View from the Hill
Written by Paul Penner Tuesday, 27 September 2011 15:56Twins and twin towers. An unlikely combination, yet they are interconnected in the fabric of time.
No matter what I do or where I go, I am thinking about my twin granddaughters. Fifteen months ago, they came into our lives and we are forever smitten with their intoxicating smiles and warm, inviting personalities.
Can you imagine what life would be like if they did not exist? I don’t suppose you can. They are not your children or grandchildren. However, I believe you can understand what it’s like if you have children or grandchildren, when they capture your heart and will not let go.
Grace and Lucia owe their existence to someone else. If their mother and father had not been introduced to one another, we would not have had the...
Written by Paul Penner Tuesday, 23 August 2011 14:39Have you ever purchased a product you like, only to discover the product was changed and it no longer performed as expected? I suspect it happens more often than not.
A long time ago, my favorite brand of jeans was Levis. There were no options like slim, relaxed fit or stone washed. They had only two styles: boot cut and regular. And at one price.
Today, Levis is only a brand among many that offers a blue jean that comes in many styles and levels of quality. If one values quality above everything else, chances are the blue jeans will not even sport a Levi tag at all. Chances are, it may not even be available at a regular store, but at a specialty shop or online.
A couple years back, I purchased four pair of name-brand blue jeans for a...
Written by Paul Penner Tuesday, 26 July 2011 18:33One hundred-plus-degree temperatures do not seem so bad, especially while sitting in a temperature controlled conference room.
My greatest enemy at the time was not the oppressive heat outside the hotel complex in Tulsa, Okla. My enemy was the 70-degree temperatures inside the meeting room, making it difficult for my cold, stiff fingers to flex enough to keep a written record of the ongoing discussion.
How’s that for a bit of irony?
It’s all about keeping a proper perspective. Where would I rather be—in the suffocating heat or inside and freezing my hands off? Actually, I’d prefer neither, but most choices aren’t that simple. For the moment, then, I choose the cooler side of perfect.
My purpose for attending this five-day...
Written by Paul Penner Tuesday, 24 May 2011 14:54Prior to organizing his House Ag Committee, Oklahoma Republican Congressman and committee chairman Frank Lucas appeared cautiously optimistic in his assessment of completing a new farm bill before the current bill expires.
Post-election, political dynamics have changed so much that his assessment has changed as well. Lucas says, “Out of 46 members of my committee, I have 23 people who are new to the committee and 16 who have never been in Congress. I have a year’s worth of education to do before we can even get started.”
Energized by success in the last election, newly elected and emboldened conservatives will not negotiate. Likewise, liberals have responded in kind. “Compromise” is the new dirty word, according to moderate...
Written by Paul Penner Tuesday, 26 April 2011 15:45Forgiveness, healing and reconciliation. These are not particularly difficult topics for discussion, especially when one has no real “skin” in the game. It is easy to tell someone they must forgive and move on. It is an entirely different matter when we find ourselves on the receiving end of hurtful behavior.
Last Sunday night, public television aired a documentary focusing on those three words. Each example highlighting the excruciating details provided an inside look into the lives of people that lived through difficult circumstances.
In one example, a young mother left her husband and two young children, escaping what she believed to be an environment that increased her anxiety and stress to an unacceptable level that...
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