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Ed Trout discovered his true professional passion, to become a national park historian and make history come alive for millions of visitors in five national parks, including Grand Canyon, Natchez Trace, Horseshoe Bend, Fort Pulaski, and the great Smoky Mountains, where he retired in 1995 aft…

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There are phases of life that are more demanding than others, or at least phased which demand different things from us. Most people understand the value of saving for an emergency or for a time when income may be reduced or temporarily stopped. We understand that the time for picking fruit o…

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In 2015, Victoria Dunkley, MD published a book very much needed for our times, “Reset Your Child’s Brain.” The subtitle is “A four-week plan to end meltdowns, raise grades, and boost social skills by reversing the effects of electronic screen-time.”

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NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is seeking fields to lease for the upcoming 2022 dove season. The first segment of dove season opens at noon on Thursday, Sept. 1.

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What or who is important to you? The recent devastating flood in eastern Kentucky reminds us all that life can be swept away in a moment. Hundreds of families lost everything. One family lost their house and everything in it but lost their family — four children ages less than two up through…

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I have a picture of my grandfather sitting on a log which is on a wagon being pulled by a mule team. The log looks to be about 15 feet long and its diameter is greater than my grandfather’s 5-foot 10-inch frame. The picture was taken in the mid 1930s. The skill it took to fell the tree and g…

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Forget spring cleaning. Several people have told me how they have been purging things out of their homes all summer long. It’s all about summer cleaning, organizing, and purging. With the gas prices the way they are, we are all staying home more often, right? Looking around the home, we star…

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Allen, Kentucky is a place that holds fond memories for me. When I was only 16 years old, Allen Baptist Church invited me to speak for a weekend youth event. I had the opportunity to meet and work with over a hundred people from the Allen community. Lasting friendships were made with some of…

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One group mourns, another rejoices. Opinions are written. Photojournalists take pictures. “Newstainment” talking heads keep the bases stirred up. The radical middle mulls over the latest distraction, event, catastrophe. No one, not a single person, understands the implications of what just h…

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“The calf can only keep up by walking in his mother’s footsteps.” On the surface, this seemed like a simple, factual statement presented on the National Geographic channel’s ‘Wild Yellowstone’ documentary. The narrator was referring to a bison calf following his mother as she trudged through…

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The Ducktown Basin used to be known as “Tennessee’s Badlands.” But unlike the Badlands of South Dakota, Tennessee’s version was man-made.

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Big, important words are always going to be worth discussing. Take, for example, “love” and “acceptance.” I might say I can love someone without accepting them, meaning that I love a person but cannot accept their behavior. I could also say that I can accept someone without loving them, mean…

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How likeable are you? This question came to mind when I read a newspaper announcement about a young man who had just completed a multiple-session leadership course in college. According to the article, “The purpose of the course is to teach students how leadership is effectively exercised fo…

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The little irritations of life can suck the pleasure out of every day. Sometimes it helps to take a step back from what might become an irritation and ask yourself, “Is it worth getting upset over this? Am I just having a first world problem? Can I appreciate the fact that other people, who …

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Let’s all try to spend today and the rest of our lives more wisely. With rising inflation, we are all having to spend our hard-earned paychecks with care. Life is the same. We have less life today than yesterday. We don’t have as much life to spend today. We are all clueless how much life we…

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The IRS is sending millions of notices to taxpayers with unpaid taxes. It’s important to watch the mail for any IRS letters this year. If you receive a letter CP14, you generally have about three weeks to respond. It’s important to read and understand the CP14. If the IRS letter says you owe…

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You’re probably familiar with Mark Twain’s quote, “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” Fortunately, I could never relate to Twain…

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Life is a messy process, literally. There is always something to put in the washing machine. A new tranche of mail arrives every day. I have no idea where all the dust comes from, but occasionally someone in the house will sweep it or suck it up into a vacuum. The dishes are never done. If t…

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Poverty, divorce, abortion, war, mass shootings. The list can be as long as one wants to make it. In a nation and world as complex and interdependent as ours, answers can leave us at a loss. We often resort to policy and blame.

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Would you let someone you don’t know in your house to look at your finances? Your bank account? Your electric bill? Your credit card purchases?

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A few years ago, I tried Duolingo, the language learning app, as a way to keep up my French. Back then, they did not have a placement test, so it was very boring and repetitive for me to work through exercises as a beginner when I was not a beginner. I deleted it from my phone.

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“Salvation is created, is created through Christ our Lord, Alleluia.” When I heard the Aurora West Choir sing that I was deeply moved. Three things were at the root of this sense. It is a powerful anthem. It was being sung with one of my grandsons in the choir. And last it brought back fond …

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It is graduation season. This month and next there will be millions of diplomas and degrees awarded for those who have met the requirements for matriculation (we’ll stretch the definition to include high school here). There are two main attitudes seen as students walk toward the left side of…

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In 2021, 2-year old colt Rich Strike finished last in his first race. His disappointed Calumet Farm owners ran him in a low-level “claiming” race, meaning the horse could be sold to anyone who wanted to claim him. Oklahoma-based Rick Dawson, about ready to quit the racing business, decided t…

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Occasionally I will pick up a random classic and start reading. I do this to prevent falling into a reading rut and to keep my mind sharp. I am always rewarded for the effort. Those who read this space are often subjected to those gems I find in plain sight.

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Moses became so angry with the people of Israel that he smashed the two original stone tablets containing the 10 Commandments and they had to be replaced by God. The indignation of Jesus was stirred so intensely that he took a whip to the money traders in the temple and ran them out. It wasn…

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Two hundred twenty-one structures damaged or destroyed by the recent wildfires; two hundred twenty-one lives upended. At first, it was just a brush fire in Wears Valley and then the news report said, “Wildfire!” What happened to change the designation? Wildfire is defined as an uncontrolled …

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Celebrate Mother’s Day anyway you can but don’t miss the opportunity to honor mom. The opportunities pass us by. While mom is alive is the time to do something for her. Too often someone dies and we want to make sure we attend their funeral and buy flowers. We talk about missed opportunities…

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The following contribution is from a former Vicar at Grace Lutheran Church of Lily Lake, Illinois. He went on to be a parish pastor in several different states. One unique feature in his ministry profile was serving in a congregation within a prison. He is now retired and lives in Athens, Ge…

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A few years ago, I was in the Gatlinburg library, reading list in hand. This lady looked over my shoulder at my list and asked where I got it. “From the National Spelling Bee website.” She sighed, “Why don’t they tell us about this?” The lady must be commended. She was inside the library, lo…

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Prior to watching very little TV news now, Jean and I had our morning routines. While she surfed TV with her morning coffee, I checked my emails and Internet home page news links. She watched various news shows, surfing away when commercials intervened or when certain liberal politicians or …

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Dear Rusty: My wife started receiving her social security at 65 (her full retirement age) and she will be 69 years old this July. I was able to receive half of her social security under an older law. This April, I will turn 70 and will start to receive my own Social Security. I know I will n…

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Carrying baggage is exhausting. When traveling we often pack more than we need. When making a trip it’s always easier to travel light.

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In a civil, polite society we shouldn’t run around slapping comedians, politicians, radio or television personalities, or musical performers. The list goes on and includes everyone. Will Smith’s stunt of slapping comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars was a bad idea. It was only by the grace…

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Most of us simply want peace in our lives, nation and world. We enjoy resting in a warm or cool house, with something to eat, free from worry and stress. Peace is not always easy. This winter, chances are that your heating bill was chomping on your checking account and taking a huge bite out…

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Now that we are getting into the teenage years with our children, my husband and I have switched to programs geared toward age 13 and older which prepare them for life as adults. No more kiddie stuff.

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Anyone who has ever been part of a business, religious organization, civic club, or sports team has experienced the difference in leadership and authority. Many of us have been part of organizations where leadership succeeded in spite of those in authority.

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Dear Rusty: There is confusion between my husband and me on when he should file for Medicare. My husband will be 64 in July. While he does plan on continuing to work to age 67 and continuing with his employer’s insurance plan, I believe there’s a requirement that he file for a certain part o…

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I believe enough time has passed, and I’m using fictitious names to assure I don’t trample on HIPAA regulations. So I feel it is safe to tell the story of the mistaken phone call that turned out to be an uplifting experience for one unsuspecting man and a source of entertainment for a number…

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Isaac Barefoot Runyan was born in 1757 in Rockingham County, Virginia. Barefoot was a not nickname given to him as a boy because he didn’t wear shoes, but the middle name his parents gave him, which was his mother’s maiden name. A number of families with the surname Barefoot lived in Virgini…