We find ourselves here again, where a man who would be president has referred to an alleged murderer as "an illegal alien animal" at a political rally. "The Democrats say, 'Please don't call them animals. They're humans,'" Donald Trump elaborated. "I said, 'No, they're not humans, they're no…

A friend who lives a hundred miles away texts me most weeknights during "Jeopardy!" Since neither one of us has cable, we only text if we are both home and watching the half-hour show live at 7 p.m., but honestly, at our ages, that is just about every weeknight. We may comment on one contest…

Halleujah: He is risen! A foundational tenet of Christian faith is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Without it, Christianity is just another story of a kind and ineffective prophet put to an early and tragic death by crucifixion.

Here's hoping you set your clocks ahead one hour before you went to bed last night. If you didn't, you're going to be late for church this morning. March 10 is our day this year to "spring forward," adjusting our clocks to daylight saving time.

We've probably all experienced some degree of FOMO in our lives. FOMO, in case you live in an acronym-free world, is short for the Fear Of Missing Out. While it is not a new fear, it is certainly exacerbated by the prevalence and immediacy of social media: When we see the picture-perfect pos…

I'm watching this apocalyptic movie about the world as we know it screeching to a halt due to the internet being unavailable and possibly hacked. GPS navigation is unresponsive and planes are crashing. TV channels are mere static and no one can call or contact anyone. Animals in the woods ar…

This old grandma has figured out the formula: If you want your grandkids to have a good grandpa, you have to start with a good dad. And if you want a good dad for your kids, you have to start with a good person.

The owners of my favorite spot for breakfast put up their Christmas decorations in all their electric glory two days after Halloween. When I was younger and more devout 鈥 or more rigid 鈥 in the practice of my religion, this early and ostentatious display would have bothered me. I would have …

Every day, millions of puzzle fanatics sharpen their pencils or charge their phones, ready to meet the challenges that await them. I am one of them. Each morning, I make a cup of coffee, let the cat out, open my online newspaper subscriptions and get busy.

The first rule of synod is you have to learn how to pronounce synod: It takes a short "i" and a schwa "o" with stress on the first syllable. The second rule of synod is everyone gets to talk about synod. At least in Catholic circles.

When I was a kid, maybe in second grade, I woke up one morning and found I was unable to turn my head without instant pain. "You have a stiff neck," my dad said. "I used to get them all the time." He folded a warm towel into a thick band and secured it around my poor neck. Which did make it …

One of the things I love best about living by the ocean 鈥 apart from the ocean 鈥 is the number of family reunions I get to witness around town. Our little town in Oregon is neither chic nor expensive, which makes it an excellent spot to rent a big old vacation house and invite the whole fami…

The state of Florida is currently being touted by its governor as the place "where woke goes to die." Advertising your state as guaranteeing the death of anything seems problematic to me, especially a state where a lot of old folks live.

The mistaken notion that one's gender identity is a choice was recently amplified in a flippant letter to this newspaper. In May, a letter writer, a man, presumably white, made light of his intention to identify henceforth as a Black woman, trans issues being in vogue these days.

Descriptions of child abuse shock us. The more gruesome tales make their way into the news, particularly when the abusers are on trial, and we recoil in horror. That anyone could look at a child and then hurt them on purpose is unthinkable to most of us, especially if we are parents. Yet we …

The first American flag I remember seeing in my home had draped the coffin of my step-grandfather. Since he died when I was 2, I don't remember him. When I was a little older, however, my dad taught my brother and me how to raise that same flag in our front yard in the morning and how to low…

Sometimes, when I鈥檓 sitting in a doctor鈥檚 waiting room or standing in line at airport security, I look around and no matter how crowded the place is, I do not meet anyone鈥檚 eyes. That鈥檚 because everyone is looking at their phones.

Before we have children, when we are certain of the best ways to raise a child and aren't afraid to share them, we may have it in our heads that the work of parenting ends when the child turns 18, or that parental responsibility terminates on that magical birthday. This rule may apply to 18-…

Southern California is lovely this time of year. The hills are green and swooshed with wildflowers, thanks to the epic rains of this past winter. The air is not yet furnace-hot, the birds are atwitter, and it seems possible that the wonder of God's creation can coexist with human constructs.…

Now that I've relied on government-provided Medicare for my health care for a full year, I'm here to say that I totally get the national goal of 鈥淢edicare for All,鈥 because Medicare is amazing. Medicare is the government's consolation prize for turning 65.

We probably all know someone who just can't say no. We may try to teach our overextended friends how to refuse a request to get involved in yet another project, but saying no is a hard task for them. For people of faith, saying yes can be just as hard.

Many years ago, in the last century, I was a high school English teacher. It was not a good fit for me, but I am thinking today of a young man, a junior, who had done exactly no work in my class all semester. I was happy when he finally turned in an assignment, a short story that was very go…

The Christmas joke about the Magi goes like this: If the three wise men had been women, they would have asked for directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and given practical gifts. It's just a joke, but as with most humor, the recognition o…

Opinion writers know somewhere deep down in their hearts that they are lucky. Everyone holds opinions of varying strength on many topics, but how fortunate are the ones who get to express them regularly on a platform that readers will read? And how incredible is it to get paid to do so? We c…

Although some folks pack away the Christmas decorations on Dec. 26, the Christmas season lasts a bit longer on the Christian calendar, until the Feast of the Epiphany on Jan. 6.

The funeral discussion with an elderly parent is a tough one. When my dad died, my mother was still alive, so she made the decisions regarding his burial. Seven years later, my mother was also cremated, so that their ashes could be buried together. She had picked the plot they now share in t…

The last Sunday of November closes out the Thanksgiving holiday. Many of us will be driving home in heavy traffic, our stomachs heavy with our Thanksgiving feasts and our hearts heavy at the prospect of starting another work week. But that last gasp of a delicious four-day weekend is also th…

When I got to see the cramped "Secret Annex" in the house in Amsterdam where Anne Frank and her family and several others managed to hide for their lives from the Nazis for two years, I was not much older than Anne was when she was subsequently killed in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp …

When I was a kid, Halloween was a low-budget holiday. Admittedly, I'm going back over 50 years ago. Our costumes, for example, weren't fancy. An old white sheet with holes for eyes made you a ghost. A sparkly crown made you a princess. A stuffed bandanna on a stick made you a hobo, and if yo…

My husband and I are representative of the 43 million Americans who took out student loans and still carry a balance on them. In addition to helping our kids, we took out a loan for my husband to complete his doctorate.

"But the Lord said to Samuel: Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature ... God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The Lord looks into the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)

My husband has joined the club a friend once told me no one wants to be a member of: He has lost his father. No matter how old you are, becoming fatherless is a unique sadness. The death of a parent leaves holes in us, in our hearts and in our history and in our future. The ones who gave us …

In what passes for scandal in the current administration 鈥 I say this because the last president was twice impeached, once for blackmailing a foreign leader and once for inciting insurrection 鈥 Vice President Kamala Harris has headlined the blue-suit-scandal. This is different from President…

Sometimes I lie awake in the wee hours while my husband sleeps peacefully beside me. These hours frustrate me, because no apparent reason prompts my bouts of insomnia: no new pain, no undue stress, no extra caffeine, nothing at all different from the nights I sleep soundly.

As a public service, I'm always happy to use my life experience 鈥 my many years of life experience 鈥 to help others. Today's lesson is "How Not to Live a Life in the Sun, Especially if Your Melanin is Minimal."

Religious people sometimes resist injecting anything inherently political into their faith life, but we Americans who also identify as Christians cannot ignore the current events whose outcome is the untimely deaths of children. Specifically, I am talking about our national love affair with guns.