Writing our county’s story… in progress

There’s an old Russian folk tale about a farmer who goes to the village wise man complaining his house is too small for his wife and their 10 children. The wise man tells him to invite his in-laws to move in, and to bring his farm animals into the house as well. The farmer complies, and returns promptly the next day, informing the wise man that his problems are even worse. The wise man then instructs the farmer to send away his in-laws, and put the animals back outside. Again, the farmer returns, and marvels to the wise man how spacious and clean his house is now.

If you’ve ever worked at a newspaper (and during your time at that newspaper you’ve ever worked on a Progress Edition) you know exactly what I’m talking about.

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Longest day of the year… not long enough

It all goes so fast. Saturday is the first day of summer, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

Where we live, here at the 32nd parallel in Texas, the sun rose at 6:13 a.m. and set at 8:29 p.m. There was close to 16 hours of daylight Saturday. Sunday the day shortens by at least ten seconds, which means little by little the daylight hours will dwindle. Saturday marks the first “official” day of summer — the first day of the astronomical summer — when the sun’s apparent position is at its farthest point north from the equator.

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Put down the device, live in the moment

The advent of social media has revolutionized not only how we document our lives, but how we live them. Look around. It’s not uncommon now for many of us to fill Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds with our everyday comings and goings.

Granted, I’m the last one to suggest all-out social media abstinence. Those of you who have me on your “Friends” list know I’m a regular purveyor of 140-character Twitter witticisms, artsy-filtered Instagram photos, and the occasional ideological debate on Facebook. But it is possible to have too much of a good thing, way too much of a mediocre thing, or diabolically too much of a trivial thing.

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D-Day’s importance… then and now

D-Day by Giuliano Bròcani.jpg

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of the beaches of Normandy by American and Allied forces. Termed the greatest armed invasion in military history, it was a turning point in a war whose influence looms large over Western Civilization to this day.

If you’re a younger person, your understanding of the significance of this day is probably limited to what you can recall from school or a Steven Spielberg movie. For our elders — who can remember the very real threat of the Third Reich and how unsure the outcome of World War II was during that time — the details of that bold assault remain emblazoned on the heart and mind.

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