Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Requiem For a Grocery Store

Posted on Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 at 09:38

The closing of the Nora Marsh Supermarket has come as no surprise. The energy went out of it years ago, when Whole Foods set up shop in the same neighborhood. Then Kroger moved in across the street, and gradually, the only people left shopping at Marsh were a few silver-haired people, and me.

I’ve been shopping at that store every week for the past 16 years. I’ve witnessed its various attempts at renaissance, remodeling and restocking with organic, local foods and produce. Then came the decline, as people’s food habits and tastes changed and other stores fit those needs more quickly, albeit not always more economically. Read the rest of this entry »

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Consuming News: Getting the Facts

Posted on Monday, February 6th, 2017 at 17:42

In 2015, an intern at my last job recommended that I subscribe to the email newsletter the Daily Skimm, and because I never get enough email in one day, I took her up on it. What I found was a cute take on the news of the moment, with a “quote of the day,” links to some top stories and happy birthday wishes to individual subscribers—packaged with a bit of self-deprecating feminine snark.

After looking at a few of the emails, I created a rule in my in-box to filter the daily messages into a folder, and pretty much forgot about it. My daily consumption of news was already abundant, and I didn’t have the capacity to read one more thing.

Then recently, I came upon this sponsored advertisement while scrolling down my Facebook wall:

“Feel like the media’s letting you down? Meet the Daily Skimm. It’s our daily newsletter that gives you everything you need to know in a nonpartisan, no BS, way. Just the facts. Oh and it’s free. Join the 4 million people who wake up with us every day. You’re welcome.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Exploring Values: Honor

Posted on Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 at 14:38

An important step in any life change is an exploration and review of one’s values. I learned this from a wonderful executive coach, Starla West, who showed me a list similar to this one. The first value I selected, and the one I come back to time and again, is Honor.

“Return with Honor,” motto of the 31st Fighter Wing

Honor has resonance for me because of the way my parents raised me, but also because of my military service. “Return with Honor” was the motto of the unit to which I was assigned at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida. The motto was emblazoned at the entrance to base headquarters, it was displayed on the F-4 Phantom fighter jets chocked up on the flightline, and it was embroidered on patches sewn onto my fatigues.

The value of this idea, to return with honor, was later reinforced at the USAF Survival School, where I was stationed and served as its Wing Historian. In addition to basic survival training, the unit conducted resistance training using lessons from the Vietnam War and other conflicts. Pilots, navigators and intelligence officers took the training, which involved survival, evasion, resistance and escape. The goal, if captured, was to return with honor. That meant not giving crucial information to the enemy, not betraying your fellow service members and holding your conduct to the highest standards.

Honor is decency. It’s integrity. It’s doing what’s right and good when no one is looking. It plays out in the workplace through hard work, diligence and persistence, something I absolutely believe everyone owes to their employer. It’s doing your best, regardless of circumstances. Honor is fairness, and it is Truth.

Imagine if honor was the first requirement for our leaders and elected officials. What a different world that would be!

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Embracing Change

Posted on Monday, January 30th, 2017 at 22:19

Hello, World!

Isn’t that how a blog is supposed to start? Except that this blog isn’t new in the strictest sense. Content once lived here and on a previous blog that included musings on politics, the environment, racial issues and life. At various points since 2009, when I stopped writing commentary for The Indianapolis Star, I’ve used blogging to exercise my writing and thinking muscles. That will be true again.

Our country has undergone a radical transformation, and the deeply unsettling nature of these changes has been magnified for me on a number of personal fronts. Just before the New Year, I left a job I loved, that I had poured my heart into for the past five years. At that time, I decided to focus on some areas of my life that suffered during that period, including my personal fitness, spiritual health and relationships. Part of this focus is being intentional about how I spend my time. More reading! Less social media. More writing! Less social media. More of the things I care about. Less of all that other stuff.

Life can change, and does, within instants. Loss of a loved one. A cancer diagnosis. A tornado. Life also changes in long, slow drips, like stalactites that multiply in the cold, damp, unchanging environment of a cavern. We can look outward and fear the scope of change, or we can pull something from deep within ourselves, something that says we are both divinely protected but absolutely in charge of our next steps. And from that place, we go forward.

Hello, world! I’m back.

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