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Dave's Blog

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8/19/2014

I saw an article the other day where Clemson University researchers are asking for the help of families in the Upstate to count how many fireflies they see on a nightly basis so they can determine whether or not their numbers are dwindling.    They are.      Reading that article made me realize that I hadn't seen a firefly (I used to call them lightning bugs) in at least a couple of decades.    I don't know if it's because of the region I live in or because they ARE dying out.      Either way, it's sad.    The thought of catching lightning bugs with my bare hands and watching them glow inside my hands cupped together or just letting them crawl on my arms until they decided to fly away brings back such fond memories of a much simpler time.     The act of trying to track a bug that's only visible for a half-second before they go stealth for a few more seconds.      Telling my mom and dad, "there's one...there's another one...." all night long.    The fact they they might be going away disturbs me...not only because it kills a cherished memory, but because too much of our youth has disappeared over the decades...and not just because I'm getting wrinkles and losing hair.    

A woman in North Augusta was arrested last week because she left her 9 year old girl at a nearby park for the day while she went to work at her fast-food job.    She faces a maximum of 10 years for child neglect.     2 things....here we have a woman trying to make an honest living by working a minimum wage job, rather than sitting at home collecting a government check, and she faces a felony charge for her desires to advance herself.     But (more germane to this discussion) when I was 9, I was staying out until well after dark with my friends, riding across town on my bike, going to and from school by myself.       My parents would have been locked up for years for things they allowed me to do then.   But then again, if you google the words "9 year old" and "playground" the first artlce you come to is about the boy in Michigan who was stabbed by the 12-year old.     Not something I worried about growing up in Wood River, Illinois.     I read another article that asked if the reason so many parents are getting in trouble these days is simply because they're doing the things are parents did when we were kids, but didn't have to worry about DSS looking over their shoulder for child neglect charges.

Was it better living in a simpler time when were were able to fend for ourselves...or is it better than we have stronger laws looking out for kids these days?     Stronger laws are nice, but they were only made necessary because our society isn't as safe it used to be.    It's ironic...crime stats show that violent crimes have declined steadily since the late 1800s...but for some reason our neighborhoods seem much less safe than they were even a few years ago.     We're living longer than ever before, but in this world, do you want to?

   

Liz's Blog

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I will always acknowledge this day... September 11th... I will never, ever forget.

But, I find it hard to emotionally go back there so I avoid memorial services.  It's not because I don't want to go... it's just because it's too emotional and too raw to go back to the terror I felt that day and for months afterwards.

My family was directly affected by the events and aftermath of that fateful day ... but, thank God, we did not lose any personal family members.

But, still... living in New York those days... was a very dark time.

As we head back into war action against these terrorists again, I just hope and pray that we don't lose any military service men and women.  I know in my heart how necessarry it is that we stomp out and eliminate ISIS, Al Qaeda, whatever... but I always think about the spouses, children and parents of the military and how they must feel when they give their loved one that last kiss and hug before they march off to war torn lands far away.  

I pray for a quick, successful mission on this Patriot Day... and no matter what's going on or not going on in Washington, D.C., I am still a very proud American. 

This country is the most amazing country on the planet and we must lead the world in achieving justice and peace.  We may get it wrong sometimes or maybe it gets messy, but I want to believe that keeping Americans and our interests safe is in the hearts of our military generals and Commander in Chief.  

God Bless America.

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