Join the Conversation – Free Speech for all, not just the Few



When I was 12, my older sister and I were constantly quarreling. She was five-and-a-half years older than me and was already earning money working at a local newspaper. That year, she won the Dairy Princess contest so I was jealous of her popular status and her closet full of clothes.

Once designated as my sister’s “tag-along,” she had now surpassed me leaving me in the dust. Now she was never around when I needed her.

After she left in the mornings, I’d search through her closet and find something to wear to school. Since I returned in the afternoons before she did, I could put the clothes back. I got away with this for weeks. Bless my mum’s heart, she never squealed on me knowing I’d get caught sooner or later.

The discovery came a few weeks later after I’d soiled one of my sister’s sweaters. First I stood accused, and then admitted my guilt. After that, we barely spoke to each other. She refused to listen to my reasons and excuses. I remained accused and unforgiven.


It wasn’t until after she married that we became close again. She had finally moved on and I had grown up. The teenage bickering and sibling rivalry was behind us. I discovered that conversation doesn’t work unless both parties contribute.

I told my husband about this on one of our daily walks. He likes to talk and threads his words together with ands and buts which makes it difficult to jump in. I reminded him that conversation is a two-way street. When he is the only talker my mind drifts because I feel I’m being lectured to. He’s a slow learner, but finally he’s getting the hang of it.

When the Broadway play “Hamilton” was attended by Vice Pres. Elect Pence and his daughter, they received a “piece of Aaron Burr’s mind.” He addressed Pence with the cast’s doubts that he or Pres. Elect Trump could serve all the people. The diatribe lasted several minutes followed by clapping and cheers from the New York Liberal audience. Burr said he simply wanted their feelings to be “part of the conversation,” yet Pence had no chance to

That, my friends, is the Progressive definition of free speech: a one-sided argument where only one party gets to have their voice heard.

A college student clarified this for me when she told a reporter, “I hate free speech. People shouldn’t be able to oppose or offend someone else.”

Of course she proceeded to tell the columnist that they were protesting a conservative that was coming on campus to speak to the students.” In other words, a conservative was not allowed free speech on their campus because they only wanted to hear one political point of view – theirs!

We usually choose friends that are similar to us and have many of the same opinions. If you were to shut your friend up when their ideas and preferences differed from yours, you would have no friends.

If Liberals truly wanted to be a part of the national conversation, they would be willing to listen to the other side; but they’re not. Instead, they are whining and throwing a tantrum because they’re side lost.

They are upset because their candidate won the popular vote, but you see that doesn’t matter. The Constitution created the Electoral College so that everyone, even the smallest communities could be heard and their votes counted. If the popular votes won, then the same state or states and party would win every year.


Some also want to amend the Constitution and change some of its rights and privileges so that it favors only a few. They want to take away the 2nd amendment (right to bear arms) so the people would be defenseless if a tyrant or dictator took control and chose to take away the people’s rights and freedoms.

The Constitution is an inspired document that never gets old. Its wisdom preserves liberty and justice for all. Don’t think for a moment that the people of this great land want to change the very thing which has protected them for hundreds of years.

As you partake of your Thanksgiving meal, offer up a prayer of thanks that you are still able to call upon your God and feel safe in your community. If Liberals had their way, we’d be inundated by the people who are flooding our land with illegal aliens and radical minorities intent on taking away what we have and replacing it with their own idioms and values.

When Liberals stop killing cops, stop detesting the Military and label rioting and destruction as a protest perhaps I’ll believe that they really want a national conversation. But if they refuse to listen or to allow another point of view to be heard, I’ll still insist that Liberals are sore losers.


Tis the Season that Memories are being Made All Over the World!


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We usually repeat what’s pleasant: a beloved piece of music, an old storybook, a novel reread until the stitching comes loose on the binding. Old movies are another sweet experience we enjoy reliving over and over again.

Warm memories shared may replay in our minds especially if their associated with a holiday or vacation. Rituals we cherish with those we love are automatically recorded and later brought to mind in times of loneliness or pain.

Before bed, my children adored stories, songs and “cuddles and kisses.” When I was in a hurry, I’d rush through a rhyme my Uncle Walt taught to me: “I’ll tell you a story about Annie and Norrie; and now my story’s begun. I’ll tell you another about my brother, and now my story is done.”

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My kids were so disappointed. “No, no, not that one,” they wailed. Read Go Dog Go!” Dr. Seuss was always a favorite. As a result, a familiar chant “Go, around again, dog” was said when someone had to repeat an action or they wanted a do-over.

The Chipmunks brought us “Pardōn” with the appropriate response: “wee wee, Monsieur.” That phrase still slips out in my speech today, even though no one is around who is familiar with this practice. I respond, even though I’m alone, with an appropriate “wee wee, Monsieur.” Old habits die hard.

If one of my sons came up with a bright idea or outsmarted a brother or a sister, they would put a small finger beside their nose and say: “I be smart” thanks to old “Ben Gunn, a character from “Treasure Island” that they enjoyed imitating. The books we read together and the fun we shared found its way into our vocabulary and in our interactions with others.

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I had a friend who always lamented that she was a “terrible mother.” She wasn’t patient. She was too busy working and didn’t spend as much time with her boys as she would have liked. One day she fell and fractured a rib. In the process of dealing with it, the doctors found she had a tumor on her kidney and was near kidney failure. She immediately went into hospice.

I was there for her funeral. I wondered what these “neglected boys, now men, would say about their mother?” Had they been unhappy? Did they feel ignored and alone?

The memorial service spared nothing. A presentation of slides and photos revealed it all – the happy faces, the rough and tumble play, the picnics and the story telling. One by one each son stood and expressed his love and gratitude toward a mother who never knew, perhaps because they had failed to tell her.

Each son quoted passages from famous authors and their books. Shakespeare was a favorite. Biblical passages once memorized were used in praising her. Some had been used in helping them make difficult decisions in life. Their mother’s influence had been with them throughout their lives and had helped them to cherish great literature, to glean wisdom from its pages, and to live honorably because of it.

This faithful woman had died thinking she was a failure; that she should have done more. Yet her sons had blossomed under her care into doctors, attorneys and teachers. They had become good citizens, neighbors, husbands and fathers. Small and insignificant things do matter!

The unique touch of a mother’s hand can leave an indelible imprint on the future of the world. What if these sons had focused on her deficiencies and mistakes; would they have achieved as much recognition and success as they apparently had? Would they see their lives half-full instead of brimming with laughter and knowledge?

The perfect life doesn’t exist. We never have enough time or money to do all of the things we wish to do before our own demise. Sometimes our bucket list never gets finished. The best we can do is to let the people we care about know how much we love them so they don’t end up like my late friend, never knowing the truth.

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Some of my “Grands”

Creating Family Ties that Last


An Open Book

I recently enjoyed a visit with my oldest son and his family who traveled to Florida. We crammed in as much as we could with the short time allotted to us. We took in the beach and the wonderful Gulf waters, still clean and pristine on the southwestern shores. We enjoyed the parks and wildlife as much as weather would allow. But the most memorable fun came in the evenings when we watched a movie or played games around the kitchen table.

The family had brought a game called “Apples to Apples;” a vocabulary builder that makes you think. We spent two hours playing this fun game and laughed so hard we cried at the comments from the kids and their wonderful imaginations.

I often worry about today’s families and wonder if they have enough memory building activities in their lives? They are so absorbed with work and separated by technology, phones and computers. Playing games with my children and grandchildren gave me hope, and it brought back a whole lot of memories.

My grandfather, a school teacher, loved entertaining his grandchildren. When my cousins and I got out of hand, he’d set us to work in his garden or distract us with games. Not any old games; homemade games that were totally unfamiliar to us. My favorite used a classic Coke bottle and a box of toothpicks. Each person received twenty picks to start.

The objective was to lay a toothpick across the lip of the bottle, in turns. The first person to topple the stack kept them. Anytime you caused a pick or picks to drop, you added them to your pile. The first person to get rid of all their picks was the winner. We played the game until the loser, usually the youngest child, got tired of being “the fall guy.”

When the floor game “Pickup Sticks” came out, it was never as much fun as grandpa’s toothpick game.

"Beach Buddies"

“Beach Buddies”

My sons liked to play “uncle” when they were young. They wrestled on the floor until one of them had the other in a painful twist. Relief came only by yelling “uncle.” Enduring pain and refusing to say the magic word somehow enhanced their manhood. Horsing around took the pressure off, and gave them an excuse for male bonding. The rough and tumble helped them avoid that personal hug or embarrassing show of affection.

Horsing around or playing games is good for coordination, skill building, and brain power. It provides a means for fellowship and promotes conversation. The laughter and talk that takes place during the game is a natural outcome.

When my children were all still at home, our TV went out. We waited to get a replacement just to see what would happen without our hypnotizing, addicting companion. Here are some of the things we did that my kids still talk about today.

We read several classic books together. Sprawled on the floor or with legs dangling over chair arms, the children’s imaginations soared as we read Rudyard Kipling’s jungle stories; their favorite “The Elephant Child.” Other books on our list: “Mary Poppins,” “Treasure Island,” “Tom Sawyer,” and short stories by Charles Dickens.

"With These Hands Wonder" available by clicking image.

“With These Hands Wonder” available by clicking image.

This was before Harry Potter and Shrek. Trips to the library replaced other after school activities. We broadened our reading to include children’s plays. Each child took a part; the older children helping the younger. Simple costumes helped us stay in character. Giggles were the order of the day, but we did manage to put on several plays, including “The Nativity” and the reading of Luke on Christmas Eve.

Once a week, we had a cooking session in the kitchen. The children learned how to make simple things like no-bake cookies, candies, Jello, fancy sandwiches and French toast. One evening the older children learned how to sew on a button. I introduced them to skills I thought they should know before they left home.

Adding more ingredients.

Adding more ingredients.

It was a fun time while it lasted. Besides making memories and learning new things, we learned a lot about each other. When we finally purchased a new TV, it engulfed our lives once again. We went back to our old routines, but the change of pace had made a difference.

During a power outage when my seventeen year old daughter was left in charge of her younger brothers and sisters, they survived. She didn’t want us to worry, so she didn’t tell us. They slept in their sleeping bags and ate cold food for three days until we returned. They had a great time telling stories, putting on plays, and singing songs just as we had done before on our nights-without-TV.

I sometimes feel sad for the young people of today who miss out on good old-fashioned fun, or do they? My husband and I visited with our older children in Minnesota. We were invited to be part of an interactive musical game called: “Guitar Hero.” I was given the drum sticks and waited for the signal lights that told me when to play. The rhythm increased in increments, and soon I was giggling and missing a beat here and there.

Next I played a guitar and had to strum to the tune of a green beeping light. My husband and his grandson played other instruments; his granddaughter sang solo, and everyone else clapped and sang along. By the time we were done, everyone was laughing. The whole family joined in and had a great time singing, clapping and laughing at the players onstage.

Times have changed, and the methods may be different, but families still know how to have fun together. The age-old problem is making the time. Is it worth it? You’d better believe it. The adage: “the family who prays together stays together” also works well with this phrase: “the family who plays together stays together.” So pray and play your hearts out. Make memories that last!