It’s a good thing titles cannot be copyrighted. With apologies to Erica Jong, I title this self-confessional column, “Fear of Flying.” I cannot say I fear flying, but I am a most reluctant air traveler. I have reason to be. I’ve had two close encounters with an air disaster. The first was as…

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I imagine many special recipes were pulled out and executed for this week’s festivities. My own Mom had quite a collection of recipes from back in the day when she loved to cook and bake. Much like chemistry is important when baking a cake, soil chemistry is important when optimizing your ga…

I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to meet with a member of our church at one of our wonderful, Uptown restaurants. We were so engrossed in our conversation that we somehow missed the fact that by the time we were through, the dining room had cleared of all the other patrons.

QUESTION: My just-turned-4-year-old repeats things he has heard or has said before. For example, even though my brother’s family moved away nearly two years ago, whenever we drive by their old house he will say, “There’s Uncle Frank’s house!” He also asks questions when he knows the answers.…

Like Halley’s Comet, I’m predictable. I come around to the same subject matter every so often. When I do, it’s because something triggered memories. A few days ago I drove past Washington, Georgia’s Mule Day Festival at Callaway Plantation. Headed along Highway 78 to the Georgia-Auburn game,…

It was a lovely thing to be asked by an enthusiastic group of seniors, who had chosen my novel for their book club, if I would consider driving to their group residence to speak about it.

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is an American holiday, celebrated by people of varied faiths or no faith at all. It is a time to remember with gratitude the things that are basic such as food, shelter and safety. And the things that are precious such as friends and family. A…

Q: I have two boys, 18 and 33 months. How much time each day should I spend involved in activities with them? Also, they chase one another around the house and other sorts of roughhousing, but they hardly ever play with their educational toys. Is there some way I can get them interested in t…

If you are like me, the refrigerator is packed with food in preparation for Thanksgiving. But did you know some seeds would benefit from finding a spot in your refrigerator over winter? Replicating the winter conditions to help seeds germinate is called stratification. It’s a relatively stra…

He was 26 when the Great Depression arrived, 36 when it ended. A decade of doing without taught him something about survival. “Keep something seven years and you’ll find a new use for it.”

My fellow columnist Richard Whiting recently discussed the differences between connecting with friends on Facebook and connecting in “real” life, and he is right: there is no substitute for someone’s presence, for the sounds of voices, for hugs, for the gaze of friendship.