Final Thought

Women who inspire

Women who inspire

Some think they have to wait for inspiration. I believe you carry it around with you from the people you’ve met along the way. These women inspire me in more ways than I can say. Story: Leigh Neely // Photo: Fred Lopez Finding inspiration is something writers think about often. You may witness a simple act that triggers something in your imagination to create a…
Feline Politics

Feline Politics

Story: Mary Ann Desantis One is black; the other is white and gray. One is conservative and quite picky about his food. He’s also quite selective about the people he lets get close. The other is liberal about everything, including treats (one is never enough) and people. Anyone who comes to the door can pick her up. Meet my rescue cats: Ernie, the conservative, and…
She’s got the whole world in her hands

She’s got the whole world in her hands

Story: Rheya Tanner To the people in my hometown, I’m what you might call a legend. I’m known as a traveler, a beast tamer. I have seen every jagged corner of the country, and I’ve tested my mettle against anyone who’s offered a challenge. My journey was not without its failures, but I worked my way to the top. I am a champion. At least…
Thanks for the memories

Thanks for the memories

The song “Reunited” by Peaches & Herb brings back memories and so do reunions.  Story: Debbi Kiddy Whether it’s a family, high school, college, military, or some other reunion, reuniting with those from our past stirs emotions and memories. Most are fond and happy recollections of school days, such as the special people and groups we joined in athletics, music, service, or social clubs. Some…
Widowhood calls for embracing a ‘new normal’

Widowhood calls for embracing a ‘new normal’

Story: Theresa Campbell A new year can be exciting, yet for widows like me, it’s the start of another year filled with an unexplainable feeling that’s hard to put into words. “We are dealing with an emptiness that we never could have planned for. We don’t have what we thought we might have for the rest of our lives,” says my friend Cindy Brewer. She’s…
Don’t Let the Holidays Get You Down

Don’t Let the Holidays Get You Down

I used to love watching the holiday episodes of “Roseanne.” They were always chaotic, family-centered meals that closely resembled the ones in the house where I grew up. We had some real characters (as most families do), and I have memories of some great holiday meals. Though my father had only one brother, my mother came from a family of 10 children. Each of those…
Turkey Day Tragedies

Turkey Day Tragedies

Memories of Thanksgiving Day do not always conjure the famous Norman Rockwell painting that we all hope to emulate. The first Thanksgiving I can remember is when I had just turned five. My memory doesn’t look anything like Norman Rockwell’s 1942 “Freedom from Want” painting; instead, it’s a rather bizarre image of a headless turkey running through my grandparents’ back yard. For some ungodly reason,…
Six Degrees of Connection

Six Degrees of Connection

A dear friend told me years ago that I embodied the “six degrees of separation” theory more than anyone else she knew. This revelation came when she learned her son’s guitar instructor was my ex-father-in-law’s nephew—someone I barely knew. As time passed, she encountered more of my “connections,” leading her to the conclusion that I truly was the quintessential example of six degrees. Originally based…
A Role Model at 90 Years Old

A Role Model at 90 Years Old

Lake County Elections Supervisor Emogene Stegall, 90, is my role model, a shining example of a strong working woman at the top of her game. She could have retired decades ago, but this great-grandmother delights in getting up weekday mornings to go to work at her office a short two blocks from her Tavares home. “I love my life working, and I love helping people,”…
FINAL THOUGHT: A Hot Issue

FINAL THOUGHT: A Hot Issue

I’m a creature of habit, especially during my lunch hour. I don’t often stray from Chinese or fast food. But if I hanker for Tex-Mex, I go to Tijuana Flats in Leesburg. While I wait for my quesadillas, I peruse their signature “Hot Bar,” which contains all their crazy hot sauces with their crazy names and even crazier ingredients, designed to make tasters feel like…
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