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Opinions

A dissappearing tradition

Last Friday was May Day and I didn’t see a single May basket. That was a big deal when I was a child. “Tomorrow is May Basket Day,” Mother would say, and we would scramble to the hall closet where, somewhere in it’s back recesses, there would be the old wallpaper sample book that we last used to redecorate the dollhouse or cover an empty soup can to serve as a pencil holder. Mother always managed to bring home at least one outdated sample book from the paint store every year and we chose our favorite colors and designs for various craft projects.

Flagging memories

My earliest recollection of reverence for the flag goes back to my freshman year in high school. My grandfather, a WWI veteran, passed away and there was a family discussion of what to do with the flag that draped over his coffin. Typically, widows kept it, folded neatly into a triangle and encased in a box. Ever-practical Grandma Fleck, however, didn’t like the idea of something meant to be displayed for all to see sitting in a fancy box on a table in her apartment.

Big - bad or beautiful?

Food For Thought

Not many years ago, people were complaining that all the characters in movies and television were too slim and lovely to be taken seriously. The average American didn’t look like a movie star, wasn’t fashion-model slender and couldn’t relate to the ideal image projected by movies, television and Madison Avenue.

Family update

Walkin'

As regular readers noticed, this column has been MIA past few weeks.
I guess I just hit the wall. After some 20-odd years of walking readers through stories about my home life, family, travels and opinions about current events I just ran out of creative shoe leather.

The power of the press?

Food For Thought

I recently bought a new bottle of dish detergent. This is a rare purchase for me, because I wash hardly any dishes by hand. The main reason for this is that I have a dishwasher and usually wash everything in it except my good silver and crystal.
If it isn’t dishwasher safe, too bad. If it’s ruined, then I can throw it away, but I’m not going to wash it by hand.

Marie Croy

Marie (Wray) Croy, 88 of Solon, died Thursday, April 16, 2015, at the Solon Nursing Care Center.
Memorial services were held Sunday, April 19, at Gay and Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City, followed by a reception for family and friends at the funeral home. Visitation was on Sunday at the funeral home. Burial took place after the service and luncheon at the Ridgewood Cemetery in North Liberty.

Am I lucky or what?

Food For Thought

For the largest part of my life, I’ve been just plain lucky. When I was a child, I believed my good fortune was a combination of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and my parents– pretty much in that order. I guess I outgrew the Tooth Fairy first. After all, we have only so many baby teeth to lose and then the shiny dimes no longer appear under the pillow.

Go fly a kite

Food For Thought

My mother used to tell me and my sisters to do just that quite often in early spring. She wasn’t telling us to go away, however, she meant that we should get outdoors, get some fresh air and exercise and literally FLY A KITE.

April fool!

Food For Thought

My mother used the same April fool prank every year– and I always fell for it. She’d come bustling into my room, full of her usual, early-morning energy and sing out, “Time to get up. And dress warm. It snowed in the night!”
I’d struggle up out of the depths of my deep sleep, totally unaware of what day it was, and squint toward the window, seeing nothing but sky and a few bare tree branches. With the fog beginning to clear in my brain, I tried to remember if it was a school day. Did I have to get up so early, or could I just acknowledge the news and go back to sleep?

Room for disagreement

Is there such a thing as being too civil?

Is there such a thing as being too civil?
I argue there can be too much civility when it comes to boards of government officials elected to represent a wide range of constituents.
Once, someone I highly respected told me we should value those who ask hard questions and don’t accept easy answers. (Shamefully, I can’t remember who offered this maxim, but I repeat it frequently, yet fail to attribute it. Please, if this sage advice belongs to you, come forward and let me recognize and thank you.)

A spicy tale

Food For Thought

Winter seems to be conducive to browsing and learning.
I suppose that’s a throwback to my childhood days when I resisted joining my sisters in some of those damp and chilly outdoor activities in favor of curling up in Dad’s big chair with a good book.

Facebook friends and foes

Walkin'

“Are you a socialist?” a Facebook friend asked me recently.
He’s very much a right wing, Limbaugh to Hannity to Fox, kind of guy. Not only does he hate liberals but he’s sure liberals, even the president, hates America.
To me there is no logic to this belief, and it makes me angry. I served four years in the Army; you can eat poison and die if you think I hate this country. And it’s as likely that Obama hates America as it is Steve Jobs hated computers.
“It just doesn’t track,” I want to shake them and yell.