Letting go can be a mistake


One of my prized possessions is an antique Aladdin gas lamp that sits on a small round table in the living room. It was a wedding present to my parents when they were married 80-plus years ago.

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August important without holiday


August finally has a major reason for being. Without a holiday to call its own, August has been seen as the month without a season. Hot, dry-around-the-edges August is well past summertime’s full-bodied intensity, yet not quite mature enough for autumn’s vibrant unveiling.

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Remembering roller skating


Along with drive-in movies and licorice malts, the roller skating rink of my youth is part of ever-growing nostalgia. I haven't seen a kid roller skating down our street since I found my last brown hair tucked among the gray.

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Reality check: Arizona’s dry heat still hot


Visit with an Arizona native about the summer heat, and you’ll hear about the glories of no humidity. “Just do what needs to be done outdoors by 10 a.m., close your windows and doors and  spend the rest of the morning and early afternoon indoors. Open the windows and doors at 4 p.m., then spend the rest of the day outdoors enjoying the beautiful Arizona weather,” they say.

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What green, green grass of home?


Last month our lawn was lovely — all green and soft and ticklish to the bare feet. Then, July comes along and nothing is green but the crabgrass.

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Forever in chartreuse


County fairs are in the wind, and I am reminded of my nine years as a 4-H member and the color chartreuse.

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Melbeta’s townies don’t know what they missed


The Fourth of July is nearly here, and my mind has gone vintage. This isn’t a new thing. It happens every year around this time: My mind begins seeing things it never actually saw but thinks it has.

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Pressed for time? Try polyester


When polyester came swooping in like a knight on a white horse in the late ’60s, I was so excited with the prospect of never having to stand over a hot ironing board again, I threw away my sprinkling bottle.

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Today’s dad can bring home bacon or fry it up


Time has changed the lines; they are not so definite anymore. I grew up in a time when black was pretty much black and white was white, not much room for gray.

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Cars do their own thing


My car has a mind of its own. In fact, I believe it has a better mind than I do. And with that mind comes a stubbornness like I’ve never seen before.

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My freezer becomes my time capsule


Some people look at photo albums to revive life’s important moments. I open the freezer. On the top shelf, hidden way in the back are several pieces of cake from our 25th wedding anniversary that we planned to thaw and enjoy for our 50th but forgot. Hopefully, they will still be good for our 60th.

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Today’s world has password at every turn


This high-tech stuff is making a mess of my life and I’m not even talking iPads, smartphones or those “Berry” things I keep hearing about. I’m talking passwords.

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Breaking in is hard to do


There is a saying that translates into the idea that getting what you wish for could be worse than what you had. Plastic wrap comes to mind. I know it is hard to believe that I fuss, but when plastic wrap hit the market back in the last century, I thought it was the answer to keeping food fresh and various items clean and compact. What modern technology was capable of doing simply was mind shattering.

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Understanding a mother’s gift


Perhaps one of the best Mother’s Day gifts I ever received wasn’t even delivered on Mother’s Day. It was delivered years ago by our oldest daughter one spring day around the time two of her three sons were in or nearing the dreaded adolescent period. That special gift came by phone and consisted of three simple words.

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Mom knew how to set her priorities


Set your priorities. It was a term that those of us who attempted to be a superwoman in the 70s had drilled into our subconscious by every empowerment speaker that we heard.

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May ritual has strings attached


When May 1 rolled around at Melbeta Public Schools in the Nebraska Panhandle, it was not a routine spring day, but time for the little folk to dance around the maypole.

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To Matilda, most calories don’t count


My good friend Matilda is on a new diet. She claims she will lose 2 pounds overnight simply by sleeping eight hours. All she has to do on this rapid weight-loss plan is eat a high-protein diet for six days followed by one day of liquid. Combine that with eight hours of sleep, and she will be wearing a size 2 before Mother’s Day.

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I’m no artist, but I admire those who are


For decades I have lamented over the fact that I have no artistic ability. That sense of incompetence came to light eons ago when our daughter asked me to  draw the outline of a donkey for the traditional birthday game of pin the tail on the donkey.

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Today’s dress code nothing like mother’s


Once again it is the time for the big question. Do I have to wait until Memorial Day to wear those comfortable white slacks I bought at the end of the season last summer or can I wear them now?

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Spring brings dose of hope, little by little


My favorite concoction consists of a sprig of springtime, a sprinkling of late March or early April and a basketful of Easter. Add the vivid yellow daffodil, the fresh morning dew, the brightness of the first blade of grass, the melody of a robin's song, the playfulness of a puppy, a long-eared chocolate rabbit and the tangy taste of fresh asparagus and one has a feast fit for all the senses.

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No truth to creature of habit comment


Reaching up to touch my left earlobe, I discovered that I had lost my earring. “How do you know you lost it?,” asked my husband. “Maybe you just forgot to put it on this morning.”

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Hiding our clean laundry


When helping my mother with the Monday washing, the first thing I learned had to do with the family's undergarments, which always were to be hung on the middle clothesline. On the first, closest to the house, hung dad's coveralls while the clothesline closest to the road was used for the bed sheets. This was done so that the undergarments were invisible to those traveling down the road, for constant in my mother's mind was the big question in life, "What will the neighbors think?"

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Winter time to chill out


It's nearly spring, and we begin thinking warm thoughts, if only in our minds. Even though it is March and spring is near, winter tends to continue to be in charge with its nippy temperatures and chilly winds.

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Missing the days of letters


A letter arrived in the mail. Not a bill, not an advertisement, not a circular, not a request for money, not a subscription due notice, not a dental appointment reminder, not a Christmas letter about people I don't know, but an actual letter with news about what is going on in the life of a dear friend.

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Trip to obedience school barking up wrong tree


Annabelle, the furry member of our family, barks. She barks at other dogs,  rabbits, squirrels, birds, people, wind, thunder, grasshoppers and nothing. I dislike her barking for a number of reasons, but mainly  because her barking makes that the two of us going to obedience school was a complete bust.

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The pluses, minuses of a good ledger


Every year about this time, I’m given the royal tour of the books. I’m not talking about the literary accomplishments of such greats as Shakespeare, Dickenson, Hemmingway or Bombeck, but rather those spiral notebooks that contain our expenditures for the past year. I look forward to this yearly event with as much enthusiasm as a root canal.

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Are we ready to leave yet?


Little in this world is as challenging as trying to gather together the other three people you came with in order to leave a social event or family gathering.

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Here a brush, there a brush, everywhere a toothbrush


Back in the last century, my mother returned from a home extension meeting excited about a program on 101 uses for used toothbrushes. Having gone through the great depression, she was a prime candidate for frugality. She never threw out another toothbrush.

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Why didn’t I think of that?


The hope and excitement that came along with the pantyhose of the middle part of the last century is being seen in the marketplace with the expansion of Spanx. Actually, expansion is not a good word to explain the explosion in the marketplace of this newly devised foundation garment that last year grossed a reported $250 million for its young founder, Sara Blakel.

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1 generation’s humiliation is another’s joy


Back in my teenage years on the farm in the Nebraska Panhandle, I was faced with a dilemma: stay home one Saturday night or take my dad’s pickup to town.  The family car had stopped working, and it was my turn to pick up my girlfriends.

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Motivational speakers need not apply here


The New Year is well on its way and packed full of resolutions, many of which already are at the side of the road covered with dirty snow or being blown away by the blustering winds.

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Stuck in the winter doldrums


The tree is gone and the decorations are put away. The half-eaten cheese ball sits in the refrigerator looking as dried out as my body feels with the furnace sucking out moisture. Our home, without its festive dress, looks at drab as last summer’s flower bed.

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Contemplating a quiet new start


The week between Christmas and New Year’s has always left me in a state of mind for which I have no words.

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Christmas card time


Unless you never venture outside your door this time of year, you are apt to be asked, “Are you ready for Christmas?”

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Christmas decorating a bit different with men in the house


Decorating the Christmas tree with three little girls was delightful some three or more decades ago.

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Husband jogs fashion memories


Walked in the house the other day with my newest purchase from the department store, ready to show it off to my other half.

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Joyce Ore

Joyce Ore writes delightful stories about life with a dose of humor and sprinkle of nostalgia. Her column appears Saturday in the Tribune.

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