Baby Autumn’s visit inspires this column

It’s been a while since I’ve written a personal column. The last one was at Thanksgiving when I wrote about my many blessings in 2014, including my son’s renewal of vows a year after his wedding and his deployment to Afghanistan. I have written about Andy many times. I wrote about him when he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and again when he became engaged to Erin, a sweet … [Read more...]

Industry audit proves our papers are well-read

When you look down your street every Wednesday and see The Laker/Lutz News in its blue newspaper bag, our hope is that you’ll pick it up to find useful information, compelling photographs and interesting stories. At the same time, we aim to deliver advertising that helps readers find out about local goods and services that help businesses in our community to thrive. So, every year we look … [Read more...]

Giving thanks with a grateful heart

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a time to reflect on the blessings in our lives. This past year has been particularly joyful for me, both professionally and personally. Since this newspaper is such a big part of my life, I want to share with you the top 10 reasons Thanksgiving is especially meaningful to me this year. Our readers I want to thank all of the readers of The Laker/Lutz News for … [Read more...]

Why I write this column

As regular readers of this paper know, I write an occasional column on topics that I hope you will relate to. There have been columns about my children as they graduate from high school and college, fall in love and marry. Columns about brothers and sisters whose bonds grow stronger the older we get. Columns about dogs, why we love them and how hard it is to say goodbye. I write these musing … [Read more...]

Starting a book club to make new friends

There was a time a few years back after my youngest left for college that I had more free time than I knew what to do with. At first it felt luxurious. I read books that had been on my nightstand for years, discovered the intimacy of small theater at Stageworks, and took my dogs on long walks morning and night. Since most of my longtime friends were still busy raising children and had little … [Read more...]

The power of the printed word

I first considered writing a column about the demise of Patch last August when AOL Inc. announced it was shutting down most of its community websites. I mentioned this to a couple friends not in the newspaper business, and each gave me a puzzled look. “Patch?” they said. “Never heard of it.” One thought it was a website for people who liked to quilt; another was sure it had something to do … [Read more...]

Saying goodbye to Zeke

I purposely didn’t write a column about saying goodbye to Zeke, my family’s yellow lab who was almost 14 when it was time for us to let him go last March. I didn’t want to be just one more self-absorbed writer spewing about the punch to the gut I felt every time I walked in the door because my dog was not there to greet me. I didn’t want you to read my sad story about losing Zeke, only to have … [Read more...]

Recognition motivates and inspires, no matter the age

The fall blitz of annual dinners sponsored by local business organizations is just about over. The chambers in Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills recently hosted their membership galas, and Dade City’s takes place in a few weeks. There was the massive annual banquet in early September for the Pasco Economic Development Council that was attended by more than 600 people to honor Industry of The Year … [Read more...]

Not all saturated fat is bad

If you have been looking for a family-friendly, yet upscale, casual restaurant with some of the best prepared food you have set your taste buds on, dining at Stonewood Tavern & Grill in Tampa Palms is a must. Stonewood offers excellent food choices to complement a healthy lifestyle with outstanding service and a “private” restaurant feel — a perfect opportunity to enjoy a great experience … [Read more...]

Passing the baton to my future daughter-in-law

When my son Andy announced his engagement recently, I had flashbacks to his childhood at the same time I was offering congratulations and best wishes. When Andy was born 25 years ago, I believed no one could ever love him as much as I did. From the time he was an adorable tow-headed baby to a defiant teenager to an honorable man, I have loved Andy unconditionally. In good times and bad, no … [Read more...]