editor's pick

I thought this week I would share with you some of the quotes or sayings that are sent to me. I get them on my e-mail and through text messages and social media. They are not usually attributed to anyone as the author. My friends and family think I would appreciate them and I usually always do.

editor's pick

Each week, Herald Publisher Deb Van Engelenhoven selects mugs (”let’s talk about that over coffee”) and hugs (”that’s wonderful! Well done!”)

editor's pick

Gator rides for my grandkids were on the menu for my 71st birthday, along with watermelon, sweet corn, sliced tomatoes, garden salad and choice of barbecued ribeye or t-bone steak, plus half-pound burgers, courtesy of Blossom, our hand raised Angus heifer.

editor's pick

This weekend, while standing in the dairy aisle of my local grocery store, a woman I didn’t know asked. “Are you that positive column guy?”

editor's pick

Today we will say goodbye to our summer intern Alex DeJong and our summer writer Calvin Silvers. It has been wonderful teaching them and learning from them. They have added much to the pages of the newspaper but they have also added so much to our life.

When he was governor, Terry Branstad often voiced his frustration that he was not able to comment on the reasons a state government employee was fired or demoted.

You may have read recently that scientists in Switzerland have determined that in order to battle climate change, we would need to plant 1 trillion trees globally.

The tall, handsome, dark-haired man found Sharon in her shop where the Quarter Maybe More Store in Mt. Pleasant is now. She had a used furniture business. He asked her where the restroom was. Sharon led the man down a hallway. That's where he kissed her for the first time. He smelled like Aq…

I write and speak for a living. When I’m on a book tour, I hear it all the time. At every book event, at least one person will enthusiastically tell me they are going to write a book. I think they all believe they will do it, but I am only aware of two, out of the hundreds of others who have…

Recently I read an article about a teacher and a lesson that she presented in her class.

“Get me rewrite!” So went the popular image of the rewrite editor at the other end of the line from the reporter breathlessly dictating into the phone.

Last week I wrote about finding your passions in life and wow – I received many passionate responses! I love hearing from you, so thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Each of us has a recording playing in our minds.

People have different ways of escaping the stress and difficulties in their lives. Some read; some exercise; others might work in their gardens.

I don’t know if you will agree with me or not but I think that people behave differently when they wear different clothes. Like dress clothes versus casual clothes.

Mugs are given to people, places, things or ideas that I feel could or should be discussed over a cup of coffee.

Those of us hearty souls in the Midwest have just endured bone-chilling cold that few will experience unless you travel to the poles.

The disappearance of our local stores has left a void in our community. Our thoughts go back to a time when our sidewalks were filled with shoppers and you could walk into one store and out and back into another. We feel as if our quality of life has changed with the loss of the stores as well.

Most of us tell our children or grandchildren to use their inside voice when trying to communicate with others. But I have noticed lately that most of us do not set that example when we are communicating with each other in the adult world.

If I didn’t know how wealthy I was before, I absolutely know it now. I am not talking about monetary wealth. I am talking about the wealth that can only be had through the love and support of good friends.

I have a beast living within me. It has been with me from my earliest memory. I tried to suppress it and pretended it wasn’t there but at times when it was least expected, it would rear its ugly head and cause havoc inside of me. I had never named the beast, as I always tried to pretend it d…

A long-time friend, Bob Wis once recalled that his five-year-old son asked, “Dad. Are you old?”

These past two weekends I have spent at a wedding for my cousin or a bridal shower for my cousin. Now when I say cousin I don’t mean first cousins. These are the children of my cousins.

There’s something about home-speak that is comforting like a big bowl of mashed potatoes with a little sweet corn mixed in. Some of us inherit that colloquialism, and we can often find ourselves talking the same.

I had another visitor this week. This time a very dear old friend, Rosie Shafer, came to see me. I can see all of you smiling at the thought Rosie brings to your mind because you rarely see Rosie without a big smile on her face, and that smile is contagious.

Whether it’s a broken relationship with the person you are sure is the love of your life or being fired from a job you believed was your career and calling. Maybe a parent or child said something unimaginable to you and cut you so deep you cannot forget. Or maybe your best friend betrayed yo…

You’ve probably heard it before. There’s a lot of salad dressings out there that can sabotage an attempt to eat healthy. But there’s more to label reading that a quick scan for fat and calories. Ever wonder what kind of additives, food dyes, and added sugars you’re putting on your greens? He…

I know, my heading for this column made you think I was going to write about how much I love spring and how it makes everything seem all new again. You also thought I was going to share with you how much fun the spring season brings into our lives.

My thoughts about the country schools around our county has drawn interest and sharing of stories about many of the country school teachers. Several feature articles have been shared through the pages of the Herald.

We all get into a routine for our life … a rut. Our lives evolve into a place of comfortability. We go to bed and wake up at a certain time. Our morning routine is standardized and repeated every day. We have developed a default way of living and if we are not careful, we descend into a leve…

So many days I look forward to the mail delivery to my mailbox at the Herald. I never know what might be inside those envelopes and packages coming to me in the mail.

Human beings are attracted to tragedy. It’s coded somewhere within our DNA. We say we would rather avoid the exposure, but as terrible events unfold, we lock our eyes and hearts on them and never let them go.

I ran across some old clippings the other day. I had saved them for future reference as I often do. I am amazed at how his words ring true even today.

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad to be in the beginning of a new year! I have a dream, a plan and anticipation of success. I’m excited about the opportunities and prospects for joy and happiness. I hope you feel the same way. Optimism drives our success. Let’s be positive about our futur…

Nothing inspires hope quite like new year. An optimistic state of mind inspired by an expectation of positive outcomes is encouraging and refreshing. Hope renews the human spirit and keeps us forward looking for something better to come. I love that Aristotle said, “Hope is a waking dream,” …

I love Christmas but I honestly hate Christmas shopping.

I am so excited. The Mahaska County Pictorial Books are right on schedule and will be available at the Book Vault beginning Friday afternoon after Thanksgiving. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, John Jacobs will be at the Book Vault to discuss the photos and share his knowledge about the p…

The following is extracted from a copy of the Oskaloosa Weekly Herald in 1887:

I have always enjoyed history and learning about history. I think I get that from my mother, who fell in love with history long before my existence. It was her who helped me write my first biography research paper on Henry the Eighth. Ever since then, I can’t get enough —television shows and…

It's been, well, an educational experience on the education beat this past year or so. I've handed off those particular duties to our new staff writer, Megan Showers. I also handed her a large manilla file just bursting with information I've collected. Past school board agendas, acronym mean…

OSKALOOSA — What do a Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalogue from the 1920s, the number of "foot candles" produced by a projector, and dolman sleeves have in common?

I know it is not officially summer for a few more weeks yet but when school is no longer in session it seems as if that is the start of summer.

When people walk into the lobby of the George Daily Auditorium, there is a large glass “Donor Wall” on the right-hand side. Now, as we wrap up our 20th season, I notice that the wall draws little attention—it has become just a part of the lobby.

I have a friend who likes to send me “motivational” things each day. And I use the term “motivational” loosely here. Because most of the time what I receive is a cartoon poking fun of how old the two of us are getting.

OSKALOOSA — May is National Foster Care Month. Foster care has an important place in my heart, as I was raised in foster care from the age of 14 until 18. Without the Iowa Foster Care system, I would not be where I am today.

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