Challenges and Courage

Remembering CarrieFisher: Of Moonlight and Bras

Since early November, my husband and I no longer watch television news which means a much quicker turnaround on “hot topic” stories. When my husband heard my strangled, “Oh, no. She died,” he knew I was talking about actress, Carrie Fisher. Of course, we knew that she had had a heart attack and we heard that she was on a ventilator because she had ...Read More

It’s Never Easy, Is It?

Dear “Oh Carol:” My son’s mother-in-law, Mary, has cancer and has only 6 months left.  She’s a sweet-heart and this is so sad. I think she’s mid-60’s. Her husband has been a real trooper helping her with every need and no complaining. But recently some have noticed he’s acting a bit too friendly with some of Mary’s friends.  Especially the single o...Read More

Confessions of a Santa Claus “Booker”

My first true experience with Santa Claus came when I was working in a now-defunct Philadelphia department store in the advertising department. Each year, Lit Brothers, a wedge-shaped building at the corner of 8th and Market Street, hosted Santa Breakfasts where small children could dine with the magical figure and ask for their heart’s desire, con...Read More

New At This!

Dear “Oh Carol,” I am about 7 months away from a divorce. We were together for 3 yrs. I realized it was a mistake after the first year…when she drained my bank account…I guess because I am so loving and kind. I didn’t see it coming. so now I am at the age of 63, alone again. I do own my own home and my new truck is paid for. now what…I ...Read More

Paper Clips and Safety Pins

I am a student of history. I am also a true believer in the words of early twentieth century philosopher, George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” You can imagine that I’ve been studying history hard, for the past few weeks. Among the trivia I’ve found is a little-known act of resistance by the Norweg...Read More

Livin’ and Laughing OR Slippin’ & Sliding?

Dear “Oh Carol:” Widowed for 18 yrs! Live in very small community. Options limited. Want to live, laugh & love again! Would love to find a gated single community to finish my race. Warm weather‼️. Gotta stop contemplating & move forward!!! Help. AFL’s “OH CAROL” ANSWERS As you’ve probably discovered, life in a small community severely...Read More

A Message to the Post-Polio Generation

Hello.  My name is Danna G. Hallmark.  For nearly three decades (from 1980–2007) I developed and ran federally recognized alternative medical labs and clinics throughout the US and into Canada, where my own methodology was used to restore and/or maintain the health of thousands of individuals.  My quest to find workable and viable alternative metho...Read More

Carbon Copies

We’ve lost a righteous man. His name was Eli Wiesel. You may know him only as the author of Night, an account of his life in Auschwitz, from the age of 14 ½ to age 16. I personally believe that he may have been a lamed vavnik. Yes, I know that am straying into dangerous territory here, but this is a legend, not religious teaching exactly. &nb...Read More

What If…We Actually DID Something?

A “personal opinion?” You bet. And…one to be proud of!  Garret Mathews lived in Southern West Virginia from 1972 until 1987 where he wrote feature stories and, later, columns for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. The newspaper’s circulation area includes McDowell County, one of the poorest counties in Appalachia. Before mine mechaniz...Read More

Who Can Top the Body Count?

I have written some version of this blog at least ten times in the last seventeen years. I am able to accurately carbon date the first essay because it was about the Columbine shootings. I was a Coloradan at the time; proud Broncos fan; devotee of the Tattered Cover bookstore, which is the best independent bookseller in the company, bar none. We li...Read More

Organ Donors – Meet My Daughter, the Hero

This is one of my heartfelt blog posts, so if you are not up for heartfelt you should stop reading now. • Oh, you’re still here. Good. I am about to tell you a story of the daughter we raised and how she became a hero. First some statistics. More than 123,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ transplant as of 2015. A new person joins the ...Read More

Is That What’s Bothering You, Bunky?

Is the world getting you down? Is life too difficult to take? Does your dog hide under the bed when you walk in the door? Do you hide under the bed when you hear a political discussion? Is that what’s bothering you, Bunky? Lift your head up high and take a walk in the sun with dignity and stick-to-it-ive-ness and you’ll show the world, you...Read More

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