Telling the truth

June 8, 2011 My 14- and 15 year-old-scouts were joining the 16-and 17-year-olds for our weekly activity, and we had all gathered at the church. We were going to clean and rake some yards around our small community.Sid, the leader of the older boys, is a farmer. And as usually happens in the spring, he had far too much to do. That usually meant he would be late, and would skid into the church parking lot with the rubber on his tires still smoking.

Another way to play

June 8, 2011 Dear Editor:I read where last week a federal judge ruled that the name Jesus could not be used to close a prayer at a public school graduation ceremony in Texas. I thought about how I might end a prayer without using the name of Jesus. 

Gardening produced love

June 7, 2011 Seeing farmers markets and roadside stands in this summer heat makes me think of the long afternoons my granny Bebe used to spend out in her garden. I was always amazed at the hours and hours she spent out in even the triple-digit weather, pulling weeds, watering, picking beans, etc. She kept a pair of size 5 1/2 red vinyl shoes by the back door for working out in the yard (this was long before everyone had a pair of garden clogs) — no mess, no fuss, just like Granny.

Sister Sarah’s ride

June 7, 2011 Listen my children to an old man’s wailin’Of the cross-country ride of Sarah Palin.In two thousand eleven, ‘round the first of June;Nary a person will forget too soonHer account of history as her bus goes salin’.She said to her family, “Let’s get on the busAnd roll ‘cross the country for Liberty,Paint my name on the side so they’ll all see usHoldin’ that paper with “The people we.”Honk once if by highway, two if by netI’ll look through the window shouting “You bet!”We’ll look to the heavens and act so surprised

Signs of confusion

June 6, 2011 In an age when Twitterphiles are able to communicate deep thoughts with just 140 characters, it’s puzzling that the authors of highway signs so often struggle to make sense.Zigzagging my way from Virginia to Massachusetts I encountered numerous signs that were impossible to decipher. For instance, on I-95 near Quantico Marine Base in Virginia there’s a big sign that says: End Highway Safety Corridor. What could that possibly mean?Should drivers assume it’s now OK to drive recklessly? Do police stop enforcing safety regulations beyond that point?

Upset with storyteller

June 6, 2011 Dear editor: This is the first time I have been so upset by an article in the GUARD, it was picked up from AP and printing in several other papers. The way agent (Floyd) Thomas told the story was very simplistic, and did not give many details.  If he would have done some research I thank his memory of the facts would have come back to him.

Bird watchin’

June 6, 2011 Minus the binoculars and books on the subject, I’ve turned into quite the bird watcher.And here I thought there was a certain age requirement for that sort of hobby, but then again maybe it’s a sign of old age, after all, I am getting older.For the last month during the mornings at breakfast before heading to work or in the afternoons after a long day, I find myself really enjoying the times I can just sit at the kitchen table and look outside at the creatures via the sliding glass door. (If I went outside they’d surely all fly away.)

Ledge update

June 6, 2011 LITTLE ROCK — In an order that surprised almost everyone, a federal judge has ruled that the state no longer must pay for desegregation programs in the three school districts in Pulaski County.The districts are the Little Rock, the  North Little Rock and the Pulaski County Special School District. Since the state agreed to a settlement in the desegregation case in 1989 it has paid the three districts a total of about $1 billion. The payment this year is about $70 million.

Reflections on blessings

June 3, 2011 Memorial Day is a time for reflection about the sacrifices of the many men and women who gave it all so that we could enjoy the blessings of Liberty. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, this time of year we yearned for long, sunny summer days and the end of the rainy season.Traditionally we visit the graves of beloved family who have gone on before, but this year we celebrated in an entirely different way. This Memorial Day weekend, our 23-year-old son married his college sweetheart, so we as parents are in a mood of reflection.

When rights claims collide

June 3, 2011 When rights claims collide, what’s the collateral damage to society?That’s the painful question this week out of Illinois, site of the latest conflict between gay-rights laws and religious convictions.When the state’s new civil-unions law took effect Wednesday, a Catholic diocese in northern Illinois ended its state-funded adoption and foster-care program rather than be required to place children with same-sex couples.