Weekly Feature Articles
In the past twenty years, storytelling as a treasured art and pastime has made quite a comeback. Not all the video games, cable channels, or talk radio in the world can take the place of a fine story told face-to-face with good friends on a quiet evening as the rain splatters on the window panes.
One of the most important things to teach children about the holidays is how to express their thanks for what they have received. Plan to set aside a few hours to have fun and give thanks.
Tips for Timely Thank-You's
Santa shouldn't be the only one making lists. In the excitement of opening presents, cards have a tendency to get lost very quickly. Have a sheet of paper and pen handy to jot down the givers, the gifts, and the receivers. No need to make a production of it, but this list will come in so very handy later on.
On July 14, 1789, a Parisian mob broke down the gates of the ancient fortress known as the Bastille, marking a flashpoint at the beginning of the French Revolution.
"What is the third estate? Everything. What has it been up till now in the political order? Nothing. What does it desire to be? Something."
--Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes, French political activist
In a world filled with SUV's, ever-rising gas prices, and hotels that cater to their customers' perceived desires to be surrounded by plush conveniences, some eccentric souls will look for opportunities to kick back, simplify, and enjoy a break from the daily smog-encrusted rush.
On a bicycle, the world seems a different place. It certainly moves at a different pace, faster than on foot but slow enough to experience the sweet fulfillment of the day. Getting back on a bike after many years is a pleasure you should not put off.
You don't have to have a mental disorder to be a great author, but those lightning leaps of imagination and hours spent constructing fascinating stories, multi-layered in meaning and unique in style, can sometimes be linked to mental illness.
Many of the 20th century's great writers, including Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, and William Styron, suffered from mental illness. During May, which is Mental Health Month, take a moment to examine the difficult lives of these writers.
First, a Little History
Originally, strawberries were wild things. Their unique flavor and sweetness led to their cultivation. At Monticello, Thomas Jefferson grew Alpine Strawberries, a European import, among other varieties and shared the seeds with his friends. The plants were hardy and delicious, but the berries were tiny. Jefferson remarked that "100 would fill half a pint." Wild strawberries grew freely in abandoned fields and woods and were gathered by Indians and colonists alike.
Blogs, a contraction of "Weblogs," are the common person's publishing tool. You can sign up for a free blog account today and immediately start publishing your daily journal, random musings, orderly lists of books, or favorite recipes. Anything and everything has been tucked into millions of blogs all over the Web.
Game tickets, antique china, power tools, jewelry, laptops, cars, pianos--they're all available online, new or used, cheap or pricey. If you haven't learned the in's and out's of the online auction yet, this is a good time to start. With the holidays just around the corner, think of online auctions as another option for finding gifts, decorations, and those gotta-have's that always seem to pop up around this time of the year. Have a house bursting at the seams with too much good stuff already? Downsize online, and pick up a little cash to cover the holiday bills.
Often the anguish of death is too much to be borne alone. Deep, seemingly perpetual depression is exhausting to the mind and the body as well as the spirit. Know that there are others who have trod the path of grief and are willing to listen to your thoughts and memories, and that there are others who have written works that may show a healing mirror to your own journey.
A reaction to loss can be rage or tears, years of the silent pain of denial or a dedication to a project in memory of the life of the beloved.