Will you be my Valentine?

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, one of my coworkers plans to surprise his girlfriend by taking her to an expensive French restaurant that she has been dying to visit for the past year. He made the reservations on the sly a few months ago and he’s kept it top secret. The woman sitting next to me …

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A perfect day

The coffee was weak, my toast was burnt, and my omelet tasted bland. My wife’s breakfast wasn’t much better—her crêpes looked soggy and lumpy. That’s not all. The restaurant was loud and had a strange echo and a cold breeze shook me every time a customer opened the door. Despite the food and the surroundings, …

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Looking for some good advice

My 14-year-old son yawned and rolled his eyes. He was getting tired of being lectured. I was getting tired having to remind him to clean up his room, take out the trash and help with family chores. I saw a losing battle and stormed away mad. I walked up the stairs to my bedroom, grumbling …

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Twenty five years of wedded bliss or bust

I heard a loud crash. I thought at first that I had heard thunder clapping outside to go with the drenching rain, but I quickly figured out that a young alter server had accidentally kicked over a row of folded chairs. My fiancé and I were getting married. We had hoped for a bright, crisp …

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To have and to hold from this day forward

We sat in the old church and watched the young couple hold hands. They had worked hard to get to their long-awaited day, their wedding day, and they looked so happy and peaceful. We were honored to join in the young couple’s day. As we waited for the ceremony to start, I found myself staring …

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The farmer: A message of hope even in a time of despair

I wrote this piece more than twenty years ago when I worked as a reporter at a small newspaper and was sent out to cover a house fire that had come across the police scanner. The sad thing is that the piece never appeared anywhere - at least in the format that it now exists. Since the …

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The job I didn’t want and the lesson it taught me on how to be a good husband

When I was a young newspaper reporter, my bosses used to give me the grunt-related jobs, everything from fetching the coffee to writing photo captions. One day early in my career, working part time at the Centre Daily Times (I hadn’t even made it yet to a full time job at the Lewistown Sentinel), I …

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