Don’s Column


Epiph·a·ny: (1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure  It’s one of the best words in our dictionary, isn’t it? It used to be […]

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  For many years I’ve had a fascination with time, and with the ways in which we mark its passing. For instance, at the end of Charles Frazier’s award-winning novel Cold Mountain, the widow chops down trees on the ridge of Cold Mountain to notch two places that can be seen from her home. One […]

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Today, with respect for what has become a well-loved tradition, I share again one of my favorite Christmas poems. It is by author and poet Wendell Berry, a Kentucky farmer who loves the land and lives close to it. Remembering That It Happened Once Remembering that it happened once, We cannot turn away the thought, […]

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  “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child […]

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I think the acronym has now entered the popular lexicon. Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited is an aviation term that represents perfect flying weather. It was evidently a favorite saying of President Bush 41, who was a WWII fighter pilot, and it played a prominent role in his memorial service as the nation sent him on […]

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A Hallmark Christmas?

Advent: a) The arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. b) The first season of the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays. c) The coming or second coming of Christ. The Hallmark Channel has been on in our home quite a lot recently. Except for the news, I […]

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Martin Rinkart was a Lutheran minister who was assigned to the walled city of Eilenburg, Saxony at the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War. The city became a refuge for many fugitives, and the overcrowding led to both famine and disease. During the plague of 1637 Rinkart, the only surviving pastor in the city, conducted as […]

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  Last Thursday night I watched the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Carolina Panthers handily. I’m a football fan, and I especially enjoyed the performance of Steelers running back James Conner, whose personal story is about as compelling as they come. As a junior in college, while rehabilitating a torn ACL, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s […]

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His Final Gift

  In August of 1966 my parents drove my twin brother and me to Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, where we began our undergraduate college studies. Southwestern was and is a very fine private school, and my four years there changed my life. But I always wondered how my parents managed it. My father’s income […]

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The Visit

(In observance of All Saints Day, I am reprinting a column that was first published in 2016.) He came to me early in the morning on All Saints Day. As I sat in the darkness of my backyard, he slipped in silently and sat next to me. Without exchanging words, we sat there together and observed […]

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