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January 07, 2016

The rumblings have begun.

That’s all they are right now. A comment in a newsroom, a gym, a bar or on a message board can spark a discussion about the futures of two college basketball coaches and the next thing you know, you start hearing minor rumblings in more places more often.

There is…

East Carolina Cincinnati Basketball

January 06, 2016

I quit counting how many times this has happened:

I am walking through the grocery store and a passerby recognizes me as someone who works at the paper.

“Hello, I have seen your face in the paper,” they might say. “What do you do there?”

I explain that I am the former…

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January 04, 2016

The holidays have passed but we’re still celebrating in the Speller household.

Today, both of our boys have birthdays. That’s right. Born on the same day — but six years apart.

Pearless III, known as PL, is 20 and was 5 years old when his father and I got married and formed our blended family of three daughters and one son.

The next year, Nicholas, now 14, was born on his birthday.

January 03, 2016

Sometime in a not-so-distant future …

“Great-Auntie Janet, tell us again about how things were in the olden days when you were young.”

“Oh children, it was a magical time. So many things were different.”

“Like sizes?”

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January 02, 2016

When families move from one house to another, the final exit normally happens amid some level of chaos. There is hardly time to breathe, much less stand back and reflect upon the years of watching children grow and lives change inside the walls being left behind.

It was certainly chaotic for my wife and three daughters last week. The rain was pouring, and so were the tears, when our girls left the only home they have ever known. Teenagers were coming and going all day to say their goodbyes.

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December 27, 2015

This Christmas season recollection is dull, even dark. But the single, frozen moment has remained constant in its corner of memory, preaching a stark lecture of kindness and gratitude.

I was young and impressionable when I went with my father with a box of gifts and food for a family in another part of town. I don’t know why I went along; possibly I was asked to go, I don’t know.

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December 21, 2015

Christmas is Friday and I’m ready — well, maybe not ready but definitely excited.

We will spend it with family and friends and, while the pretty wrapped packages will be nice to receive, the fellowship will be the real gift.

Still, the best of holiday times can still bring bouts of sadness and depression as you think of lost loved ones, manage illnesses in the family or deal with life’s many other curve balls.

December 20, 2015

Pity the poor canine. Dogs have taken the rap for a lot of things through their association with mankind — from eating children’s homework to passing gas in a roomful of elderly relatives.

But a recent story indicated a new low in the dog-blaming game. A Florida man accused of leading deputies on a high-speed chase allegedly claimed that his dog was behind the wheel when his vehicle ran a stop sign, drove through two ditches and crashed into a house.

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December 19, 2015

Staying up with the kids and their trendy ways is impossible these days. I find it’s easier — and more entertaining — to simply adapt their quirky, youthful ways to my own older-person uses.

I recently did this without meaning to at Chick-Fil-A’s drive-thru window, where the friendly voice behind the “order-here” speaker asked for a name to go along with my order. I suppose it’s a tool for keeping the orders straight while also making a personal connection with customers.

It’s also a source of fun for my daughters.

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December 13, 2015

Star Wars returns this week, after what seems like an eternity — then again, did it ever leave? Well, whatever, I just hope my son won’t be too upset with me.

You know, sometimes you just get busy and things you slip into your briefcase on a hectic morning have a way of staying there too long before you remember to fish them out. Or as was my case, I didn’t remember, I just happened to find it cleaning out old papers.

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