Columns

Difference between being alone and lonely

Other Side of 50

Recently, my coworkers and I have begun to see a spike in the number of seniors in our community who go days on end without human contact. Yet when asked if they’re lonely, they say no. These individuals are quite content with their daily schedule. In many cases, they’re proud of their independence—even if it means a lack of socialization […]

First-class feast in an economy seat

Flying Squirrel

It’s the holiday season, which means many of us will be doing one of our least favorite things. No, I’m not talking about sitting down for dinner with our opinionated relatives. Hopefully seeing your family is the enjoyable part of the season. What we don’t like is traveling to our destination—specifically, flying. When I was growing up, air travel was […]

Reaching for new heights can make SAD sufferers feel glad

On the Trail


Around this time of year a condition nicknamed “SAD” often upends the well-being of sensitive souls. For some of us, myself included, seasonal affective disorder may be triggered by having to surrender the bountiful light and warmth of summer days. Each fall I fall prey to this blues-inducing syndrome. This year, I’ve discovered something that gives my spirits a boost, […]

Archangel Michael: God’s army general in the fight against evil

Roots of Faith

In the battle of good versus evil, God has angels who fight for him. In the third part in the series on angels, we examine Archangel Michael. Ancient peoples believed that each nation was protected by a unique guardian deity (Deuteronomy 32:8). Like humans, the gods and angels likewise battled among themselves. Wars fought in heaven affected life on Earth. […]

Fall colors are spectacular showstoppers

On the Trail

A friend from rural Agoura who is visiting her hometown outside of Knoxville, Tenn., sent an email regarding her disappointment that “the leaves have not turned.” She’s in an area typically renowned for its fall foliage spectacle. “The weather’s remained very warm,” she wrote, “and everything’s just green, how dull.” Well, guess it’s time to beat it back to SoCal […]

Teen tells parents: Please don’t worry

Family Man

I just saw the new Martin Scorsese movie, “The Irishman.” It’s about getting older, looking back and taking stock. And while the filmmakers employed a digital “de-aging” process to turn back the clock on the aging cast, the actors still looked old. For someone who watches movies like “The Godfather” (1972), “Serpico” (1973), “Raging Bull” (1980) and “Goodfellas” (1990) over […]

Fire, flood at Seminole Springs create ‘pop-up’ forest with uncertain future

On the Trail

Before the Woolsey fire altered their surroundings, red-winged blackbirds had always gathered at dusk to roost amid the cattails that fringed the lake in the community of Seminole Springs in rural Agoura. The little lake is gone now, its shallow depths buried in sediment and runoff debris that came blasting down denuded mountainsides. Layers of moist nutrient-rich muck was all […]

‘Transylveinya,’ Werewolftown and marketing

Family Man

My 16-year-old son takes honors and AP classes; he’s on the dean’s list, has his eye on two career options (marketing and business) and on colleges that offer the right preparation. He has also co-founded a school club and lined up our local congressperson to speak on campus; he’s on the tennis team, and he’s learning to drive. So I […]

Climb aboard the San Diego choo-choo

Flying Squirrel

If spending 4½ hours on the freeway to begin a three-day weekend is not your idea of fun, I’m with you. Spending 2½ hours returning that same day makes it even less tolerable. I recently traveled from the Conejo Valley to San Diego for a family function. We needed to be in Miramar on Friday afternoon. Before that, we stopped […]

If life gets to be a drag, check out this show

Hot Flashes

The Queen of the Happy Hour was suddenly in no mood to joke. “Well, if there’s traffic, we’re stopping at a local brewery,” she informed her tribe as we cruised the 101 on a hot Sunday afternoon and wondered what all these crazy people were doing on the road. The “we” is “the gym girls.” Picture a car filled with […]


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