Haugh About That?: All I needed

In an effort to leave our family’s digital history organized and in one place, I spent hours learning how to convert the old VHS videos into DVDs. Being technologically challenged, this was no easy feat. But in the universe’s divine planning, I was granted an intercession by the techie gods above, and soon the transfer from the archaic mode of entertainment to the current would begin.

The Villaj Idiut: Haunted house

What you are about to read isn’t at all how I envisioned this column turning out.

This column was supposed to be feel-good, nostalgic, sentimental, a circle-of-life tale.

Haugh About That?: The tears of a mother

As I walked into the family room, my heart stopped beating. There, in the middle of my new beige carpet, stood my 1-year-old daughter, Lauren, in a puddle of blue paint, smiling brightly. Instantly, my eyes began to sting with the tears that would soon come. We’d saved five years for that new flooring, and now it was ruined. Oh, the joys of being a parent.

Over the past 37 years, the one thing I’ve gotten really good at is crying when it comes to my four kids. It all began when I found out I was pregnant with Michelle. Having been told I may never have children after a miscarriage early in my marriage, you can imagine my ecstasy. Then, nine months later, blood-curdling wails rattled the hospital walls as I delivered her the old-fashioned way, sans drugs. No epidural or oral medication to ease the pain, just a stick between my teeth and Lamaze breathing. Crazy, I know, but back in the early ’80s, I took my new role as Mother Earth seriously. Jenni would soon follow, and my tears of joy became deeply profound.

A Piece of My Mind: History is fast, change is slow

When I was quite young, my parents took my brother and me to the Natchez Pilgrimage, a semi-annual tour of antebellum mansions organized by the Natchez Garden Clubs back in 1932 as a way to bring tourists to Depression-wracked Natchez, Miss. Club members dressed in crinolines and hoop skirts guided us through the white-columned mansions. A pageant was a major part of the Pilgrimage, with children dancing around a maypole, a king and queen, and tableaux depicting Natchez history. One of the tableaux, titled “Cotton Pickers,” depicted a “land of laughter, love, and song” where “fields … whiten (with ripe cotton bolls) and darkies … sing.”

A few weeks ago I was back in Natchez as part of a tour group cruising down the Mississippi. This time there were few “Gone with the Wind” moments. We toured a plantation, but we spent more time in the slave quarters than in the mansion, and even more time in the exhibit showing the hot, heavy and dangerous work of getting cotton picked and prepared for market before the ginning and baling were mechanized. On the way back to our boat, we stopped at Forks of the Road, site of the second-largest slave market in the U.S. back in the day.

The Villaj Idiut: Altering the gene pool

You know how, every once in a while, you get that really deep question from somebody at a party: Which figure in history would you most like to meet?

I always have my answer ready for that doozy: Marco Polo.

No Shoes, Please: <p>Mea culpa from the pulpit</p>

Sen. John McCain is dying, but as his daughter, Meghan, noted, so is she and so are the rest of us. Therefore, his eventual passing isn’t noteworthy – at least not insofar as the certitude of it happening – because we’re all in the same boat.

A Piece of My Mind: Thoughts of those who serve

My husband is something of a connoisseur of National Memorials, having been born and raised in Gettysburg, Pa. So on our recent visit to Hawaii, we fulfilled his long-held wish to visit the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.

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