An Unexpected Turn of Events

By Joe Rector Last week, I didn’t send in a column for the paper. Christmas was a hectic time for us, even more so than in years gone by. We planned to have new flooring laid in our house sometime around Thanksgiving, but a three-week delay in the product delivery meant the guys installing the […]

It’s the traditions that make things special

  By Joe Rector Merry Christmas! I hope yours will be a fabulous one. As far as I’m concerned, any Christmas spent with loved ones is good. Maybe the gifts aren’t just right, or maybe “the little lights are twinkling,” but the traditions that we all follow each year give us plenty of reasons to […]

Cheap temptations

By Joe Rector Young folks have always faced plenty of temptations in life. They are things that help individuals to live and choose and learn. Sure, not having to face temptations would make existence easier, but without them, persons don’t have the chance to mature and strengthen themselves into the solid individuals that they become. […]

The Official Start of Christmas

By Joe Rector Okay, Thanksgiving is over, so it is now permissible, maybe even legal in some states, for folks to put up Christmas lights, inflatable characters, and trees. Of course, places like Walmart and Home Depot stocked their shelves with these things around Halloween. It seems that every year, businesses are pushing folks to […]

They’ve made life fuller

By Joe Rector If a person lives long enough, he can find himself smack dab in the middle of bunches of different folks. With a little luck, he might even build relationships and friendships with folks in those groups. From first grade to retirement, those people make meaningful impacts on our lives. Elementary school was […]

Irritating Words

By Joe Rector I taught English for 30 years. During that time, I corrected students’ grammatical mistakes and writing errors. Sometimes, they filled essays with flowery language or words which they couldn’t define. While I always believed that expanding a student’s vocabulary was a worthwhile endeavor, I refused to allow the person to write in […]

Our heads are spinning

By Joe Rector I’m not about to enter an argument about the benefits of technology in our lives. That argument would be voided by the fact that I’m using the thing about which I rail to write my rant. So, instead of downing these wonders of modern life, I’ll recall how we managed to live […]

A little light in the darkness

By Joe Rector It’s been another hard few weeks for us in the USA. Impeachment inquiries continue, Mick Mulvaney confirmed the “quid pro quo” before trying to deny it, and US troops abandoned the Kurdish allies in Syria. We’re reeling from the bad news, and some feel downright depressed at the way our country is […]

Corn stalks and hay bales

  By Joe Rector After an extended summer, something which I thoroughly enjoyed, fall arrived in East Tennessee. Cooler temperatures, along with much needed rain showers, replenished the area this week. With the new season’s arrival, people began stocking up on a variety of decorations for special days. I’ve noticed houses in some of the […]

50,000 Mile Check-Up

By Joe Rector Every so often, the times arise to have what I call a “50,000-mile check-up performed.” It’s not much fun, but the process is necessary. For some reason, I always expect bad news from the doctors whom I see. That makes for a few rough days on the nerves. Most of the children […]