• Can a Happy Meal squash the blues for life?

    Have you heard the parable of the Happy Meal? Author John Ortberg tells it in his book, “Love Beyond Reason.”

    Briefly, a little girl discovers the incredible bliss of Happy Meals and begs her parents to buy her one.

    She knew it was more than just “fries, McNuggets and a dinosaur stamp,” but happiness itself and she didn’t think she could live without it. She was convinced she had a little “McVacuum at the core of her soul” and her heart “would not find rest until it found rest in a Happy Meal.”

  • Stamps make their marks in history books

    I think we can learn some good things from noticing postage stamps.

    First, some background. Since 1960 when I began my life with this Sisters of Mercy community, I have devoted “a really big number” of hours sorting used postage stamps.

    Why? Our novice mistress had a hobby of collecting stamps, and in 48 years she developed a stellar collection. She also collects, sorts, washes, blotter-dries and sells stamps to stamp- collection businesses.

  • Trash and treasures, our earthly companions

    We’ve all heard the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Well I find this statement to hold very true sentiment. I am a sentimental person and that feeling has lent itself, along with perhaps a hereditary disposition, to my having great difficulty parting with things that have any shred of sentimental value to them.

  • Truck traffic loud, but likely necessary

    A letter in Wednesday’s Standard piqued my interest. Sam King, a “fairly new” resident of Bardstown, wrote:

    “We fell in love with Bardstown while searching for a new place to live. The charm of downtown is enticing, except for one thing. The calm of the serene setting is constantly broken by the sounds of semi-trucks coming through the center of town.

    “The noise pollution from these monsters and the chattering of motorcycles interferes with an otherwise charming setting.”

    I don’t know Sam, but he is speaking my language.

  • Not glamorous, but it's good work if you can get it

    It’s not the glamour it may be rumored to be, but covering a golf major is what we do every day — work. Just a little different kind of work.

    Can you ever get that far away from that four-letter word?

    A semi-weekly newspaper from Kentucky won’t turn many heads in the media center at the Masters, but when J.B. qualified in February, I had nothing to lose by asking.

  • Seeing through others' eyes can inform the heart

    I have heard it said often enough that what I see depends on where I am standing.

    It also depends on through whose eyes am I trying to see life.

    As I get older, it gets easier to see things through the eyes of older people. Thinking about the experiences of older people is very sensitizing about all I have taken for granted all these decades, for just one thing.

    As one who spends quality time planning ahead, it takes more intention for me to see things through the eyes of our precious young people.

  • Spring's arrival signals another stage of life

    It became apparent to me as I rolled over Monday morning to hit snooze on my alarm clock for the fourth time that I needed a weekend to recover from my weekend.

    With a “whop-click,” my right hand landed on the alarm and slid the knob to the off position and I laid there a moment asking myself, “Why?”

  • The surge turns into the stall

    No, it’s not your imagination: The “debate” about Iraq, and I use the word loosely, becomes ever more surreal as the occupation drags on.

    I don't blame Gen. David Petraeus or Ambassador Ryan Crocker for their stay-the-course recommendation this week on Capitol Hill. Generals and diplomats should do what our elected leaders tell them to do — having covered South America, I can attest that the alternative is not pretty — and George W. Bush is indeed the Decider when it comes to Iraq policy. For now, at least.

  • Our Dickens world is strangling

    If there is an honest way to get rich quick, I haven’t found it. Of course, you might win a lottery or one of those super jackpots at a casino, but that is serendipity in spades. All of the people I know who are rich worked like coal miners at their chosen field. I’ve never hung out with the heirs of fortunes.

  • Woe be unto the editor who loves spell check

    Joseph ‘Joe Cargo’ Valachi, that famed member of the Mafia who was the first of his ilk to go public, once made an interesting statement:

    “In the circle in which I travel, a dumb man is more dangerous than a hundred rats.”

    I’ve decided that in the circle in which I travel and work, depending too much on technology is just as dangerous as a hundred mobsters. And it can make you look really dumb.