• strict warning: Non-static method view::load_views() should not be called statically in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 837.
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  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
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  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
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  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

Milli Gilbaugh

Food for Thought

Kicking the ‘Bucket List’

This isn’t going to be a list of things I want to do before I die. I never contemplate my own death, so there’s no point in it. Once upon a time, I had a list of things I’d like to do someday which is quite a different matter. Oddly, as time has passed, I have found myself cutting things off that list. Things that once seemed more or less essential to my contentment with life.

Food for Thought

Cleanliness and godliness

We’ve all been told that cleanliness is next to godliness, but I’ve never quite accepted the connection. I heard the phrase most often when my mother was trying to get me to perform some unpleasant chore like scrubbing off the ring around the bathtub, or cleaning up the mess the cat made under the sofa. She expected it to convince me to wash my hair when I’d rather be at the library searching for a Sherlock Holmes story I hadn’t already read, or to help her polish mirrors and windows when they looked clean enough to me.

Food for Thought

Communication skills

When I first enrolled in college, there was a required course that all liberal arts students had to pass. It was known campus-wide as Comm Skills 101, and its purpose was to make sure that we were able to speak and write effectively. This seemed like a no-brainer. After all. everyone needs to be able to communicate with others, not just for the sake of learning from our college courses, but for whatever we would be doing with our education for the rest of our lives.

Food for Thought

That spring thing

There was at least one constant every spring while I was growing up– a new spring coat or jacket– count on it. While we very often wore the same warm winter coat for two or three years running, the spring coats were always new, light-weight, pastel in color, and inexpensive.

Food for Thought

Why kids ask so many questions

I remember, at sometime in my early childhood, how many big and mysterious words there were in the world. Not just words I heard adults use, and that I assumed I would someday learn the meanings of, but words that were just out there– posted on cars, buildings, billboards– waiting for me to unravel their mysteries. Reading was like a parlor trick. Comprehending was another matter.

Food for Thought

collect the whole set

I got a chuckle out of seeing that bumper sticker ahead of me while I waited at the stoplight. It got me thinking about all the crusades to save various species of wildlife I’ve seen over the years. When I was fresh out of college, there weren’t so many crusades, not nearly the number of animals designated as endangered as there are now, bumper stickers and posters for the various causes were uncommon. By the mid-’50s, I was becoming aware of causes other than soil conservation and the wisdom of having your dog or cat neutered.

Food For Thought

Bored to death

One of my good neighbors and I were chatting on the phone. You know how that goes– one topic leads to another and, before you know it, you’ve covered everything from recipes to politics, gardening to retirement, the flu epidemic to wind farms. I wish I could record such conversations because they often leave many things unfinished and, if I could follow them through to their conclusions, I’d probably get a month’s worth of columns out of one conversation.

Food for Thought

Jelly simplified

It was the summer of 1944. I would be starting fourth grade in September. We had moved to our acreage on the edge of Knoxville the preceding March. There were walnut trees, pear trees, raspberry bushes, and an old apple tree– and oddly enough, no cherry trees on what had once been a cherry orchard. My mother was making raspberry jelly from berries we’d picked, and apple butter from some of the summer apples. These early apples, commonly called glass apples, made the best and smoothest apple butter when used before they were fully ripe.

Food for Thought

Wet soap

How many jokes or anecdotes have you heard about the difficulty of holding onto a wet bar of soap? I always supposed that was one of the reasons for the invention of soap-on-a-rope. All the new shower gels and body washes have nearly made that, and the soap dish itself, obsolete, but I think they have quite a long way to go before reaching perfection.

Food For Thought

Language changes

I marvel, almost daily, at the complexity and simplicity of our language. It seems to be a sort of magic that all the books, newspapers, movie scripts, poems, love letters and grocery lists are simply various combinations of those twenty-six little symbols that make up our alphabet. Even with the abuses and misuses, they seem to manage to communicate our thoughts amazingly well.

Food for Thought

The orphan trains

My friend and fellow writer Ethel Barker started out to write a novel, for young adult readers, about a piece of Iowa history that had fascinated her for years. Titled “For the Love of Pete,” the story is about three young children who were transported from New York City to the Midwest in an effort to give them a better chance in life. Commonly known as “orphan trains,” though a good many of the children were not technically orphans, the trains transported over 200,000 children from the slums of New York to 45 states, where they were fostered or adopted by families.

Food for Thought

Pinocchio’s old age

I’ve told you something about my Walt Disney Pinocchio doll before. He was the star of the first movie I remember seeing, and he appeared in all his wooden-headed and bow-tied splendor under my Christmas tree that December. He’s been part of my holiday tradition for many, many Christmases since then, and sits, grinning, under the twinkle lights and tinsel until time to take the tree down sometime in January.