• Judi's Journal 6/7/14: Fifty years after Unisphere

    I have a photograph. It’s an old black and white taken by a Kodak instamatic camera. I remember the outfit I was wearing. It was a madras plaid blouse woven in burgundy and navy hues, and I have on a pair of navy Bermuda shorts. My mother had a blouse just like it; it was cool to dress alike back then. I am standing in front of some whimsical animals made out of car parts. I was 17 years old, and it was my idea to come to this place. It was 50 years ago and I was at the New York World’s Fair at the General Motors Pavilion.

  • Raising mine Ebenezer

    Unlike the ancient Israelites, I’m not in the habit of naming rocks. Not being judgmental, just never thought to do so.

    Apparently, the Philistines were set to slaughter the Israelites. Full-on assault, take no prisoners.

    If you recall from the story of David and Goliath, the Philistines were huge, mean and scary. 

    So, when the Israelites heard about the upcoming attack, they went to their leader, Samuel, and begged him to ask God to save them.

  • Thanks all around for efforts of volunteers

    After seven years of writing columns for the Chronicle about the Withlacoochee State Trail, my columns will now be located in the Excursions section of the paper and will normally run on the second Sunday of each month. I hope you will continue to read them and let me hear from you about the trail.

  • Stuff that looks like Jesus

    Somewhere in Citrus County, Jesus is in a tree.

    Shortly before Easter, a woman called the newsroom and left me a message about a tree in her yard and how she can see Jesus in it.

    I had taken the week after Easter off, and by the time I returned to work I had lost the woman’s number and forgot about Jesus in her tree.

  • Reveling in true colors

    We live in a world that is a true kaleidoscope of colors. Vivid hues surround creation, in the landscape, animals and in our natural surroundings. The color of the sky at sunset, the beauty of our fields here in Florida, covered by magenta Phlox, the lush, verdant horse pastures and the pink, purple and white flowering crepe myrtles transform our environment into one that is a pure delight of color.

  • Relates well with others

    Amy Lou Kingery, public relations coordinator of Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center, has been named Public Relations Professional of the Year by the Nature Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association.

    In her own words, she is the storyteller of the organization. 

  • Learning the art of having a good day

    Yesterday when I was buying fish for dinner, Harry the seafood guy looked at me and said, “Today has been a good day.”

    He didn’t say why, and I suppose I should’ve asked him.

    Even so, as I drove home with my two salmon steaks and the solitary fresh, humungously jumbo shrimp with its head still on that Harry tossed in as a freebie, Harry’s words echoed in my thoughts.

    Today has been a good day.

  • What are we doing here?

    Sometimes we learn life lessons in the strangest ways. Living in Ocala, with its diverse population of minorities, has opened my eyes to the religion and culture of many of my neighbors. Like most people, the old adage “Birds of a feather flock together” is true for most of my social situations, but the other day I received a lesson from a most unlikely and unexpected source.

  • Easter is for laughing

    When I was a new Christian, I discovered a portrait of Jesus called the “Laughing Christ” at a Christian book store.

    At the time I was attending a serious church, a church where the thought of Jesus laughing was most likely frowned on. Maybe Jesus smiled at babies and puppies, but telling jokes with his friends? God forbid.

  • GRACE NOTES: Lost & Found

    When the phone rings here at the newspaper, you never know who’s on the other end and what the person will say.

    That’s why we have an antacid dispenser in the break room. (Not really.)

    One day last week I got a call from a woman who sounded greatly distressed; she had lost her wedding rings.

    It happened several months ago when she was going through cancer treatment. She said the treatment muddled her brain, made her absent-minded and forgetful.