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‘Dear Lord, are you wanting me to step away?’

God seemingly stays silent after a prayer of the columnist on retiring from a career in schools By George Valadie Have you ever thought you were right but it turned out you weren’t? I mean not just a little off, but wrong, way wrong? The “I don’t even know how …

No one Catholic school student is like another

Parents and school staffers are sometimes surprised—and relieved—on graduation day By George Valadie Since we’ve retired, the concept of time has taken on an odd sensation. Random days are crazy busy. But others—when there’s not as much to do—feel like they crawl by, hours barely creeping along if they move …

Getting ready for ‘Tornado Season 2022’

Does God get a good laugh watching us prepare our lives for an eternity we know is coming? By George Valadie An-ni-ver-sa-ry plural: anniversaries—1. The annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event, e.g., a wedding anniversary. Happily, that’s most often the context in which we use the word, …

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Remembering ‘James, the French fry guy’

He served meals to students with a smile, never revealing what he was feeling inside By George Valadie Not too long ago, Nancy and I had the opportunity to return to Memphis, where we had spent 14 wonderful years of our lives. There, I had the privilege of serving as …

A retiree enjoys volunteering at the hospital

Driving patients to and from their cars leads to laughter and learning about ‘bonus days’ By George Valadie It’s becoming one of the most enjoyable days of my week: Tuesdays—the day I volunteer at the hospital. Long before I’d ever officially announced my leaving, I knew I had no intention …

Maybe that’s what 2022 is all about: getting home

By George Valadie To Christ’s home, where His Father has many rooms Wishing you a belated Happy New Year! Depending on printing and publication schedules, this newspaper is likely hitting your coffee table in mid-January with 2022 well on its way to wherever it will take us. To better places, …

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Holidays: it’s funny the things you remember

From Christmas at Grandma’s to midnight Mass viewed from the sacristy, memories abound By George Valadie I can recall it as clearly and vividly as just about any memory I have of Christmases past. It’s not particularly holy, nor would it ever make a good Hallmark movie. But it’s stuck …

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The bride was exactly where she was supposed to be

A daughter has dates who are smart and goofy, serious and silly, but finds the perfect match By George Valadie “God will bring the right person into your life at the right time. Always believe that! If they are not there, God isn’t finished yet!” The smiles of the moment …

It seemed like a good day as any for a miracle

The walker’s earbuds go quiet, and the voice of God speaks—or does it? By George Valadie It was a recent Thursday morning, about 11:30 give or take, and it seemed like as good a day and time as any for a miracle. I mean one of those really big ones. …

The economics of a worldwide pandemic

Everything from beer to ink is running low, but so is the most significant item: kindness By George Valadie I loved teaching high school economics. It was without question my favorite above all the others. And I’ve taught a few others along the way. World history, sociology, biology, English, basic …

Lunch, dinner, and the morning Diet Coke

A new retiree and his wife may most often be found enjoying those things on their back porch By George Valadie Hey, what’s retirement like?” It’s a question we’ve been asked quite a bit since we started this new phase of our lives a little over a month ago. To …

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He’s retiring and may be hungry, but he won’t be bored

A longtime principal ‘is grateful for the chance I was given to teach those many years ago’ By George Valadie It was eight years ago to the day. I walked into the principal’s office I had heretofore only visited to sit in the chair that had become my turn to …