Saturday, January 29, 2022

BANNING BOOKS by Liz Flaherty

 “Banning books gives us silence when we need speech. It closes our ears when we need to listen. It makes us blind when we need sight.” ~~ Stephen Chbosky

Stephen King

This happened in 1991. After all these years, I can hardly believe it came to pass, but it did—book-banning really happened at our school. It made me know then that the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. I said then that we had to choose our battles—we still do. I wish I was better at choosing them. I wish I’d fought this one harder.


My son came home from school the other day and told me that someone had submitted a list to the powers that be at his school, requesting that books named on that list be eliminated from the school library. Apparently, the person who made the list did not want his or her child reading those books.

That’s fine by me, but don’t tell my child he can’t. Or the girl down the road that she can’t. Or all the other kids in the school that they can’t.

Books in school libraries are chosen by people who know children, like children, and want what is best for children. Their choices are not always perfect, but they are made with the people in mind who are going to be reading the books. If they chose with the idea that they were going to please everyone, their choices would be a lot easier.

But the library’s shelves would be bare.

The Bible would be gone. Mark Twain would be gone. Judy Blume would be gone. Nathaniel Hawthorne would be gone. Dr. Seuss, Margaret Mitchell, and, of course, Stephen King would not be allowed through school doors. Because they all offend someone, sometime, somehow.

I personally don’t read Stephen King’s books. He scares the bejesus out of me and keeps me awake at night. So I don’t read them. But I have a kid who does, and he finds things in Stephen King’s writing that I can’t find and don’t want to take the time to look for simply because I don’t like being scared. (Note in 2017: In 2001, Stephen King wrote my favorite book on writing of all time, called On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft—go figure.)

A young lady named Christy Martin recently had a “Student View” published in the Peru Daily Tribune that made a lot of sense to me. It concerned the labeling and banning of certain records, most notably those by the group 2 Live Crew. The statistics quoted in the article supported informative labeling, but “banned the ban.”

Books, like records, are often “insulting, repulsive, offensive, sexist, and utterly distasteful,” as Miss Martin said, but it is never up to one person or one special interest group or one church congregation to decide for everyone. Let them be labeled like movies and records, if necessary, but don’t try to ban them.

It is most certainly within parents’ rights to demand that their children not be required to read material they do not approve of and it is the school’s responsibility to honor these demands, but let it stop there.

My children all read Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War in school. I read it when they did, all three times, and never did learn to like it, but they did. At least one parent I know requested that his children read an alternative selection and his request was honored. It was enough.

I told my kids I didn’t want anything by 2 Live Crew in the house, just as my mom never let me play the Kingsmen’s “Louie, Louie” at home. I found out that a 2 Live Crew tape has been in my son’s room for a couple of years now, just as “Louie, Louie” became one of my favorites. I can’t help but wonder, if I’d never said a word pro or con, if my kids weren’t smart enough to decide about 2 Live Crew on their own, and I can’t help but wonder if Mom shouldn’t have listened to the Kingsmen and to me before banning “Louie, Louie” from the house, thereby practically forcing me to embrace it as a rock-and-roll legend to be forever loved and defended.

But it is my house, and if I find 2 Live Crew offensive, it is okay for me to ban it—or at least try to. If my mother thought “Louie, Louie” was a dirty song, it was all right for her to ban that in her house, too.

But not in your house. That’s your business. And not in the school attended by my children. That’s my business.

Added in 2020. It got done at that time. The book in question was banned because one mother didn’t want it there. And, oh, my gosh, there are people who would ban everything in libraries now if given the chance. Because there was a lot of ugliness in history, just as there is now. Because writing was done using the morals, ethics, and mores of the time and sometimes they stunk. Because people today are sometimes hurt by what was written then.

I think they would be more hurt by hiding the existence of the way things were then; banning the existence of those books would give way to denial of those flaws.

It would also be throwing out the good with the bad. One of my favorite authors for teenage girls was Janet Lambert, from Crawfordsville, Indiana. I read every word she ever wrote and loved them all. I learned many things from them. Good things. But in those books, I don’t recall there ever being a black person who wasn’t a servant. I don’t believe she would write that way today—at least, I hope she wouldn’t—but reading them not only taught me good things, it made me pay attention to others that weren’t so good.

Paying attention is important.

I’m not saying all books are good. I’m saying there are no limits to what you can learn if you read. And if you pay attention. What others read isn’t your business, but there’s no other way for you to argue points than if you’re fully armed with facts and knowledge of both sides of a situation.

Added in 2022. By introducing House Bill 1134 into discussion at the Indiana General Assembly, the State Legislature is leaning even heavily than usual into banning books that might be uncomfortable for some from the classroom, into demanding more from its teachers than can ever be delivered, into doing full-on destruction to public education. I don't know enough, frankly, to argue all the points within the bill or the demands it is making, but teachers do. Principals do. As I said up there--and surely I'm not the first person to say it--paying attention is important. Contact your representative and request an unbiased and easily understood explanation his or her vote. 

Like so many times now, I don’t have a neat, tied-in-a-bow ending here. Just read. Learn. Listen. Pay attention. Inform. Have a great week. Be safe. Be nice to somebody.


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

It Was Time by Colleen Donnelly


After close to fifteen years with my beloved pug, Mia, suddenly “it was time” for her to go.

I adopted Mia with a little age on her and teased her often that I got her “used.” Always a poker-faced pug, I still believe she found that comment amusing.

I dubbed my pensive dog “The Perfect Pug” early on when she not only grasped that life had rules, but believed it right for everyone to follow them. A bark to go out was to be honored as much as a call to come in. The course her nose took us on walks was to be respected as much as what my eyes could see ahead. Had either of us strained at the leash, or been defiant and deaf to the other’s urges, we would never have reached that level of respect she conveyed from six inches above the ground, and I from nearly six feet.

In her younger, healthier days, she could sail out the kitchen door, clear the porch steps, leap on top of a four-wheeler seat, and tip-toe her way to the white box mounted at the front just for her. Car rides meant the Vet, but a trip on the four-wheeler meant fresh air, freedom, and lots to see. Mia spent many hours in that box, including a large number of them even when it sat parked in the yard.

As she aged, the front porch glider became the maximum height Mia could manage, and from there she and I would sit together and watch the road, birds, squirrels, and the pesky neighborhood cat. After a while, even that seat became too much of a leap, so I graciously air-lifted her to the cushion next to me where the cat eventually joined us.

Pugs tend to be peaceful by nature, and Mia was no exception. She’d bark, not growl, at a knock at the door or any sound that resembled it, gave pug-sized warnings to people she didn’t recognize until assured they were okay, disliked but tolerated baths, and endured all sorts of medical pokes and prods throughout her life. In all the years I knew her, only one living creature earned the title of arch enemy—a rat terrier named Penny. Playmates at first, eventually visits to Penny’s house meant cages for both of them, my Perfect Pug growling threats through the bars which Penny returned, both of their hackles raised. Why Penny? Why not the annoying neighborhood cat or my granddaughter who dressed Mia in tutus? I suppose I’ll never know who started it or why forgiveness was never an option since now both of them are gone—by natural causes, thankfully, rather than by tooth and claw.

Mia also gained the title of “The Brilliant Pug.” Maybe all of the treats she earned sharpened her awareness and made her keenly attentive to household protocol, but she never missed a chance to relieve herself outside, hurry to her bed at night, suffer visits to the Vet, or tackle anything else that landed a treat at her feet. Because she was quick to equate good deeds with rewards, she cleverly overdid her means of letting me know she had to “go” by abusing them. When the bells hanging from the doorknob were jangled every few minutes, I changed the method of alerting me she “needed” to go out to a short bark. When barking turned to “the dog who cried wolf,” I trained her to notify me with just a look. Which she did, in the form of a stare that could unravel the most stoic of persons, a hunched focus without a blink. Conceding defeat and declaring Mia the winner of our duels of wit, she still retaliated by perfecting the fake-potty-squat, a ploy I chose to reward rather than bend close enough to the ground to check.

Unfortunately, Pugs also live rather short lives. Mia, though, went for the long haul. Even when age and health issues slowed her down, she kept plodding along…mostly for the treats. It felt odd to lift a pug, who used to leap to the top of a four-wheeler, up one step. As her eyesight failed, her “Brilliant Pug” skills kicked in, and she taught herself routine paths between bed, box, the door, the yard, and the front of the refrigerator where she received her reward. Ultimately the biggest indicator that my sober-faced pug’s life wasn’t what it used to be was the day the curl went out of her tail. No amount of love, treats, or assistance wound it back up, leaving Mia with a straight tail drooping behind her.

When I fussed and worried over Mia in her last couple of years, I gave little to no thought to the day I’d finally hear, “It was time.” I began to discern what the Vet wasn’t saying each time I took Mia in for some fix to whatever new problem had cropped up. In all her kindness, Mia’s Vet’s expression told me my pug had grown old and there was little that could be done. Not a victim of a deadly disease or an incurable malady, Mia suffered a heap of consequences from living long…and well.

It wasn’t until Mia’s last day that I heard those three words for the first time, and many times afterward from family and friends who had also loved and lost pets. I came to understand and slowly accept it was time, for Mia’s sake, and even mine, though it didn’t feel like it. Each condolence that ended with those words, worked in me the deep understanding of the gift Mia had been. We had our time together and now it was time to part. As if a divine hand took her one way and me another. It wasn’t time just because Mia became old and her health ran out. It was time because she was being moved on. And so was I. New starts that continued with and from the fullness of our years together.


Colleen L Donnelly is a #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of Historical Fiction and Romance. Born and raised in the Midwest, and a scientist by career, she has also traveled, loves to read, and explore the outdoors. A person who has endured her own dilemmas and observed those of others, she is always searching for the next good story.

Buy Links to stories that dig deep or purely entertain:

Mine to Tell:

Asked For:

Love on a Train:

Out of Splinters and Ashes:

Sonata Contineo:

The Lady’s Arrangement:

Letters and Lies:

Social Media:

Saturday, January 22, 2022

I Don't Talk Funny--You Talk Funny by Liz Flaherty

Let's talk about traveling. Want to? 

It's one of my very favorite things, from the first trip in my memory--Pennsylvania--to the one I just came home from: Nashville, Indiana. 

Honestly? I don't remember much about the trip to Pennsylvania--I was only five, I think. I remember sleeping in a chair that stretched out flat in a motel room, that my cousins had cool tricycles, and that there were sidewalks all over the place on Jones Street in Hollidaysburg that made riding them so much fun. I remember my grandpa advising me to watch my step at Horseshoe Curve right before he tripped and that the adults talked a lot. Why would they talk when there were so many things to do? (I came to understand this later...)

A trip with my friend Shirley and her parents to Washington, DC in 1965 deepened my love for this country and its traditions. Many, many years later, I still remember how it felt to stand in front of Mr. Lincoln in his memorial, the powerful sense of sacrifice that came with visiting Arlington National Cemetery, the pride that came along with being inside the capitol building. At the national fireworks on July 4, there were several hundred thousand people in attendance, well beyond anything I'd ever seen, much less been part of. 

There have been other trips that remain vivid in my mind. Back to DC with our kids, to Ireland in 2009, to Vermont when the sense of homecoming went so deep I still feel it, to the Blue Ridge and the coast of Maine, to Florida's white sand beaches. I have loved everywhere I've been, although a few times the only things I really loved were the people we were there to see. Texas, anyone? 

Writing retreats are some of my favorite excursions. Something about sitting in a house on the side of a mountain with laptops and glasses of local wine and/or endless cups of coffee just brings out the best words in writers. I can't explain it, but there you go. 

While home is my favorite place to be, I'm so grateful to have seen the places I have. I hope I get to see a lot more. I want to hear the accents--I don't talk funny; you talk funny--feel the social vibrations that differ from place to place, and crane my neck to look at wonders both natural and man-made. I want to sleep on beds I don't have to make and use towels I don't have to launder (even though they're always white; have I ever mentioned that I don't like white?) and eat lots and lots of food that tastes different from what I'm accustomed to and--most importantly--I don't have to cook or clean up after. 

I guess there hasn't been much point to this column. Are you surprised? But I'd love to hear how you feel about travel. About your favorite places or even about your Texas. Any advice on where I should go next or how I can talk Duane into it? 

God, I love traveling.

Have a good week. Go somewhere. Be nice to somebody. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

On Gift-giving and Wedding Registries by Cathy Shouse

Weddings are one of my favorite events to attend, and I’ve had the good fortune of going to some spectacular ones. They were extra pretty to observe, with flowers that took my breath away, wonderful food, and venues that come to mind when I think of the most lovely places I’ve been. I like to see the bride’s dress and what vows the couple chooses.

Weddings have actually become more enjoyable for me over the years. There’s something about a couple joining their lives that is thrilling and brave. Sweet and heartwarming. I’ve been touched by personalized vows when I used to be steadfast in supporting the more traditional.

Over the past several years, it’s the wedding registry that has fascinated me. Partly due to the internet, the listings have become much more detailed. I find myself looking at fancy dog bowls and kitchen appliances I’ll never own nor would I know how to use. I’ve decided that there’s a philosophy attached to the process of choosing a wedding gift, and that really hasn’t changed all that much.

When my husband and I got married, there seemed to be three strategies from those bearing gifts.

Some meticulously followed the registry. Others ignored it entirely. Then there was my mother, who forcibly pushed her gift on me, with Dad a clueless participant.

I still have a rose-covered bathroom hand towel one of my friends

gave me, and have saved it for special occasions. Then there’s the tiny, four-inch tall cut glass vase my husband’s distant cousin gave, which is not often used, since I usually get bouquets and not just one flower bud. Yet I keep the vase in a prominent place and admire its beauty every time I see it. I believe it may have been from her own glass collection because it didn’t come in a box and is heavy like lead crystal. I make up stories in my head about its origins and it’s a treasure that has given me years of pleasure.

One sister-in-law gave me a very large glass bowl with an easy, delicious fruit salad recipe that I’ve made countless times, good for checking off that we’ve eaten all the food groups at home, and nice to bring to gatherings, too. She paired it with a set of three fingertip towels, each one labelled as given by one of her kids, who were young at the time.

One of my work colleagues created his own category, the after-wedding question: What didn’t you get? He asked if we’d gotten a toaster, and when I answered “no,” he gave us one.

But it’s my mother’s gift-giving style that stands out among them all. She wanted to give me “good” dishes and I couldn’t imagine why I would want that. I politely declined. That wasn’t sufficient for her. We had “discussions.” Saying no was never something my mother accepted well. One day I unexpectedly found myself with Mom at the downtown Indianapolis L.S. Ayers store (which I’m sure was not a surprise to her). Much of one entire level of the store, that looked as big as a car dealership showroom, was devoted to dishes--and knew I wasn’t getting out of there without choosing a pattern. Unexpectedly, I fell in love with a Lenox model that was fairly sturdy, not as expensive as buying a car, and practical. The pattern: Poppies on Blue. My mother marched me to the counter and involved the employee in recording the information into my registry.

The reception came, and my mother (and Dad) gave me several dish settings from my registry, the only ones of those I received. After the wedding, she then proceeded to give me a setting at every possible occasion, like my birthday and even Valentine’s (her favorite holiday) and in my Easter basket. At Christmas, the heavy box for “Jim and Cathy” was dishes. This went on for years. She presented me with a cute matching Lenox bunny cookie jar and a spoon rest, too. It wasn’t long until I had many settings and was seeing just how useful they were when we “had company.”

Those dishes are one of my favorite, most-used wedding gifts and I bring them out often. I find more and more reasons to consider family gatherings a special occasion and over Christmas, we used them several days in a row. Since losing Mom in April of 2020, getting out the dishes is always a bittersweet moment, a reminder of my mother’s indomitable spirit.

I feel a bit sad for people who only get gifts listed on their wedding registry. After all, sometimes when you’re starting married life, you don’t know what you need, until someone gives it to you.

I will sometimes pair a gift from the registry with a recipe, and once gave the measuring cups on the registry with my favorite brownie recipe.

What’s your take on wedding gifts? In the comments, I’d love to know your thoughts about what you give or something you’ve gotten.


Cathy Shouse writes inspirational cowboy romances. Her Fair Creek series, set in Indiana, 
features the Galloway brothers of Galloway Farms. Much like the characters in her stories, Cathy once lived on a farm in “small town” Indiana, where she first fell in love with cowboys while visiting the rodeo every summer. Please visit for more information on discounts and new releases or to sign up for her newsletter.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Needs, Wants, and Precedence

Last night, I dreamed about buying a new car, but the area was flooded and we had to go through water to do everything. Not in boats, just in water. It felt warm and I wasn't especially scared, but...water? I AM scared of water. When I got into my kids' hot tub, I didn't take a deep breath until I was in there and seated, and then I had to worry about getting out. (The half hour in between made it all worthwhile, believe me.)

This was an idiotic dream. To begin with, my car is only two years old and I love it to pieces--I have no wish for a new one. To go on with, I am scared of water. I would cheerfully wear a life preserver in the hot tub if one were offered. I've always said I'm afraid of bridges, too, but I'm not--it's the water underneath them. 

What I am taking the long way to get to is the word need. I love being around water, especially beaches in the Carolinas or the Panhandle in Florida, but I need to not go in that water any deeper than my knees. Ankles are better, but I don't want to be extreme. 

My husband and I, although we've been together over half a century, don't share the same values system on numerous things. We used to cancel each other out voting, have glaring conversations about labor-management situations, and stare at each other in disbelief could we possibly have been that mistaken when we chose a life partner?

We have learned, though, that while we will never agree on some pretty basic things, when we need the other one to stay on the side of marriage's slippery slope that they might not prefer, that need takes precedence over preference. When one of us--not naming names--needs to not have potato chips in the house, the other one has to suffer salt deprivation in response to that need. 

Which brings us to social media and politics. Yeah, I know, I'm sorry, but both of them really interest me and they definitely lend a cesspool consistency to our understanding of each other.

We need to respect opinions other than our own, we need to always tell the truth, we need to stop the name-calling. 

Did I say we? Well, yeah, I did. I have to remind myself daily to use the delete key! I don't play the whataboutism game, but I am a great one for posting opposing views and statistics that I have researched. While I believe strongly in what I present, the ones I say it to aren't going to change their minds any more than I am. So if I'm on their FB page, the delete key is a really good idea. Not calling anyone names or saying things that aren't wholly true (am I repeating myself?) is an even better one. 

Those things are like decency, kindness, love for others, and things to laugh at. They're things we need, and if they cost us something. that's okay, too.

Have a great week. Be nice to somebody. Even if you don't agree with what they say. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Write what you know. Really? by Jan Scarbrough

Write what you know. Really?

So, you want to write a book. Then write what you know, you’re told. Well, what I know isn’t much. Should I limit myself to that? Once a psychic told me I couldn’t dare write about a psychic because I wasn’t one. Guess what? I wrote a story with a psychic medium in it.

My friend Dale, herself a psychic medium, said this about my book: TIMELESS is a beautiful love story that intertwines two different lifetimes, and Jan has done an incredible job of introducing reincarnation and numerous other ‘Spiritual gifts’ that we all possess in a clear and concise way that will help you to understand the possibilities, even if they are not in your reality yet.

So there, psychic, who said I couldn’t do it!

Several years ago, I wanted to write a western romance. What do I know about a ranch? About cowboys? I live in the city. In Kentucky. I know a little bit about American Saddlebred horses, because I’ve ridden them since I was thirty-five. The easiest thing for me to research was the Professional Bull Riders organization. I joined the club. I attended local PBR events. I read books. I watched documentaries.

I brought my bull rider home to Kentucky in KENTUCKY COWBOY where he hooked up with his high school sweetheart.

The research helped when writing BRODY. He is a bull rider too. But he’d grown up in Montana on a ranch. I still didn’t know anything about day-to-day life on a cattle ranch. I read a book for background. But what was the easiest kind of ranch to write about? A dude ranch! I surfed the web and found one in Montana and that became the fictitious setting for my series, The Dawsons of Montana. MERCER, another book in the series, has bull riding hero named Drake.

Then in 2016, my husband and I took a vacation to a real dude ranch in Montana. I got altitude sickness and rode a horse up a mountain. I experienced it. Still, I was not an expert. But that area of Montana became the setting for another western series called Ghost Mountain Ranch.

Emily Temple in the article Should You Write What You Know? 31 Authors Weigh In, tackles this whole subject of writing what you know. If you’re interested, check it out. Thirty-one authors, much more famous than I, give you their opinion on the subject.

BTW, BRODY is on sale this week at Amazon for 99 cents.


Timeless -

Brody -

Dawsons of Montana -

Ghost Mountain Ranch -

Kentucky Cowboy -

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Winter in the North (Miami) Country by Liz Flaherty

I am writing this on Friday morning. It is five above. I'm still settling into the new year, writing 2021 2022 every time, and trying to think profound thoughts. So far, it's not working. Most of my thoughts are centered around the wind chill factor and how long I can put off going into the house because the distance between my desk and the back door grows in exponentially with each degree the mercury drops.

And now I must admit it is early Friday evening and this is as far as I've gotten. This has been my fear most of my writing life--that I would just flat run out of things to say. (I think I have family members who have prayed for this to happen, but I forgive them. Really.)

I was looking back today about how winters used to be a lot more...wintery...than they are now. White Christmases were, if not likely, not improbable, either. I miss that. Not the actual snow so much as how things felt. Hot chocolate tasted better. So did cookies. It was fun to walk in snow. 

However, I wasn't afraid of falling down then. It was actually kind of fun. 

I remember high school basketball games being so exciting, both when I was a kid and when I was a player's mom. When I was in elementary school, it invariably snowed on sectionals weekend. My dad worked on the highway, my brothers had to miss ballgames because our road wasn't a primary one for the snowplows. I think there was a lot of cussing that went on. 

Picture by Betsy Hiffner

The winter we moved from the nice town subdivision to the wilds of northern Miami County was when the Blizzard of 1978 happened. My husband stayed in town, and the kids and I hunkered down in a house with questionable insulation, a questionable furnace, and a lane so full of snow I thought I'd never get my car down it again.

The only things about the blizzard that are fun are the old pictures and the selective, inaccurate memories. 

So, this morning--Saturday--it's 14 above. The distance between the house and the office can now be measured in feet instead of miles. And, really, it's not so bad. 

I don't often regret being the age I am. I've had so much fun in my life. I'm still having fun. Aside from aches and pains, this time is filled with family, friends, music, books, art, and a whole bunch of laughter. It's a blessed time.

For us. But for people who don't have heat or can't afford heat, whose transportation is negligible, whose food supply is iffy, whose knowledge of available resources prevents them from staying safe, these temperatures are scary business. 

Have a good week. Stay warm. And it is for those I mentioned in the paragraph above that I urge you to be nice to somebody. 


Watch the blog for Wednesday at the Window. I'm having guest posts every week and I'm looking forward to what they have to say. First up is writer friend Jan Scarbrough!

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Wednesday at the Window by Liz Flaherty

This is an experiment, so please bear with me. And please keep reading and inviting your friends, and...oops, sorry.

Writing essays is my favorite thing. I love writing books, too, but those take me months, whereas an essay is a couple of hours--or if I'm late, 20 minutes!

So, although the Window will still open on Saturdays, I want to open it on Wednesdays, too. I'd love to have guests every week, not just with look-at-me promotion, but with actual blog posts. As short as a couple of paragraphs or as long as 1200 words. You can still promo your books or art, but we want to have conversation, too! 

We'll see how it works out. 

If you'd like to do a post, get with me here or on Facebook or email me. I'll look forward to it!

Have a good day. Be nice to somebody. 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Bright Spots by Liz Flaherty

In Indianapolis Monthly, Phil Gulley wrote about five people who have made or are making a positive difference. Like many of us, Mr. Gulley is often discouraged by the maze of misanthropy we've found ourselves in, but he found some beacons of hope to talk about. Since imitation is a form of flattery, I'm going to flatter him here. As we end 2021, here are five "bright spots" in our community. I'd love to hear any names, places, or organizations you might have, too. 

Joe DeRozier is a dusty donut guy on Broadway in Peru. He writes books, makes donuts, and brightens the days of everyone who ventures through the back door at Aroma. He had hard acts to follow when he bought the bakery, but he has done it well, not only succeeding as DeRozier's, but paying homage to the ones who occupied that spot before him. He supports his adopted city and the surrounding area in every way imaginable. He also makes good donuts.

Susan Musselman Morris and others operate C. C.'s Closet. It's a big closet, filling several rooms in the old South Peru School building. "C.C.'s is a Miami County closet to serve the needs of Miami County foster children plus other Miami County adults, families, and children in need who are NOT in the foster care system.

The person and the rock. At an area church, the service often begins with money already in the offering plate, because it's found under a rock near the entrance to the church. It's generous and anonymous.

People who volunteer. No explanation needed.

Health care workers. I truly cannot imagine working in health care during this pandemic. Thank you for all you do.

I wish you all a Happy New Year. I hope we all go forth with tolerance, kindness, and forgiveness. 

Have a great week. Be nice to somebody.