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When Tink first moved to the place which he now firmly and alternately calls “my home” or “the place where I belong,” I often had advice on adjusting to the South. One piece was constant: “Be careful what you say about people because you never know who’s kin to who.”

It is a truism that a blackmailer is rarely satisfied. Once the payoffs start, there often is no end to them.

Among the great treats that come from my job as a writer are all the wonderful, handwritten letters I receive. Few are typed, and though I receive many emails, these scripted letters are always the most joyous.

Some of you will be reading these words before, some during and several after Thanksgiving Day (like the old British Empire, the sun never sets on this column.) So, we need to set some ground rules: Let’s remember to express our thanks on days other than when our mouths are stuffed with turkey parts.The problem is that we usually don’t do so on the other 364 days a year (OK, 365 on a leap year. Some of you can be so picky) because we are too busy complaining about the weather, politics, our aches and pains, robocalls, inconsiderate drivers and/or the price of something or other.

There is a telling scene in Season 3 of the Netflix drama "The Crown" about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II that can instruct contemporary America about Democrats' attempt to impeach President Trump.

Thanks is a good word because it acknowledges that we can’t make it by ourselves.

If you are in need of more evidence as to why so many Americans are cynical about politics in general and Washington in particular (and isn't current evidence sufficient?), you need look no further than the etymological shift taken by Democrats during the House impeachment hearings.

So what is step one in addressing this destructive societal dilemma of division? For me, the suggestion is kindness.

A while back, I found myself on a rural backroad that is now a blacktop, but I remember when it was nothing more than red dirt that left a swirl of dust behind the back end of a car or marred its wheels in mud that stuck to the whitewall tires like putty.

We all have our ups and downs, our better days and our rough days. Everyone of us serves time with our own version of the blues.

We all have our ups and downs, our better days and our rough days. Everyone of us serves time with our own version of the blues.

“Well my daddy left home when I was three, and he didn’t leave much to Ma and me, except this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze. Now I don’t blame him because he run and hid, but the meanest thing that he ever did, is before he left, he went and named me Sue.”

Only extreme partisans intent on denying President Trump any credit for any success would be critical of the operation he ordered that resulted in the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. These extreme partisans include Speaker Nancy Pelosi who, while praising the “heroism” of the special unit that conducted the raid on al-Baghdadi’s location in Northern Syria, could not bring herself to say anything nice about the president. Instead, she said the House should have been notified in advance. Why? Does the House command troops? Pelosi lamented that Russia was informed, but that was because Russian weapons and troops were in areas over which American helicopters flew in order to reach their target.

For Christians, our identifying mark goes much deeper than some physical mark or garb.

A new wrestling league is being promoted during TV coverage of Major League Baseball’s post-season. The ad promises more action, more spectacle and includes women as well as men grappling with each other.

It is so much easier to remain in our self-pity. It is so much easier to cling to our problems. It is so much easier to give up and succumb to the odds.

I have a history with gas. I mean the kind you put into your car’s tank. In my youth, I was a gas pump jockey before I became a radio disc jockey or a TV news jockey.

Glimpses back to childhood always bring an odd remembrance of some kind. Sometimes when I go into our kitchen at night, I will think of the kitchen of my childhood home.

This is all political theater and bad theater at that. Democrats are going through the motions of impeachment, hoping to thwart the president’s re-election.

Well, I opened a can of worms. A few weeks ago, I listed a few of the common spelling mistakes that make us laugh (or groan). Since then, my mailbox runneth over with more. So before the “statue” of limitations runs out (where IS that statue, anyway?) let’s review a few from the Bad Spelling Hall of Fame.

Two months after her heroic husband was killed on United Flight 93, Lisa Beamer was asked to say a few words at a Women of Faith Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You remember that Lisa was the 32-year-old widow of Todd Beamer, who was one of those killed trying to overcome the terrorists on September 11, 2001.

When I was born to my parents – late in life, folks used to like to say – they had a college freshman, a high school student and one in seventh grade.

If you are up to your gullet with all the mudslinging in Washington, you have come to the right place. I am right there with you. I have spent enough time in and around D.C. to know the impeachment controversy involving Donald Trump is partisan political posturing by Democrats and Republicans.

Back when reruns were a staple of summer programming, television networks aired repeats of their programs, giving viewers another opportunity to see what they had already seen. Democratic politicians are now conducting their own version of reruns.

So we paused on Sept. 11, and we pause today, 18 years later, to reflect on the meaning of this horrible atrocity.

They are all gone now; the men (and one woman) who were major influences in my early journalism career. The last two died within weeks of each other. They were Jack Perkins and Sander Vanocur, both veterans of NBC News where I started as a copyboy.

By definition, what 14 million viewers watched on TV last Thursday night was not a debate -- not even close.

What a storm of memories an old tin pan can bring churning through a moment in time.

It was a quick, foolhardy decision born of a country girl who wanted to see more of the world than pasture fences, cows and hayfields. I came to regret it during all the nights I cried, homesick for all of that as well as the bullfrogs, crickets and dirt roads.

President Trump was right to cancel a “secret” meeting with leaders of the Taliban and the Afghan government following two bomb attacks by the terrorist group that killed 10 civilians, an American soldier and a Romanian service member in heavily fortified Kabul.

First, in the aftermath of these horrific shootings, finger-pointing is not helpful and only more divisive.

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