This week as I sat preparing my thoughts the words that keep cropping up are: What should I have done? or What would you do?Perhaps I should offer a little clarity on what has me so confused and perplexed.Recently, our family, along with some friends who were here on holiday, visited an area park for some outside activity.It is one of the newer parks, which our three- and six-year-old have come to love, so we were excited to share it with our visitors.When we arrived, the kids scattered in varying directions and so did we. With ...
So much happens in a month. Regular readers are familiar by now with our column rotation, with a submission each week for the 'Perspective' page, myself the first week of the month, Dawn M. Henley the second week, Craig Macho the third week and Kim Van Meter the fourth week. If there happens to a fifth Wednesday, we let John Branch sneak in a column on this page as well.Typically there's a specific topic or event I comment on but this past month has been so busy that there are several issues to address.A big one is ...
On the day this column reaches the newsstands, my oldest son will turn 17. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that concept. Was it really 17 years ago that I brought that nine-pound, 10-ounce kid into this world? I guess so. When I look into his eyes, I see the boy he was, but when I pull back, I see the young man he's turning into.
In a past column I shared a little insight into my recent undertaking of helping with costumes for the Oakdale Community Theatre Production of "Annie" the musical.
As Good As It Got by Isabel Sharpe
My husband and I recently held a gargantuan, one-day yard sale. Due to our union, we had double, and in some cases, triple, of everything required to furnish a home. We had filled the shelves of the garage with boxes of items just for the yard sale, knowing that it wasn't even everything we needed to put out because we hadn't had time to address it all.
High school graduation is an exciting time in a young person's life. One chapter of life has ended, excitement for the future is at an all time high and gifts from lost relatives arrive by the truckload. Yet among the excitement and parties, nervousness came over me. Where to go, the four-year universities I was accepted to or Modesto Junior College, which was affordable, but came with a stigma.
Welcome to August and the resumption of school and a somewhat normal routine. Summer, or what months pass for summer vacation here in California, are just about over and like it or not, alarm clocks will soon be back in use.
The unusually mild summer weather (trust me, I'm not complaining at all) has made it seem like we are still waiting for the real summer to hit and it's a little difficult to fathom that classes are about to start. We'll probably get slammed with a week of 110-degree weather sometime in September, just to make ...
Today I cannot help but wonder … have I lost my mind? The good news is, I realize I am not alone and many parents wonder this on a daily basis. The bad news is, I am still really wondering if I am completely nuts.
As July comes to a close and August creeps closer, a number of important calendar events are coming for our household. Most notably, school starts quickly followed by both sons' birthdays but also, my first Silhouette Romantic Suspense novel is coming out and that's very exciting.
You may recall the trip my husband and I took to the northern coast for research two years ago. Well, the information gathered from that trip was for this book. And thus far, the reviews have been very complimentary so I think the authenticity of the location really helped give it an extra ...
The time has come for yet another unforgettable Hammond Family vacation.While I am writing this prior to the vacation happening, there is one thing I am certain of. This vacation will indeed be unforgettable. The location we will travel to this summer is not exotic, tropical or even coastal. This year the Hammond Family is headed to the hip and happening location of … Henderson, Nevada.For those familiar with the area, it is just a short distance outside of Las Vegas. Otherwise known as "Vegas Baby" by my husband and six-year-old son. We have family in Henderson, which is ...
Dear Editor,This past February I was out on a business trip when I got a call from my wife at approximately 9 p.m. She had just gotten a frightening call from her 82-year-old mother who lives alone on Tioga Avenue. She said there was a strange acting, hooded man sitting in a rocking bench on her back patio. I told my wife to call the Sheriff's Department since Tioga Avenue is just outside the city limits and in their jurisdiction. My wife said the Sheriff's Office had already been called and she was on her way ...
It's official. I'm now a Mrs. - for an entire month already.All the details came together for the wedding, which was a beautiful, memorable event - that went by very quickly. We feel blessed to have wonderful friends and family who supported us throughout this whole process.I now have a husband. I've altered my name, moved into a new home - just to name a few changes.There are some things I'm still trying to get used to. During our honeymoon, at this one restaurant while waiting to be seated I had gone to the ladies' room ...
If you have been a regular reader of the paper for any length of time, you are probably familiar with our feature that has been called a number of things, from 'Street Beat' to 'Question of the Week' to our latest moniker 'People Poll.' It typically occupies a space here on the 'Perspective' page but that, too, has changed over the years, from the bottom of the page a decade ago to the more recent right side of the page.
With this week's issue, we suspend the 'People Poll' column as a regular feature. It will appear occasionally, most ...
Words slip and slide. I discovered that a long time ago. In writing essays for high school, papers for college, accounts of trips and adventures, I found the words take over and dictate the story, not the other way around, and the story doesn't turn out the way you intended it even when you sometimes, almost by accident, choose the right word. Much is the same with life itself.
As I write this, a named suspect wanted for attempted murder is on-the-lam, in a city that doesn't have any detectives to investigate its cases.
As I write this, a named suspect wanted for attempted murder is on-the-lam in a city that doesn't have any detectives to investigate its cases.
Many of our readers may recall the little yellow VW bug that became former Riverbank News editor John Branch's 'signature' vehicle. We laughed (mostly with him) at the trademark jet engine sound when he fired the bug up, shared our concern when one of the wheels literally fell off as he was turning the corner to come to the Oakdale office – luckily he was close enough to park with three wheels intact – and celebrated with him when the bug went to storage and a newer, more reliable vehicle emerged.
Who knew there would be an adjustment period to living the dream? I certainly didn't. Many of you know I published my first book in December 2006 and it's been a dream of mine for longer than I can remember to support myself solely on my fiction writing income. After many years of incredibly hard work, I managed to make that dream a reality and I left my post at The Leader to live the dream.
As I write this column, I am planning to be off work for an ROTC assignment.
Monday, April 15 did not start for me as it did my friend and running teammate Cathy McClelland or Oakdaleans Vanessa Walton and Tom Burchell, or Jesse Santana of Riverbank. I did not board a motor coach in my sneakers with a race bib pinned to the front of my shirt in anticipation of running the 117th Boston Marathon.
No need to check the calendar and this isn't an April Fool's Day joke – I am just trying to get my column schedule back 'on track' after having been haphazard about it the last couple of months. I know one ran just last week, so forgive me for the back-to-backs.
Twenty years goes faster than you think. Trust me.
More than a week past deadline, I finally have taken a few deep breaths and will try to get this column written. Typically, the 'Marg-Ins' column appears the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is running a week later than normal this time.
The Super Bowl Season is upon us as many of us gather for what is as close to an American holiday as it can get.
Hello, Escalon, Oakdale, and Riverbank. I am the new girl at the Oakdale Leader office. You may have seen my name on a few different articles, pictures, or both in various issues. Or by now, you may have even met me in person.
Happy New Year! We all survived the Mayan calendar apocalypse and the "Fiscal Cliff" – kind of started to remind me of the Y2K phenomenon 13 years ago.
I have an issue with finality. At the end of every year, as everyone is celebrating the ball drop on a New Year, I'm lamenting the fact that I'll never be in that moment again - another year lost to time, never to experience again. In that second before the big calendar change, I panic just a little knowing that it's over. I'm happy to report that the panic doesn't last but I can always count on it because I hate endings.
I was originally going to do this column about family quirks around the holidays, but with the tragic events over the last few weeks with the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut and the Clackamas Mall shooting in Oregon, we are reminded of the ever increasing threat of an active shooter anywhere in the country. Not holiday feel good stuff, but something we can't ignore.
Resigning from any job is bound to quicken the heartbeat but retiring from a career is downright frightening. I did just that at the end of November although I've been on medical leave since August.