Over the years, I have shared with you the experiences I have had with my family, particularly with my children. This subject is so easy for me to talk about because they mean absolutely everything to me.
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When my oldest son moved to Florida for a new job on Little Gasparilla Island, he couldn’t take his recue dog, Jackson, with him, so my son looked at me and said, “Will you please keep him until I can get him?” I looked at him and said, “Yes,” with my husband looking at me like I was crazier than ever. He asked me, “Why would you tell him yes?” I looked at him and said, “I didn’t hear you pipe in and say NO!”
Voting is one of our most precious American rights, but yet many of us do not understand the process by which our President, the leader of the free world, is selected. Many of the Founding Fathers were well schooled in ancient history and its lessons. So, it is no accident that the structure of the Electoral College can be traced to the Centurial Assembly system of the Roman Republic. Under that system, the adult male citizens of Rome were divided, according to their wealth, into groups of 100 (called Centuries). Each group of 100 was entitled to cast only one vote either in favor or against proposals submitted to them by the Roman Senate. In the Electoral College system, the States serve as the Centurial groups (though they are not, of course, based on wealth), and the number of votes per State is determined by the size of each State's Congressional delegation.
The sun is finally shining! With the first thoughts of summer come the images of vacation. When I was growing up we didn’t really take vacations. We did go several times to Bear Lake, Mich., and stayed in a cottage right across from the lake. I remember those times so clearly even though I was only five or six years old. When we were in our early teens we started camping and every weekend at the lake was a mini-vacation. One year when I was in high school we went to Disney for Christmas.
I came across an article in one of my online news feeds recently which set forth a list of life regrets that you don’t want to have when you are facing the end of life. Some of them spoke to me. Others, like not traveling enough or not pursuing your dream job, did not. Traveling is OK and I do enjoy seeing new places, but I tend to like being just where I am, in good old Wheeling, W.Va. And I guess I’m a little too practical to pursue a dream job when there are bills to pay. That said, the other “regrets” identified really caused me to pause and think, and I wanted to see what others had to say. After reading quite a few online articles on life regrets, I saw the following “regrets” mentioned over and over again and a theme started to became apparent. See if you can identify it.
It’s that time in life when roles between parent and child start reversing. After saving, planning and carrying out many years of family vacations for my two children and myself, it’s finally paying off!
I’ll admit it: I’ve always had a competitive streak. For as long as I can remember, I’ve played to win. I’ve always been driven to do my best. For better or worse, it’s something that’s worked its way into almost every area of my life.
After the long winter we’ve had it is so good to finally feel the warmth of the sunshine and to see blue skies. I love this time of year when everything is “new” again—the grass is a brilliant shade of green, my magnolia and dogwood are in bloom, and my lilies, tulips, and hostas are all poking up through the ground. In addition to the changes in the temperatures and the foliage, there are many other things going on at our farm. It seems several people I know, including us, spent last week building new fence for the cattle. We have also had 11 newborn calves so far this spring, with three more expected. I’ll admit, despite the fact I have lived on a farm most of my life, I am not a fan of cattle (but I love pigs)! To put it nicely, they are not the brightest of animals. What other animal will go to the farthest boundary of the field, next to a steep hill, to decide to give birth? Apparently ours do, and then what ultimately happens is the newborn calf rolls down over the hill clear to the bottom and can’t get back up to its mother. My son has performed two calf rescues this season, both of them taking place while we were on vacation. I’m glad he was home looking out for things and, thankfully, both babies were okay and are now thriving. I do have to admit that even though cows are not my favorite, the little calves are very cute to watch when they are running and playing in the field.
As I have been going door-to-door over the past few weeks, people have been asking me the same question: “What will be your number one priority as our judge?” I’ve answered that question on multiple occasions in speeches and in private conversation, but for those who are still wondering, I thought it might be helpful for me to answer in this column.
Discussing with my husband why I wanted to delay opening our pool this year with my curious teenager listening, I pled my case with the little information that I knew about the 17-year locust and the fact that this spring marks a year that they will emerge from the ground. I know they will come for a few weeks, be a bit of a nuisance and then be gone, so I just thought we should wait. I certainly don’t want to be out there swatting them away from me or the pool!