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A brand-new year is upon us, and as responsible Southerners, I can assume that we rang it in judiciously by following all the important traditions (superstitions?). If you chose to party or stay up and watch the ball drop in New York, so be it as long as you ate a good bait of the proper foo…

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It seems to have been a whirlwind of a year that is already ending with just a few more days until time to usher in the year 2023. This is the time for many to spend reflecting on the number of things that transpired during the past twelve months, including the perceived good, the bad or the…

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Take a nice clean sheet of paper and your favorite pen. Sit at your desk or your kitchen table and prepare to think hard. Bring a hot cup of coffee to help you think. Now make a list of all the people you know who are truly honor-worthy. Need some help? After all, honor is one of those hazy …

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The blue, red, green, and orange lights on the tree twinkle, mesmerizing me, and carrying me back, far back to another time and place. The lights on my childhood cedar tree were large by today’s standards, but so was the perfume from the tree itself. The tangy smell of pine in my living room…

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The week’s opinion is one that has, to this point, already met with much debate, objection and argument. On Tuesday of last week, by a vote of 61-36, the Senate passed House Bill 8404 or the Respect for Marriage Act. This legislation sponsored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan …

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Since before Halloween, stores have been putting out their Christmas merchandise. Red ribbons and silver bells along with trees of every shape, size, and color wait in the stores to decorate someone’s home. I actually saw a metallic purple tree in Savannah a few weeks ago. It was resplendent…

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The little snap of frosty weather came tripping by a couple of weeks ago and froze the rest of my flowers that we hadn’t taken inside. We stored as many as possible in the house beforehand. My son tells me that houseplants make the air healthy; if so, we are in great shape for the winter.

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Today my front yard looks like an autumn landscape …. not on a postcard but on a sale paper for leaf blowers and rakes. I prefer to think of it as an advertisement for autumn, my favorite season. Yellow leaves still cling to the silver maple, but the red maple’s leaves are mostly on the grou…

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If I sent out a survey to determine how many local folks have had a close encounter with the infamous Surrency ghost of South Georgia or any other ghost for that matter, I’d bet that the results would be quite interesting. I’ve never gone looking for this vaporous being myself, nor do I inte…

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If you had the opportunity to speak with a typical Russian family about how the current war with Ukraine has impacted their lives, what would you want to ask them? I may very well have that opportunity in the near future with a family that lives near the Ukrainian border. If you would like t…

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Mama cried for a week when she moved away from the Gill Street house. She’d been happy there. Her chickens and turkeys strutted about in their pens in the back yard, clucking and scratching for juicy worms in those pens that Daddy had built for them in his spare time. The huge pecan trees no…

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Years ago, when the first day of school rolled around as it invariably does, a brand-new group of bright-eyed students sat in their seats waiting for me to start the day. As we filled out the million forms required each year, I strolled about the room answering questions when I could. One yo…

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I have met a number of folks recently who migrated from across the Mason-You-Know-What-Line and have settled in the Great State of Georgia. We enjoy each other’s company, but there is a bit of a language barrier. We all speak the same one –  English – but we speak it differently. They talk f…

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National Pet Peeve Week is observed the first full week in October and especially on the culminating Sunday, October 9, this year. Pet peeves are things that drive you crazy year-round. My hackles literally stand up when someone calls me Mary, but my name is Mary Ann. Or . . . I answer the p…

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“Lose 20 pounds in six weeks,” the magazine article proclaims, “while eating whatever you want and doing no strenuous exercise.” The key to the diet is grapefruit it seems. According to the esteemed doctor who wrote the article, there is a little-known miraculous ingredient in grapefruit tha…

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Near the end of June, I stood by a table of books in Barnes and Noble in Savannah. “Summer Reading,” proclaimed the sign over the stacks of books. Two ladies standing beside me were perusing the books and conversing, and I suspected that they too were English teachers. I’m told we have that …

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Oddly enough, man has been debating the presence of God virtually since the beginning of human existence. Throughout time, individuals ranging from philosophers to historians and scientists have debated the matter of an omnipotent Deity. According to popular Christian teachings, God had no b…

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“Now your mother will say I’m crazy when she hears what I’m about to tell you,” said Dr. Al Davis, our new pediatrician. “If you’re hot, then the baby’s hot. Don’t bundle him up in blankets in the middle of July. If you let him eat too much, he’ll get a stomachache. Put him on a schedule.”

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Since the Supreme Court’s ruling handed down on Friday of last week, social media and news outlets across America have been ablaze. The most commonly listed headline has been a caption about the fact that Roe v. Wade has been overturned by the mostly conservative justices currently seated on…

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Exactly twenty-nine days later, I pulled into the parking lot of the sheriff’s office in downtown Abbeyville. Extracting the ticket and a money order from my purse, I stepped out of the car.  The loose gravel of the parking lot crunched under my sandals as I strode toward the door.  Anger bo…

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(Editor’s note: I wrote this several years ago, but now and again someone asks me to rerun it. Here it is. Most of you didn’t realize I have a shady past.)

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It is a readily accepted fact that, unless you reside in some obscure part of the Rockies and are miles away from the mailbox at the end of your driveway, neighbors are just a necessary part of living. There are some that you can honestly live with and others you might prefer to live without…

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On Friday night, May 27, yet another class will don red and black caps and gowns and march across the field in Jimmy Swain Stadium to accept diplomas and become Appling County High School’s newest alumni. Families and friends will sit proudly in the bleachers, waiting to hug and congratulate…

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I didn’t want to take her class. It was required for college preparatory students, and even back then I knew that my ticket out of Hazlehurst lay in a college education. I gritted my teeth as I walked in.

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I think Marjorie Taylor Greene is a joke. An unfunny joke. She has accomplished nothing in her one term in Congress except to be denied assignment to any Congressional committee where the real work is done. That means she has no influence in what passes or doesn’t pass in Congress and is rel…

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Last week I was in Hazlehurst in the Walmart parking lot and saw an act that pleased me greatly. A policeman was calmly writing a ticket to a man with no permit parked in a handicapped space. At first I wasn’t certain that’s what he was doing, but when he finished and handed him the ticket, …

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A few years ago, I took our lab to the vet, and he told me, “Labs are great dogs, but they don’t develop a brain until they’re two years old.”

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Since Spring sashayed into town quite some time ago, I’ve been working steadily and nearly daily in my yard. You might see me on the mower when you drive by the house, and perhaps you wonder about the results of my efforts; they might not be visible from the front of the house. I confess tha…

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Great minds run in pairs. I read an interesting opinion piece in the Atlanta newspapers recently about parenting. The author, Beth Collums, has a master’s degree in clinical psychology and experience as a child and family therapist. She is also a parent.

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Well, I am going to have to do it again. Upset some people, I mean. But I can’t help it. It has to be done. I must once again extols the virtues of the Great State of Georgia and why it is Number One while the other 49 fight for sloppy seconds.

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Last Wednesday, I visited a recuperating friend where we laughed and talked for a good hour. Had I known what was going on back at my house, I wouldn’t have been laughing. If you remember, last Wednesday, quite a storm was forecast for the next day, one with high winds, rain, and thunder. Th…

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Linden Longino is a retired Atlanta banker who should have Nobel Peace Prize recipient next to his name. In 1995, Longino started a program in connection with the Carter Center called International Paint Pals, an idea simple, ingenious and oh-so needed – inspire children to promote peace, fr…

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Progress is an interesting concept. In my lifetime, we’ve moved from handheld paper fans to air-conditioning. Being cool in South Georgia summers is real progress as far as I’m concerned. The old black phones that once squatted like oversized frogs on tables gave way to portable phones. Back…

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Between the pandemic and Putin, it has been a stressful couple of weeks. Thankfully, my readers have come to the rescue. I don’t want to get into a debate with my columnist colleagues but there is no question that my readers are smarter than anybody I’ve ever seen on Jeopardy and sharper tha…

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“Did you ever have one of those days, boys? Did you ever have one of those days when nothing was right from morning till night? Did you ever have one of those days?”

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You may be interested to know that you reside in a dumper of a place called Georgia. That revelation comes courtesy of TOP Data, a market research company with offices all over the world including Atlanta, the capital city of what they consider to be the 35th worst state in the nation in whi…

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My love affair with snow began long ago when I read romantic stories of that white wonder that so entertained children everywhere. As a child, I whined to my parents because it snowed so rarely in Hazlehurst, and I wanted to build a snowman.

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My fellow Georgians: (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I come before you today to submit to you my annual State of the Column address. It is with great pride that I tell you that the state of the state of this column is in such a state that it cannot be overstated! (Thunderous roar!)

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Thursday last, my son Josh drove from Virginia home to Baxley to take me to see the Oak Ridge Boys perform in Macon at the Community Auditorium. They are my absolute favorite singers in the world, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t listen to them - once I discovered music, that is. Th…

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He’s b-a-a-c-k. I’m talking about George. George, as in former Gov. George E. Perdue. He is back from his stint in Washington as Secretary of Agriculture in the Trump Administration and it is a foregone conclusion that the Georgia Board of Regents will officially appoint him Chancellor of th…

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I was driving much too fast that Friday night. I admit it and the fact that I was in a hurry is irrelevant. My husband Larry was asleep in the passenger seat, and we were headed home to Georgia for the weekend. Cruising up I-95 somewhere in middle Florida, I glanced over to my right to see t…

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If things couldn’t get worse in Washington, it turns out that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is spying on members of Congress with police disguised as bowls of cold Spanish soup. That chilling news comes from none other than Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.

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February is Black History Month. I wonder if there will be any recognition of the accomplishments of Condoleezza Rice, the first Black female secretary of state and the first woman to serve as National Security Advisor, or U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, of Pin Point, Georgia, or…