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The Commute - I Was Cool Once


Fri, Sep 5th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

On a recent shopping trip, where it felt like I emptied my bank account on school clothes for my rapidly growing daughter, I did manage one purchase for myself. I bought myself a pair of jeans that were marked half price.

I guess it’s been awhile since I’ve worn jeans, because when I put them on a few days later, my four-year-old son exclaimed, “Mom!” “What?” “You look like a cool girl.” He sounded surprised, and then smiled to show me “cool” was a good thing.

Before I could really process what he’d said, he ran from the room. Cool? Yes, indeed, my son. Mom was once cool, full of confidence and bravado. But for the most part, parenthood has cured me of that. It’s nearly impossible to perform the tasks of parenthood and look “cool”. Well, I do have one childhood friend who still looks quite cool as a mother. But I wouldn’t say it makes the rest of us like her very much.

His comment made me take stock of all the things I do now, uncool things, that I wouldn’t have done in my previous life. Like – buy only discount clothes for myself. And brag about it. Or appear in public fresh from the shower when I’m running late, sans makeup, wet hair whipping against my neck. I also eat off other peoples’ plates (but only my own kids’). Or what about the fact that I crave going to bed early, and consider it an extra lucky day if I can have my pajamas on before 9:00 p.m. Not cool.

I’ll admit that there are probably people from my high school who would argue that I’ve never been cool. But cool is a state of mind, right? And it’s the state of my mind that leaves me uncool these days.

I used to think I was a quick thinker, until my kids came along and the lightening pace with which they do business left me in the dust. My mind is an old car, a 60’s model, chugging around on gravel while their late model Corvette minds race in circles on the track around me. I’m certain that at times I actually hear creaking inside my head as the wheels turn slowly in response to something they’ve asked me.

My daughter asked why I always say “no” immediately to anything she asks me. It’s to give myself time to think. I know that she’ll interpret even a nanosecond of hesitation as meaning “yes.” So rather than take the needed time to really think about what she asked, I say, “no” anytime I hear the intonation of a question from her, and then I think.

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Of People, Places & Things: Religious monuments should be kept out of public places

Fri, Aug 29th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

“To do my duty, I must obey God.”  Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

On Wednesday, a Ten Commandments monument was removed from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery thus ending a Firs ..... 
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Prairie Notes: Beyond the numbers

Fri, Aug 29th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Statistics confound me. Numbers, percentages, comparison charts showing past and projected statistics on earnings or accidents or deaths from HIV all make me long for more than 30-second sound bites or one-sentence captions. I pause near the radio or ..... 
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Notes from a country kitchen

Fri, Aug 29th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Today is Labor Day and we all think of school starting and the State Fair ending, and how we wish for rain. To a lot of people Labor Day means our last vacation before we all settle in to our routine of our fall plans. I wasn’t thinking of hard work ..... 
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Notes from a country kitchen

Fri, Aug 22nd, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Aren’t we lucky! In all this heat we weren’t in the black-out and we don’t have to use or heat the the old cookstove to make dinner for threshers. When I write this I can almost feel the heat from mother’s old cookstove and feel the hot kitchen while ..... 
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Township Roads: Good Dog, Kacie

Fri, Aug 22nd, 2003
Posted in Columnists

We had to have our Dalmatian, Kacie, put to sleep this last week. It was a hard decision, one that we had put off as long as we possibly could. She was a good dog and it was hard for all of us.

At just seven years, Kacie was sti ..... 
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Another one from Flaherty: Something for nothing

Fri, Aug 22nd, 2003
Posted in Columnists

From what I have read in some of the more progressive garden magazines, ground covers are just as good as having grass, and if you know what you are doing, they won’t cost you a cent. A case in point; my old friend and mentor, Malcolm Mildew. Malcolm ..... 
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Notes from a country kitchen

Fri, Aug 15th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I know we need rain but the weather has been great for outdoor activities. Saturday we went on our annual hayride party out to Vickie and Dennis’. I helped Vickie paint the wagon a week ago and Dennis and her put in such comfortable seats and we had ..... 
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Of People, Places and Things: A look back to 1874

Fri, Aug 15th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

A friend of mine from Dexter named Dale pulled up in my driveway the other day and handed me a cardboard box that was 15 inches wide by 18 inches tall by 2 inches thick and rather heavy.

The article we ran about Fillmore County ..... 
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