In a time of deep partisanship, clean water should be an obvious policy area where lawmakers can collaborate. It is crucial to the lifeblood of our country and ensuring its accessibility is critical to protecting American families.

I’ve led a blessed and full life ... a big life. I’ve been fortunate in more ways than I can count, and I’m grateful for the many ways I’ve been blessed.

Part of our garden this year is doing spectacularly, part of it isn't. The peaches-and-cream sweetcorn, Indian corn, “punkins” and tomatoes are doing great, with the tomatoes looking to be the best we've ever had. The bush beans, peas, and cucumbers are not doing so well, with the peas pract…

In my first book, Playing with the Enemy, I wrote a story about my Father and in my Father’s honor. To me, Playing with the Enemy was more than a best-selling book. For years, it has been a dream of mine that somebody would make it into a movie – and I still pray it comes to pass.

I missed a publishing deadline for the first time in my life. I’m sorry. I’m on some heavy painkillers and anti-anxiety meds and my mind isn’t quite as accurate as I’d like. I’m too late for a few of my publications but I’ll give it my best shot.

No fooling. A world premier play is going to be performed in Mt. Pleasant and I have a bit part in it. It's from a C.S. Lewis short story, “The Man Born Blind,” that wasn't discovered until after Lewis' death. The script is the brain child of Alyn D'Blay, entitled, “Born Blind.” It is co-dir…

As we pulled out onto the highway for our week-long vacation at Yellowstone National Park, I saw something flash in the rear-view mirror. It was our Road Atlas that I had left on the roof of the car as we were packing. (You can tell we're old people because we still like the old-fashioned ma…

I’m asked lately why I’m still writing. My answer is, “it’s what I do. I’m a writer.” For me, not writing is like not breathing. Something occurs to me, and my mind and heart conspire to create the words that come out on paper. It’s just what I do and it’s who I am.

Anna Banana pecks on the door when she wants fed. Anna Banana where are you? A sign in the shape of a chicken in the front yard of Connie Nolin's house in Monroe reads, “A chicken rules this roost.” Signs with Connie's Grandchildren's names also line the sidewalk, which is a pretty good indi…

Through the long arc of history, the Iowa Supreme Court has developed a reputation for judicial courage that often puts it ahead of many other courts when crafting groundbreaking decisions before important legal concepts become widely accepted.

I’m sitting here surrounded by love. Noah is on my left and Caleb on my right, sitting on the sofa. The doorbell just rang and Noah leaps to his feet … pizza!

She doesn't look a day over 80, but Betty Kilbourn, a resident of the Van Vorhies Haus, a retirement home in Mt. Pleasant, will be 100 years young on Wednesday, June 16th. The residents and staff of the Van Vorhies Haus call her “Beppy” because there was another Betty in the home when she mo…

I love spontaneity more than the average person — whether it be a spontaneous vacation or party. This last weekend has been a weekend of spontaneous fun, celebration, laughter, eating, and story-sharing.

Too often these days, Americans and our government seem to be incapable of agreeing on what the best course of action is, regardless of the issue. This is especially true when we are talking about immigration and immigrants.

On May 31, 1975 at 1:15 p.m., I was sitting with my friend Rob at the Sunshine Tap in Traer, Iowa, eating a hamburger, fries and washing it down with a Pepsi. I was wearing cut off blue jeans, an old white t-shirt with Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps emblazoned across my chest, and sandals.

I’ve been a percussionist since I was eight years old. For those who are unfamiliar with the term ... I’m a drummer.

I always try to make sure my column has a point to it. I want to share a life lesson and encourage readers to live an optimistic and positive life. As for this column, I really don’t know what the point is other than I’m missing my mom and dad now … and decided to write about them. I hope yo…

We are told that life as we know it has been forever changed by the computer. The most complicated equations are solved. We started at a desk, then moved to a mobile laptop. A few years later our phones became computers and now it can be as small as a watch on your wrist. (Calling Dick Trace…

I have always looked at the thought of a “bucket list” in a negative light. The idea that I’d want to begin compiling a list of things I wanted to do before I die just seemed ... well ... negative.

The little brown sign on Highway 34 is easy to miss, just like the significance of two little sisters in Danville, Iowa, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, who were pen-pals with Anne Frank and her sister, Margot.

Last week I mentioned that I love online cooking tutorials. There are so many great opportunities to learn, but my favorite is a little less refined than most. Barbecue Pit Boys or www.bbqpitboys.com are a cross between ZZ Top and the Grateful Dead. These “good ol’ boys” live for their grill…

It is with great pleasure I announce a book signing and “Meet the Author” for L. Kephart-Nash, better known as Linda Nash, of Ft. Madison. This gala affair will take place on Saturday, April 24th, at 1 p.m. at the First Christian Church in Ft. Madison, 608 10th St. Masks and social distancin…

I'm in a mad dash across Kansas on I-70. My brother in Canon City, Colorado, who is 14 years older than me, has terminal cancer. Hospice has been called in. I must see him before he dies. To do what? To pay respects? To tell him I love him? To try and make up for the years separating us, the…

Many years ago, during a conversation with an old lawyer, he made a comment I still remember: “You can sue the bishop of Boston for bastardy, but that doesn’t mean you are going to collect.”

My parents were both small town kids. My mom from Sand Springs, Oklahoma and dad from Sesser, Illinois. Their move to the far south suburbs of Chicago in 1953 to find work must have been a culture shock of great magnitude.

Writing is a hit or miss proposition. Sometimes I hit send and the email reflects that the goal of my column was reached. At those moments, I’ll admit, I feel a sense of satisfaction.

One of my first business lessons came after explaining my sales plan to my father. He asked for the details and at the end I said, “I hope it all works.” Dad smiled and said, “that’s fine, but hope isn’t a plan.”

Randy Stewart and his son, Austin, had a brainstorm one day. They are patriotic people and, wishing they had a flag pole for an American flag (the Fourth of July was coming up), they did the next-best thing. They painted the American flag on their barn roof. Yep. They didn't realize how much…

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

This Week's Circulars