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One year ago this week, I was living a normal life, and you probably were too.

There were no masks, no social distancing, and no fear.

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The goals were lower, and the players were much smaller. Yet, Jason Bell put his heart and soul into making those little guys better but also showing how much fun it could be.

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I had big plans for this week. I could hear sweet freedom calling my name. My antibodies would surely allow me at least a week or two free from the worry of COVID.

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When you get enough of something, it is often hard to restrain yourself. It continues to frustrate me when people jump on the media bashing band wagon. I cannot decide if some people really are easily influenced or they choose to be ignorant of the facts.

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The hits just keep on coming. Every time I wrote a column about misspelled words, the floodgates open. You don’t have to look far on social media, or on store signs, to see how spellcheck is failing America. So sit for a spell, and lower your expectations.

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In an ideal universe, I would have been born a princess who lived in a castle. I would have servants to do my laundry and a personal chef to prepare my meals so I could remain thin and healthy. I would also have my pick of eligible princes from around the kingdom.

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The weatherman says a winter storm might be on the way. Of course, by the time you read this it will have either come or not.

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Recently I was honored to deliver the eulogy for my uncle, Owen Norris of Ider, Alabama. He was a child of the Great Depression.

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We were all watching earlier this year when members of a pro-Trump crowd stormed our country’s capital. The mob invaded the Congressional chamber. Participants broke into offices, stole personal items and destroyed personal property of some members of Congress.

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Yes. COVID has made its way to my house.

Michael and I both have it, and we’re fine.

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It has been three months since the presidential election, and three weeks since the inauguration. The division continues.

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Hibernation is hard. I don’t know how bears do it.

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It has been almost a year since our COVID-19 nightmare began. According to the CDC, we have lost almost 500,000 people. The virus knows no boundaries and kills without regard for age, race, political affiliation or hometown.

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Most of us know someone who is or has been a member of the National Guard.

The National Guard is a special part of the United States military that answers to both state governors and the president. Therefore, it has both state and federal responsibilities.

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Last spring a gray cat showed up in our yard. He’d sit at the fence line or on the brush pile and stare in our window. He lived in the barn.

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Have you had “the dream?” I posed that question on Facebook recently, and was astonished to learn that almost everyone has.

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This was not supposed to happen. At this point, we should not have to worry about the future of our nation. We have had more than 240 years to work out the kinks of this beautiful experiment. Where have we failed?

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I used to be really into wrestling. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper was one of my favorites, God rest his soul, and he was in this movie called “They Live.” It came on one night after wrestling and I recorded it on a VHS.

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Here in our household we started off 2020 with a new baby. That was the nice part. We stayed in to keep her from catching the flu. I looked forward to the end of flu season so that I could proudly parade my two beautiful children around to all of my favorite thrift stores and buffet dining establishments ( I can’t believe I haven’t had Pizza Hut lunch buffet in over a year!).

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As you may have noticed by now, I’m “old school,” which is a way of saying you’re old, but by adding the word “school” it softens the blow.

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It was March when it came. It’s still here. Our world was turned upside down the day we heard about COVID-19. In Jackson County alone, there have been over 4,700 reported cases and 34 reported deaths.

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In most companies when someone is promoted to a different job and have a staff, that person gets to pick members of his or her own team. It usually involves people they are familiar with and know the kind of job they will do.  It is also an opportunity to choose people they know they can work with and who will have their back in cases of conflict.

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The new year is almost among us, and I guess it’s what we have all been waiting on. There’s always been this terrible reasoning that as soon as 2020 was over, so would be our problems. I don’t think that’s going to be the case at all, but I’m not going to think about that now. I’ll think abo…

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When most believers thank a higher power for the people in their lives, a mental list begins to form. It can include children, a spouse, parents, and siblings. The list naturally lengthens to extended family and friends. Perhaps a co-worker has asked for prayers for a family hardship or someone is on the sick list at their house of worship.

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Circuit Judge Jenifer Holt peered across the courtroom as proceedings began. With a stern look, Holt told a TV reporter to cut off her recording device, as no such things are allowed in the courtroom.

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When you write a column long enough, you establish traditions. For me, I usually turn over my Christmas week column to someone else. This gives me a break, it keeps you from having to endure a rerun column, and it is always written by someone I admire.

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Last night I made chili for dinner. I meant to make spaghetti but didn’t have any sauce. So chili it was. It was a little hot, so I put cheese in it. It was still too hot, so I ate it with cheese toast. 

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As anyone who knows me will gladly testify, I’m not above recycling an old joke. Or three.

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I’ve said it before, but I must say it again. The negative political ads must stop. 

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I drove to pick up some pizzas Saturday night. The wonderful Thanksgiving leftovers had basically run out, and I guess I just wasn’t ready to return to the diet I started after I took a food sensitivity test that told me not to eat cow’s milk or peanuts or some other things that basically made up my entire diet.

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Well, I opened a can of worms. A few months ago, I listed a few of the common spelling mistakes that make us laugh (or groan). Since then, my mailbox runneth over with more. So before the “statue” of limitations runs out (where IS that statue, anyway?) let’s review a few from the Bad Spelling Hall of Fame.

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Looking back through the months of this year I can’t help but feel robbed.

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Most of us have a competitive side. At least, I do. Losing at anything makes me want to try harder. My brain goes into overdrive. It becomes imperative that I understand what mistake I made and what I need to do differently to change the outcome.

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As we approach what some are calling the “dark winter” of this pandemic, I can only hope it is our one and only such winter. Like so many others, I’m hopeful that the Pfizer vaccine, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, or whatever vaccine may follow, is indeed the magic bullet. 

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Last week I found myself thinking about the history of our nation and whether we were doomed to start repeating its cruelest events — or continue to in some cases.

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So, we sit, and we wait. We argue and fight. We go to social media and let it all hang out. Supporters of Trump say he’s the winner. Supporters of Biden say he’s the winner.

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By the time you read this, we may officially have chosen a President of the United States for the next four years. Or not.

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By the time you read this maybe we will know who is going to be the president here for the next four years or maybe we won’t.

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I have a friend named Ben. He’s in his 70s, is retired from a successful career, and leads a busy, fulfilling life. He’s endured a couple of health setbacks during the past ten years, including a cancer scare, but he has bounced back well. When we chatted recently, he asked, “Dave, how’re ya…

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I guess the end of year holidays are my favorite. They come so closely together, and instead of rushing straight to Christmas I like to savor the moments of all the individual days and what they have to offer.

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Thank goodness the 2020 campaign season is almost over and the time to vote is only a week away.

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There are some things we can't say out loud. Perhaps no one should say them out loud. This pandemic is just as bad as advertised. People have suffered in every conceivable way, from routine inconveniences to losing loved ones. 

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I've been trying hard not to write about politics. We're two weeks from the presidential election, and it's almost impossible to escape. The birds outside my window are unusually chirpy, and I'm sure they're going at it over Trump's taxes or Biden's Supreme Court plans.