-plus-the-heat-index weather. I'm on my wide front porch on the shady side of the house with a woven Palmetto frond fan in my hand. Back and forth, waving steadily. It helps a little -- fanning my sweat glistened cheeks and neck. The ladies a century ago would have said they were "glowing." They used these fans too -- in fact my older friend bought dozens of them for her daughter's summer wedding at Salem Black River Presbyterian years ago -- before they put in air conditioning. She gave me this ...
Music has the power to influence. It has the power to evoke deep thoughts, which ultimately lead to a flow of emotions and feelings. Driving paired with music seems to increase that flow of emotions. Maybe it is the sometimes calm rhythmic movement that the steady turn of the wheels creates that appeal to the mind and body. I make a 45 to 50 minute drive to and from work five days a week, so I get plenty of time to daydream, think and devise plans of action for any situation that is heavy on my mind. No one is ...
Though the calendar has now been flipped to the month of September and autumn is right around the corner, here in South Carolina it is still very much summer according to the thermometer. Days are getting shorter, but lower temperatures don't usually make it to South Carolina to signal the end of summer until well into October. Birds have begun their annual migrations south, but the heat and humidity that still lingers continues to keep snakes very active. Being exothermic, or cold-blooded as I was taught in elementary school, snakes take environmental warmth and warm themselves to activate processes ...
WASHINGTON -- As a South Carolinian, it befalls me to examine the peculiarities afflicting our former governor and now-congressman Mark Sanford, who, contrary to decorum and taste, continues to demand attention.
Betrothed women of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your husbands' names.
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