To the Class of 2014: relax, the race is long

I’ll never forget the first time I was in a real race, on a track with a starting line and real ribbons and everything. It was my elementary school’s field day, near the end of the academic term. There was even a cap gun used as a starting pistol (hard to imagine in our gun-paranoid modern era), and when it was fired, I was off. In only a few steps I was well ahead of the pack and gaining speed.

Looking back at how far back everyone else was, I was amazed at how well I was doing. Surely fame and glory and innumerate riches were mine for the taking (or at least one of those coveted blue ribbons). It was then that I realized this was a 400-meter race — an entire lap around the track — and I was already getting quite tired. Uh oh. Gradually the pack caught up with, and then passed me. Instead of a blue ribbon, I got a purple one that says “participant.” I still have it, because I learned an important lesson that day: life is a marathon, not a sprint.

I’ve never run a marathon, but one thing I know for sure is that it isn’t wise to break yourself right at the start. If you don’t pace yourself, you’re going to have a bad time. It’s good advice whether you’re pushing 40, or moving a tassel across your mortarboard. Relax, the race is long. Writing to you as someone who’s well into the race, I’d offer a few words to you, the Class of 2014.

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Since when does ‘science’ trump faith?

As any casual reader of this site can surmise, it doesn’t take much to get me going on a long-winded rant about any number of issues. But something rather significant has been looming large in the back of my mind for quite some time, and I haven’t addressed it: namely, since when does “science” make religion irrelevant?

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What I saw when all the lights went out

Do you know quiet? I mean REAL quiet? I’m not talking about the low murmur of your house late at night. No matter how many lights you turn off, there’s always a subtle hum in the background — your refrigerator, the alarm clock on your bedside table, or even the hushed purr of the air conditioner unit alongside your house. No, I’m talking a far more primitive quiet, the silence found when not even the power lines near your house are carrying precious wattage. The sound of being truly “off the grid.” I experienced this Monday night.

It started with a distant rumble, just a few delicate raindrops, but it ended with a shift in perspective that caused me to reexamine a few things about the way I live. Not bad for an ordinary Monday night in rural Rusk County.

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Overton residents petition for alcohol sales

Overton residents have secured a petition to have the legal sale of beer and wine to be placed on the November ballot.

“The administration of this application and petition is running through the Overton City Secretary, Rachel Gafford,” said Kathie Wittner, Rusk County Elections Coordinator. “I have supplied her with the information she needs to do this job.”

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