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Gifts that really give


Fri, Jun 20th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Look around your house. Is yours, like mine, full of things you really don't need, or never use? How many of these things were gifts - gifts of love, perhaps - but things you could get rid of and not miss? It is high time that I weeded out. How about you?

This brings me to other thoughts about gifts and giving, and how to give and perhaps make a difference. These are also ways which could make gift-giving "greener" and be of help in these tough economic times.

Maybe people you know and love would enjoy having some of the things you own. (Don't give them just to get rid of them, and not to the people who gifted you with those items.) Perhaps there is something meaningful from past generations that should be passed on, or something that would be a welcome addition to someone else's collection, or that another could really put to good use.

There is a nation-wide organization which challenges people not to buy anything new for at least a year, other than food and paper products. Just out of curiosity, I wandered through the Goodwill Store one day, looking for things I could use as gifts for my children and grandchildren. In just that trip, I found gifts that would be suitable and enjoyable for each person. A few more trips to The Depot, the Salvation Army Store or back to Goodwill could take care of Christmas and birthdays this year. There is nothing wrong with buying and/or giving gently-used items. When my mom was in a nursing home, I purchased good-looking outfits for her at Goodwill, and my younger daughter, who makes a healthy salary, never pays full price for anything, and buys all of her jeans and casual work slacks at Saver's or Goodwill.

Several wedding couples and birthday celebrants I know have requested any gifts to them be made instead to a favorite charity: The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Cancer, the Heifer Project. . . . They are aware that they have all they need to live comfortably, and would like to contribute to help those who are in need. This might sound like a hard sell in our consumer society, particularly for children, but it is never too early to teach generosity and concern for others less fortunate.

If you still feel a need to give a tangible gift, how about choosing something that could be a healthy addition to the life of the recipient? Exercise equipment or a gym membership for adults, outdoor playthings for children, such as a run-through hose device, a pogo stick---anythin .....
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Americans want things to be different

Fri, Jun 20th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The Presidential contest has begun. Not that there are "official" candidates, but we all know who they will be. Yet undecided of course, are both the Democratic and Republican nominees for Vice-President. Even though Election Day is months away, I s ..... 
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Shop 'til it feels better

Fri, Jun 6th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Archeologists and anthropologists have unearthed ancient civilizations and been able to determine the core values of their cultures from the stones and rubble left behind.  The Egyptians built pyramids and monuments to bury their kings and prin ..... 
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What do they really mean?

Fri, May 30th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Several days ago I had a conversation with a friend and professional colleague. We've known each other about 5 years and have enjoyed many interesting exchanges. Our topics this day ranged a bit and finally settled on the economy, specifically, the ..... 
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Our Energy, Our Future

Fri, May 30th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

It seems like every time America discovers it has a crisis on its hands, our government wakes up and proposes a crash program to fix it. Henry Ford was one of the first to observe it and even coined a name for it: "the crisis-crash syndrome."

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Baloney! It's not your fault

Fri, May 23rd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Last week a politician in a radio interview said unless Americans change their ways the cost of health care would soon consume 20% of the GDP. The inference was our unhealthy life style is responsible for the rise in costs.

He was the secon ..... 
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The next seven generations

Fri, May 16th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

"Where there is no vision, the people perish." And there are none so blind as those who will not see... or are blinded by fear and greed...."

But, of course, it's "depressing" to watch the documentaries: An Inconvenient Truth or The Planet. ..... 
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Beautiful, suspicious, hospitable

Fri, May 16th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The city of St. Petersburg, Russia, is so unbelievably magnificent it is difficult to describe, and truly a study in contradictions. We were only there for ten days, so these thoughts and observations are far from comprehensive. I do not choose to w ..... 
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INC. for President

Fri, May 9th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

I figured out the problem with political races- human beings are just too flawed to withstand such scrutiny and pressure. We get to see all their weaknesses, their peculiar family members that remind us of our peculiar family members. We hear about ..... 
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