Since moving from the Country Club Plaza to a small town in the Flint Hills of Kansas, friends and strangers alike keep trying to label me courageous. I feel the need as a public service to set the record straight, lest people draw the wrong conclusions and apply them with tragic results to their own lives.
I have always found, in the city and the country, that mom-and-pop businesses are much more competitive in price than you might think, especially when you throw in the no-charge extras. Unlike in Kansas City, I know the UPS guy in my town by name.
In the same way that 2013 saw a tidal shift in attitudes toward gays in America, 2014 portends a wave of acceptance for one of the few remaining groups people feel justified in disrespecting: atheists. Its time atheists are accorded the same respect as Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Christians.
A glance out the windows of my upstairs bedroom, which is like a very large crows nest with views in all directions, reveals that it is quite cold outside as I am writing this, near zero. I know this without checking the TV or my phone because I have been paying attention for a year.
I always take the first day of winter as a signal to catapult myself full tilt into a spring state of mind. It starts with plugging in my grow-light table. If you start now, you'll be eating home-grown salad before the first day of spring.
Of the many wonders I experienced living in Germany for a decade, none warmed my spirit more than Christmastime in the old country. Christmas in Germany is like jazz in America, hockey in Canada or tea ceremonies in Japan steeped in authenticity that cannot be fully replicated elsewhere.
Nothing super-saturates summer like the Olympics. Seeing the worlds most beautiful bodies perform acts of strength and grace distills the essence of summertime: recreation, freedom and the great outdoors. Running, jumping, swimming, tumbling, sailing and spiking volleyballs, the athletes embody our inner child.