Ponderings by Dan Ponder

Evil in paradise

I hiked a thousand miles of the Appalachian Trail in my early 40s.  My wife was asked if I was trying to find myself.  The answer was no, but I did want to prove to myself that I could endure a long backpacking trip.  I wanted to know if I was man enough to be…

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The cry of the osprey

They were the tallest of the original cypress trees and once dotted the shoreline of Compass Lake.  Gradually they were lost to loggers and lightning.  By the time I was a boy all that remained were a few of their soaring trunks.  These wooden monuments were surrounded by other healthy cypress trees, which would have…

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Well done good and faithful servant

I left my home for college just before I turned 18.  Except for Summer vacations, I never lived with my parents again though they were always a close and important part of my life. Eighteen years is a generation, the time it takes for a newborn to become an adult.  It is the blink of…

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What a week it was

It has been just over 200 days now since Hurricane Michael visited our area.  There have been some good days and bad days since then.  Progress has been slow but steady.  Changes are starting to become the new normal.  However, I do not think that I have had such a good week since October 10th…

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It ain’t over till it’s over

American baseball legend Yogi Berra probably never went through a hurricane, certainly not like Hurricane Michael. However, his classic comment has been used time and again to remind people to wait, because the final struggle might still be around the corner. It has now been almost 200 days since Hurricane Michael roared through this area…

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Notre Dame will survive

The flying buttresses were the first thing that attracted me to the Cathedral of Notre Dame. They were a nearly perfect example of an architectural feature that allowed buildings to be built with soaring ceilings before the invention of iron beams. I always wanted to be an architect while I was growing up. I had…

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Getting over March Madness

I will not lie to you.  It was a sucker punch to the gut.  It left me feeling sick to my stomach.  Defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory in the longest six seconds of my life. Mary Lou and I have been loyally following the Auburn Tigers basketball team all year as they…

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Kansas City, here we come

Like I have done a hundred times before, I walked to my rental car in the airport.   I put our luggage in the back, punched my destination into Google Maps, and drove to the exit of the car lot to give them my driver’s license.   It was cold and raining and the man…

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Still playing after all these years

The year was 1975.  I was just starting my Senior year at Auburn University.  I was doing well in school.  Mary Lou had just transferred to Auburn so we could spend our last year in college together.  We had friends and were having fun.  Music was a big part of any college student’s life during…

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A nightmare and a prayer

It was the day before our 41st anniversary.  Mary Lou and I were headed home from Auburn and decided to try to make it back to Donalsonville before the predicted bad weather hit.  We drove along Alabama 169 near Beauregard, as we usually do when making that trip. It wasn’t until a couple of hours…

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