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Ponderings by Dan Ponder

The Emerald Isle

Back in my long-distance backpacking days, I received one of the pieces of traveling advice from a very experienced outdoorsman.  He told me to travel long enough to begin to feel the culture, the essence if you will, of your destination.  Mary Lou and I began to understand and truly get a feel of Ireland…

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Forty shades of green

Ireland is known for many things.  Irish coffee, Irish whiskey and Irish Stew. They also have a lot of rain; 280 days of precipitation on the average.  However, for our first week on the Emerald Isle, Mary Lou and I have enjoyed the longest stretch of sunshine that Ireland has experienced this Summer.  Until yesterday.…

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Room temperature

The American comedian Steven Wright once said, “It does not make a difference what temperature a room is, it is always room temperature”.   Given the record-breaking temperatures of the past couple of weeks, many people might choose to disagree. I still remember the day my parents installed the first window air conditioning unit in…

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It is not over until it is over

When your children grow up and have their own families, there are precious few occasions that you get to spend extended periods of time together.  Life is busier for grandkids than it ever was for me.  Just scheduling a time for our kids and grandkids to get together is a challenge.   This past Friday,…

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Old traditions. New beginnings.

The fourth of July holiday is always different in our family, yet almost always the same.  For a little more than the past century, my family has gathered at Compass Lake to celebrate our country’s birth.  This year, as most, my mother joined us.  Mary Lou and I were there along with our daughters and…

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You can’t scare me

This past weekend, a longtime family friend posted on Facebook a picture of himself wearing a T-Shirt.  “You can’t scare me.  I have two daughters” was on the front of the shirt.  As the father of two daughters, I can totally relate. I was raised in a family with lots of boys.  Four of my…

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Why can’t we be friends?

No one knew where we were going.  The number of people was overwhelming for the space.  Classes were hopelessly overcrowded.  The lunchroom could not really feed the students in the staggered 30-minute slots.  Too many people.  Too little space.  Too little time. The year was 1969 and Dothan, Alabama was under a court order to…

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The Great Physicians

William Osler is often considered the father of modern medicine.  A Canadian physician, Osler was also one of the four founding professors of the world-renowned John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.   Among Osler’s many accomplishments, he is credited with starting the first residency programs for specialty training in medicine.  Dr. Osler was also one…

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The faces behind the masks

I started Rehab some six months ago working to strengthen the muscles around my knee and hip.  The primary goal was to delay eventual knee and hip replacements due to arthritis.   The secondary goal was to be able to interact more with my grandchildren.  Who ever knew that getting up off the floor could…

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S.O.S.

The television ads became almost unbearable.   Auburn is located near the Georgia – Alabama border, which means that political ads from both states are saturating the airwaves as the primary election dates get closer.  In particular, the candidates seem to have bought all the spots available around the evening news slot, the only real…

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