The news out of Afghanistan last week about the terrorist bombing at the airport in Kabul brought fresh heartache — and old memories — to Iowa.

With over 400 runners in two races, it was confusing for teammates and fans to pick out friendly faces over the five kilometer course in the Bob Brown Cross Country Invitational Meet, Sept. 2 at the Kickers complex, hosted by Iowa City Regina.

It would have been funny if I’d been in good health, but this was my first excursion since being moved from hospital to a rehab facility, and I felt weak and vulnerable. The whole thing was a surprise for everybody involved. I was in my room having just finished picking at a disappointing lu…

I was fighting to escape—something—but what it was, I could not imagine. I had no name for it. Everything has to have a name; every object, every action, every idea. Later, I would wonder if that was what it felt like to be autistic; to be unable to express ideas and feelings because I didn’…

While watching Antiques Roadshow I became aware that the real English women (not actresses) appear to have been raised to present a smiling, eager, cooperative face to the world. I imagine a nanny or mother instructing each little girl to cultivate a sweet smile and possibly a dimple or two.…

As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, there’s a sense of relief and optimism that things will return to normal. Long-awaited family gatherings, birthday parties and graduation ceremonies are finally happening in person. Sporting events have fans in the stands, airports are busy, and we…

The honeymoon has been around, in some form, for a long time and takes many forms for a wide diversity of reasons. In some primitive cultures, the honeymoon lasts for one year, giving both members time off from work and other normal duties to become adjusted to the married state. I mentioned…

For most of history, weddings were generally homemade affairs with the families and friends of the bride and groom taking charge of details and chores. The only exceptions being the church and relevant government officials whose services were required. Girls, from a fairly young age, began f…

Solon's Planning and Zoning has twice rejected Trail Ridge Estates' application for annexation and rezoning. Developer Watts' concept will be presented to the City Council as "denied by P&Z." Simply put, he's doing an end-run around our process, expecting a supermajority vote and a bette…

My plan was to withdraw quietly from the scene and take care of the long list of things that are in front of me.

In spite of what we see in the movies and on television, the outdoor wedding isn’t always the lovely, fair-weather affair we imagine it to be. First, there are the usual outdoor hazards we deal with every time we spend time in the great outdoors. Things like allergies, annoying insects, sunb…

Have you ever noticed how some people in government make spending decisions as if it were their own money, studying issues thoroughly and weighing the options carefully? Have you also noticed other people take a totally different approach when it’s “just” other peoples’ money?

We have all gone through the pandemic that has been very tough on most people. This Republican government has done many things to make this event more miserable than it has to be. Very rarely have they done anything to make this horrendous event bearable. On the contrary, they have made it m…

I haven’t been very deeply involved with many weddings in my lifetime, this is probably because I was born in 1934 and grew up with parents who weathered the Great Depression. Because of the hardships they endured, they were naturally frugal and conservative. Big Hollywood-style weddings hap…

Thank you, Solon Economist, for the articles about the June 8 special election to fill the board of supervisors vacancy created when Janelle Rettig resigned.

In a fundraiser letter second-district Republican Marianette Miller-Meeks repeatedly referred to Democrats as “Socialists.” Miller-Meeks is either very confused or giving her constituents a bum steer.

When I found out Doug and Lori Lindner were going leave Solon, I was flooded with newspaper memories. Wherever my family lived, my parents subscribed to the Des Moines Register and I always said I learned to read at an early age because of the DMR comics section!

It was with skepticism, and a little bit of suspicion, I listened to my dad telling me how the peanuts we were burying in a sandy patch in the garden would grow into plants and make more peanuts than we could harvest and roast in the oven for eating. I couldn’t imagine those delightfully sal…

It has been almost a month since my big sister died, and I’m still reaching for memories of all the years when we were close. As too often happens, people tend to move around (especially in my family, though I’m the exception). During the ‘70s and ‘80s, two of my sisters and their families m…

The 2021 session is now in its second week of overtime. Republicans– who control the House, Senate and Governor’s office– are still not in agreement with each other about the state budget, tax issues and various policy items. The longer the session drags on, the more uncertainty it creates a…

The 2021 legislative session is now in overtime. Although the scheduled end date was April 30, most of the state budget still must be finalized and discussions about taxes are ongoing. There are also many outstanding policy issues.

May seems to be over-supplied with special things all requiring gifts, sentimental cards and, if not parades, at least acknowledgement. There are weddings and anniversaries, class reunions and family reunions, graduations, Memorial Day and Mother’s Day and, in my family, several birthdays. T…

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For a week or so every four years, the center of the political universe sits squarely on the east side of Des Moines. That is where a steady stream of presidential candidates trek past the various food-on-a-stick booths, livestock barns, 4-H displays and displays that are the Iowa State Fair.

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So, I wasn't really kicked out; just told I would have to leave? and escorted to the door. No chance to talk to with Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock in Des Moines that day.

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As the marathon continues for visibility in the February Iowa caucus, a couple runners have dropped off the pace. Another has joined the race. This week, though, closes my look at the 2020 Presidential candidates.

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A big Internet plus is that you can look up almost anybody; especially 2020 presidential candidates. All, obviously, have websites. Google a name, and 100 sites or articles appear in a millisecond. It takes some sifting to learn more about any of the couple dozen Democrats running.

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For months, a couple dozen presidential candidates have been through Iowa's Main Streets, corn boils, summer festivals, parades, house parties and other events. They're asking for our votes. Maybe you have noticed.

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A recent luncheon with some of my old school friends, several of whom I first met in kindergarten, brought to mind the toys and activities we enjoyed during the late 1930s and early '40s. Looking back, I suppose I had more toys than the average child from a family of comparable means, becaus…

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I've been feeling a little blue this week.

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Can't think of anything to fix for supper? Tired of the same-old, same-old in the lunch bag? What to take for that family reunion potluck? Having trouble even making out a grocery list? Join the club. After 65 years of keeping house and putting meals on the table, there seems to be nothing n…

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Mom and Dad recently celebrated their 71st anniversary without any fanfare. Actually, they were going to do nothing at all, but a late morning doctor appointment found them driving home, Mom sitting on her pillows so she could see over the steering wheel, past Pepe's Mexican Restaurant on a …

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I could hardly believe my ears. Right there on national television, on the 5:30 p.m. news, someone was ranting about a strange new sandwich that had become popular. A woman, who apparently just sampled it expressed disgust, saying it definitely was not for her. This purportedly latest additi…

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The seed catalogs have been thumbed through, pages have corners turned down, order blanks have a few tentative lines filled in, but the past six weeks or so have not been encouraging. We have put off starting those first seedlings in the greenhouse, sun porch, or under plant lights in the ba…

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We're visiting Mom and Dad in Chicago this weekend.

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While cleaning out a drawer the other day, I came across an old typewriter ribbon. (I never actually "clean out" a drawer in the sense of emptying it and putting its contents somewhere else; mostly I just look through stuff and put most of it back.) I don't know how long the typewriter ribbo…

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Whether you believe in ghosts or not, our move in 2005 to our current home in Iowa City was supernatural in another way: Sabra was phenomenal in getting every last detail accomplished.

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Indulge me for a few minutes; yesterday was my birthday and, after this many years, everybody is entitled to a little wallow in the past once in a while. I spent a good deal of the day writing birthday cards for a number of my friends who are also April babies. At our age, receiving cards on…