Happy problems

October 7, 2009 “Oh no, too many people showed up, and we ran out of parking spaces.” “Groan, we already had three events this weekend, and now we have a fourth. I don’t see how we’re going to be able to fit it all in.” Such is the stuff of modern stress. Events don’t work out like you planned, or you have too many places to be. It’s all fodder for our angst.Yet it strikes me that many of the things we worry about are actually what I call “happy problems.”

Decisons, decisons

October 7, 2009 It’s a never-ending story.Every time I think it’s time to tackle a new project I have to deal with the obvious: Decisions, decisions.That’s the hardest thing for me to make when it comes to choosing a paint color.I’m currently in the process of picking one for the bathroom. Right now I’m living in a chocolate milk box with the exception of the office.I like chocolate, but I’m thinking the bathroom could use something a little milder.

Mom sets deadline

October 6, 2009 My mother gave me six months to get married. Or else.You must understand that my mother is not one of those meddling mothers. No, my ma is hands-off with her adult kids. She leaves us be until she sees one headed for a cliff.Thus, her first call about three months back.“You have six months to marry!” she said.I can’t fault her for her concern. She knows single men can be knuckleheads — that we don’t take care of ourselves as we should.

Reality TV shows

October 6, 2009 It was a long summer without my Thursday night “Survivor.” I have no rational explanation as to why I enjoy this particular show when I can’t stand most other so-called reality shows. Yes, I realize the “survivors” aren’t really struggling to survive — it’s more like camping on a beach with people you eventually grow to hate, and everyone stinks.

No texting

October 5, 2009 LITTLE ROCK — It is now illegal to text message while driving a motor vehicle on Arkansas roads and highways.The new law that prohibits driving while text messaging is Act 181 of 2009, which took effect on Thursday.Arkansas is now one of the 19 states that prohibit all drivers from texting. Several other states prohibit teenaged drivers or bus drivers from texting while they’re behind the wheel.

Susie the ‘Guard’ dog

October 5, 2009 Susie Q. could sit on command, jump, roll over in midair and shake hands.She was very much a wonder dog and loved by me for almost a decade. I can’t believe she’s been gone for just as long.My family got Susie when I was in the first grade and I loved her from that moment. She was definitely a part of the family. Susie didn’t have a pedigree and wasn’t purebred, but she was one of the most smartest dogs I have ever known or seen.Sure, I might be a little biased but I’m just stating the facts.

The death of a good man

October 2, 2009 It is startling how much time is being wasted parsing out the motive behind the murder of 51-year-old substitute teacher Bill Sparkman in tones that seem to indicate that some kind of feeble justification exists out there, somewhere.Sparkman was doing his civic duty as a census taker going door-to-door in rural Clay County, Ky., when he disappeared only to be found later hanging from a tree, lynched with the word Fed scrawled into the skin of his chest.

Son honors late Norman Dozier

October 1, 2009 Merle Travis Guitar Thumbpicking Style national champion Danny Dozier of Batesville dedicated his award, won earlier this year, to his father, the late Norman Dozier.“When Danny was 11 years old, he told his Daddy he wanted a guitar. Norman bought him a small amp and guitar, and told him if he really wanted to learn to play he would have to practice, practice ... Every night, if it was 8 o’clock or 1 o’clock (in the morning), you could hear him playing before he went to bed,” Danny’s mother, Rose Kealer Dozier, said. “Danny gives his Daddy credit for all.”

Moms get thumbs up

September 30, 2009 Forget health care and Afghanistan, the big news question is: Who’s going to replace Diane Sawyer on “Good Morning America”?Yes, there are bigger life-and-death issues out there in the world, but the person we share our morning coffee with matters, or at least it does to some of us. The person who delivers your news becomes part of your life. Or rather, they become part of your life in that weird TV I-feel-like-I-know-you-and-we’re-pals-even-though-we’ve-never-really-met sort of way.

Walk: Not for today’s kids

September 30, 2009 It was a long walk for a 4-year-old.It happened in 1966. My older sister Krissy, eager to get me out of her hair, gave me a coin she’d made from a piece of cardboard.“You can buy candy with it,” she said.Candy was a rarity in our home, but I knew where to buy some.I slipped out the back door and made my way through the woods and onto Diane Drive. It was another 200 yards to the “little store,” the mom-and-pop shop at the bottom of the hill.