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As Festive Frenzy Strikes Again...

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The calendar pages have flown rapidly by (sometimes threatening to hit you in the face as they pass)
and the first 10 months of the year are a faint blur in your memory. Now you can take a deep breath
--- and dive headfirst into "The Most Chaotic Time of the Year" (isn't that a song?) commonly referred to as "The Holiday Season". Holidays are such interesting occasions and there are many ways you can spend them, but I will try to summarize the two scenarios that stand out as being most common. (In an attempt to create some diversity among the long list of lists listed on the internet, I have listed the second item on this list first.)

Holiday Celebration #2: Although there is a certain sense of excitement in the air, this is a dreaded occasion almost guaranteed to be one of the most awkward days of your entire year. You rush out of bed on the morning of the holiday and scramble to make the best culinary creation you know how to, but knowing that it will never …

Remembering Grandma, and the Longest Day of My Life (That Was Worth Every Minute)

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I can remember it like it was yesterday but yet it's somewhat of a blur. It started on October 11th, 2015. We were relaxing in an Oklahoma hotel room on a Sunday afternoon, and some of us were going to take a short nap before going to set up for our show that evening, but the phone rang before any of us could fall asleep.

The call was from a friend in Minnesota who had gone to visit my grandparents that day. Grandma had been quite ill for a while, but we thought she was on the mend. Our friend, who had a background as a hospice nurse, could see otherwise. "How soon can you get here?", she asked my mom. "I know performing is your livelihood, and I feel sick telling you to cancel a show, but I'd feel worse if I didn't. The time it takes to do the concert might be all the time you'd have to say goodbye."

So, we canceled our show and left the hotel as fast as we could pack. We got in the van and headed north. We stopped after a few hours fo…

It's Finally Here!

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As exciting as it may be, this blog post is not the "It" that the title refers to. "It" is that glorious time when stores begin selling Christmas trees (which have already been advertised on TV for months),
deer begin crossing the road more frequently than chickens in jokes, and all of America begins either raving about or mocking Pumpkin Spice. You guessed "It": I'm talking about Fall!

Fall is a season of great enjoyment for people such as myself (of whom, I happen to be one). After the hecticness (that is too a word!) of summertime, we can pull our turtlenecks out of the closet, get back in touch with our inner hermit, and finally slow down to reflect on the memories we made during the past few months. Another thing that people such as myself may do around this time is write blog posts about all of the above. So as I reflect on the whirlwind some call Summer, here are some observations that come to mind:
It's a really dumb idea to visit Mount Ru…

Going Back To Tomorrow

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It seems like everyone has a label these days: liberal, conservative, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Christian, agnostic, atheist, feminist, racist, activist, and several others. These are all very common labels, but they represent very different ideas and none of them are neutral.

Unfortunately, these labels have recently taken center stage by replacing some others that used to be considered important and even celebrated. Labels such as American, neighbor, citizen, family, and helper used to be very common and they were often considered equal with the greatest label of all: Friend.

What changed?!  Folks, I'm only in my early twenties but even I can remember a time when it was more important to take care of people than politics! Yes, I understand that politics are important but WHY would anyone who wears the label of "American" harm or kill another person with the same label, just because of differing political viewpoints???

Have we really forgotten what it means to be …

If Fish Could Talk

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I can't remember not liking to fish. In fact, I love to fish! I don't get to do it often but I enjoy it immensely when I do. I call each fish by name, whether or not I keep it, because I figure if a fish is smart enough to bite my hook then he is worthy of my respect! Every good fisherman has good fishing stories and of course, the reason for having good fishing stories is to tell them; with fishing season now or nearly open in several states, this seems like a perfect occasion to tell one, so here goes:

As a traveling performer, it has been my privilege to see many beautiful places throughout the USA. One of those places is the upper peninsula of Michigan, aka the"UP", which I've visited the last three summers. Thickly wooded and riveted with lakes, it is the perfect place to go fishing on a day off. Having relatives with a lake cabin and multiple fishing boats makes it even more perfect!

I've gone fishing every time I've been there, and each time I've…