Weekly Feature Articles

Some Things Scottish

The 2009 Virginia Scottish Games and Festival will be held September 5 and 6th at Great Meadow State Park in The Plains, VA. There will be feats of strength, traditional music and dance, dog trials, a gathering of the clans, and much more. Other nearby festivals are being held this fall in Williamsburg, Alexandria, and Crownsville, Maryland.

Donating School Supplies

It's time to stand in line and complain about the high cost of school supplies. Parents groan, whip out their pieces of plastic, gnash their teeth, and pay up. It's what we do every year. Even after checking for the best sales and rebates, the total is still hard to take. But this is what we have to do. And yet, have you ever considered that you are lucky to be able to do it at all?

Mum's the Word

Autumn chrysanthemums of beautiful color,
With dew in my clothes I pluck these flowers.
I float within wine to forget my sorrow,
To leave far behind thoughts of the world.
Alone, I pour myself a goblet of wine;
When the cup is empty, the pot pours for itself.
As the sun sets, all activities cease;
Homing birds, they hurry to the woods singing.
Haughtily, I whistle below the eastern balcony
I've found again the meaning of life.

 

Investing in the Stock Market Now

With the stock market DOW Industrials Index approaching 7,000, banking institutions failing, and almost all technical indicators screaming recession, is it time to think about putting new money into the stock market? The time just might be closer than you think.

Dream on!

"It came to me in a dream."

From Pearl Harbor to Midway

In the summer of 1942, the Japanese were winning their war with the United States. They had sunk or crippled America's battleship fleet at Pearl Harbor, and snapped up a chain of islands across the Pacific which could, if fortified, form an impenetrable barrier to the U.S. Navy. Now the Imperial Japanese Navy was looking for a knockout blow, to destroy the American aircraft carriers before American industry replaced its losses.

The Parent Trap

Got kids? Wonderful little angels, aren't they, except when they're not! Whether it's a trip to the grocery store or a special night out, there's no occasion when a bit of childish stubbornness or an outright tantrum fest can't take the shine off of any golden parenting moment.

Chiggers and Blisters and Bears, Oh, My! Get Ready for Summer Camp

Once upon a time, families might take an entire month or more to go on low-key vacations to the countryside or the beach. The idea of spending a long while way from the hot stagnation of a city's summer heat in the mountains and woods had a lot of appeal to those who could afford it. Another choice might have been sending the kids off to Grandma and Grandpa's farm. Today, with our modern, air-conditioned homes and the grandparents likely still working or possibly retired to a Florida condo, kids who are inexperienced in the sweet art of enjoying themselves in the outdoors sometimes need a special place where they can go and have fun in a low-tech, high-energy way. We call this carefully crafted extracurricular activity summer camp.

D-Day: 66 Years Ago on the Beaches of Normandy

After bouncing all night in cold, cramped steel boats, then waiting all day in broiling heat, the men of the Allied Expeditionary Force got the word: shortly after sundown, they would finally be getting off their floating, seasick prisons.

All they had to do then was run straight into machine gun fire, smash the Nazi army, and liberate Europe.

Arthur Miller: Modern Theater's Fiery Spirit

Throughout the 1950s, a generation of artists, many of whom had helped America triumph during World War II, recoiled in horror from the growth of faceless corporations, government watchdogs, and bigoted citizens' groups. The pounding of the keys of hundreds of typewriters sounded a cadence of rebellion. They resisted the new order and created a road of written pages which gave other rebellious souls encouragement for the revolution to come. Arthur Miller was in the forefront.