Miles away in a different time zone, where snow buries the yards and Old Man Winter takes up residence for a wintry season, the true spirit of Christmas blossomed in the bosoms of total strangers to the benefit of those close to me - my sister, nephew and brother-in-law.
It's been less than one month since Oakdale Youth Soccer League wrapped up its 2009 Season. My two-year-old is still running around with pink pom-poms asking, "Today soccer practice?" as her five-year-old brother sits in his room admiring his first trophy.
As some of you may have noticed in my previous column, I slipped in a piece of personal information without too much fanfare. That is, that I am engaged. I'm not one to really share too much of my personal life in my columns because at work I'm about business.
It goes without saying that we should always count our blessings but it's a sad fact that many of us are remiss in our appreciation for those most important in our lives or the advantages we benefit from on a daily basis until a certain time of year duly reminds us.
November 11; the day flags will fly, government offices and even schools will be closed in observation of Veterans Day. While the observances are being conducted here in the United States, many of those veterans are continuing their journey on our behalf on foreign soil, as well as here on the homefront. Even more ironic is that for the veteran who has returned home and to civilian life, this day may be like every other for them.
I recently took my first trip to Las Vegas. Astonishing, I know. Pretty much everyone has been to Vegas. It's hard to believe that it's taken me this long. I have traveled quite a bit, starting when I was fairly young, but somehow never made it to Vegas.
Among the myriad of things that pass across my desk on any given day, one of them led me to the idea for this column. Actually a few things did but as I was tossing ideas around in my head regarding what to write about, a slip of the fingers sealed the deal.
Whether or not you exercised your right to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 3 - either by going to the polls or perhaps sending in your mail-in ballot, the sheer fact that you had that opportunity is not something everyone gets to experience.
I've always enjoyed a love affair with books. When I was a kid, the town library was located in a historic building that was also part museum. So if you went up the front stairs to the right, you found rows of books and a cozy reading area with a beautiful rock fireplace that in the winter sometimes had a crackling fire going; if you went left, for a dollar or two, you could gaze at some of the town's rich history preserved behind glass.