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First Steps

Personal Passion

By Diane DeVaughn Stokes

Say it three times; I LOVE ME! I LOVE ME! I LOVE ME! It’s not being cocky or conceited or pompous. It’s something very few people ever get right! The first step in any relationship is to love you. It’s not being selfish or self centered. It’s like building a house. That relationship must be […]

Hot Dogs for Lunch

By Melissa Face

We were in the mood for hot dogs and chips. I picked Laney up from preschool, took her to the playground and the library, and asked her what she wanted for lunch. “I would like a hot dog!” Laney shouted. “And plain chips! Not the ones that are too hot in my mouth.” She was […]

Retiring? Now What?

By Linda Ketron

As a veteran generalist, I thought it strange to be asked for my “expert” thoughts on retirement, because I am so NOT retired. Even though I did, rather publicly, jump through all the retirement protocol in 2015, in order to receive my South Carolina pension for leading the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CCU for […]

Teaching is Teaching

By Erika Hoffman

At 22, I took the teacher examination, received my certificate and sought a job in public schools. For ten years, I plied my trade in suburban New Jersey; urban Atlanta; and rural North Carolina. Whether the kids were rich or poor, from educated parents or high school dropouts, white or black, I found certain types […]

A Tribute to My Friend

By Rose Ann Sinay

My cell phone rang, but I ignored it. We were moving, and I had a room full of belongings to separate, pack or trash. Trying to distance emotional connections to “things” was hard for me. Somehow, I could attach a good memory or a special person with each of my possessions. I didn’t want to […]

The Lady Marine

By Phil La Borie

I was gassing up my car not too long ago when I happened to notice another car in the station with a plate on the front that read: LADY MARINE. The car’s occupant, a tall, stately and very business-like young lady, was busily filling up her vehicle as well. I got her attention and asked, […]

Elective cosmetic procedures and cosmetic surgery procedures have become a big business in the United States. Often it seems there is a Cosmetic Surgeon or Med spa on every street corner offering a variety of non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Cosmetic procedures and cosmetic surgery have been so commercialized that patients often forget the fact that these […]


By Marilyn A. Gelman

I have categories of pearls, maybe some real, maybe some not. There are good fakes and bad fakes, I’ve been told. I can’t tell. Monetary value is not how I order my pearls. The strands are grouped by how I got them, mostly by who passed them along to me. A bunch from Eleanor rests […]

A Dime for your Thoughts

By Christy Heitger-Ewing

“Where are you, Mom?” I whispered into the wind. “I need to feel you, but I don’t know where to find you.” My mother and I were best friends. She understood me in a way no one else ever could. She comforted me no matter how heavy the world seemed at any given moment. Her […]

Smarter than You Think

By Diane Stark

A while back, I attended a banquet to honor that year’s high school graduates. Each student was asked to share their plans for the future with the audience. Most of them announced plans to attend college or join the military. But one boy said, “I’ve just completed an online course to become a Certified Life […]

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