When I was a teenager my family had little to spare. My parents were working hard to put food on the table and keep the roof over the heads of their four children, which meant there was rarely enough for extras such as new clothes or whatever trendy accessory that anyone who was anyone had to have. I made do with what I was given, which often wasn't a lot. As a consequence, I was bullied and disdained by those who always had more.
My journey to baseball enlightenment was a long one. I've never been what you would call a "sports enthusiast." I played basketball in fourth grade but could never locate the "key" everyone kept talking about and I never understood why I couldn't just hold the ball and run. That would make the game a whole lot easier, wouldn't it? I played softball in a rec league in middle school with similar results. I spent most of my time out in left field picking four-leaf clovers and hoping the ball would not come my way, because I couldn ...
Drop this paper and go do your homework.
This week's column was supposed to be about my 25-year High School Reunion. It's actually already written and was completed 48 hours prior to my Friday deadline. Like most of my colleagues, I am usually pounding out my column an hour or two before my editor is to read it. I guess you could say it's tradition.
A little over a year ago, right before I got married, my then-fiancé and I embarked on an ill-advised, do-it-yourself closet system installation. I had believed that it would be easy and convinced him of the same. I say "ill-advised" because my original theory was disproved when my guy just about blew a gasket a short while into the project.
As September gives way to October, the weather - hopefully - is changing to more of a fall feel, baseball (at least in San Francisco and Oakland) has given way to football and it's time to start preparing for the next big few holidays. I see Halloween costumes, turkeys and stockings in the near future.
I'm sure by now some of you have noticed my byline in the Oakdale Leader. I took over the civics and hospital beat in the last week of August and I think it's about time that I introduce myself. My name is Andee and I am new to The Leader and to Oakdale, but I have been working for Morris Multimedia (The Leader's parent company) for a few years. I am currently working for both the Oakdale Leader and the Turlock Journal, with the occasional story in the Riverbank News and Escalon Times as well.
Mistress By Midnight
By the time you read this, my youngest sister, Kamrin, and her fiancé, Kyle will have tied the knot. You see, Kamrin and Kyle got married on Friday, Sept. 16 in Sanger. I'm sure the ceremony was lovely and I'm sure there were plenty of sniffles from the audience because weddings - although joyous occasions - never fail to start the waterworks no matter how jaded you are about the whole process.
On Sept. 8, 2009 Brent Layton of Escalon and Nikki Freitas of Riverbank got the news no military parent ever wants to hear … their son had been killed in action while serving his country.
As I drove off after work the other day, my otherwise "healthy" car stopped running. Right there in the middle of the street.
When we - meaning the group of reporters and I that work together each week to put stories into print - sat down for our Wednesday morning staff meeting this past week, the question was raised about how we were going to mark the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11.
The seasons move on. The schools are back in session. We're headed toward Friday night football, cold and rain, and Christmas. Forget shopping. Did you know Riverbank officials are already planning the Christmas parade? "But not yet, not yet," as the hero's friend in the movie Gladiator says. The summer crickets are still calling, metaphorically, and doves still cooing across town.
With the start of the new school year, I have a senior, a junior, and a first grader. The two teens are dialed in, they know their routine and it's been an easy transition from one grade to the next. However, with my little one, it's been a different story.
My original plan for this month's column was to discuss my transition into "retired life" and the phases I went through on the path to ultimately accepting that decision. It was something parallel to the five stages of grief, starting with a denial and isolation then ending with acceptance.
There comes a time when you just have to part with things.
Whether you are an ardent sports fan or just a casual observer you really can't go wrong taking a few minutes out of your schedule to sit down and watch the Olympic Games. Chances are, you get one of the many channels that are carrying them, with nearly nonstop action all day, depending on where you turn.
It's bedtime at Villa Paloma and as I make my way upstairs after turning off the lights and ensuring doors are locked, comes the time where I need to make my claim on what's left of the real estate on our California king as the TV flickers the nightly news.
All right, I can tell on myself. This column and the ones our reporters periodically provide for this page are due on the Friday before the next Wednesday's paper. Typically, a 5 p.m. Friday deadline, though I have been known to let people email them to me on a Saturday as long as I know it's coming and can still get it proofread in time for the page to be built. But it has been an extremely busy time for me so I gave myself a break and put the deadline off until – yikes! – Monday. Besides, I ...
What did I get for Christmas?
Some people just aren't meant to wear heels.
It's the middle of December and I still have pumpkins on my front doorstep.
I'm taking a chance by voicing an unpopular, politically incorrect position on a contemporary issue, but from me, this shouldn't come as a surprise.
November is such a busy month, leading right up to an equally hectic December, that it literally feels like a lifetime ago I wrote my last column.
Some people may not realize it, but there are actually two ways to get Medicare benefits.
Another year is coming close to an end. Every year seems to go by faster and faster. I have heard after a certain age everything starts rolling downhill. I don't believe that is entirely true, but I do believe the speed has increased each year.
DEAR DIDI: I am hoping you can help solve a disagreement that my husband and I have been having. We love your column and your answer will be our 'tiebreaker' of sorts. My husband thinks our dog should spend nights outside in the yard to protect our home. I feel sorry for him and want him in the house but my husband says I baby him too much. What do you think? Caring Mom in Manteca
Timewise, we have fallen back, hopefully taking advantage of that extra hour of sleep over the weekend. Daylight Saving Time has ended and we have, incredibly, entered the final two months of the year with major holiday celebrations fast approaching. Halloween is over; recent windy days have kicked up swirls of leaves and the possibility of rain has returned to the forecast.
They say you can never go back. Well you can. But it will have changed and nostalgia will be all that remains. On a recent trip to England which I left for the United States more than 50 years ago, I got to visit the primary school that my sister and I attended when we were seven or eight years old.
There's something special when the leaves turn, days start to get shorter, the weather cools, and you start to feel a tingle of a nip in the air.