Annus mirabilis is Latin for "year of wonders." It is most recognized as the title of a poem by John Dryden about the miraculous year of 1666. However, there was also such a memorable year in the history of Mississippi. It was the year 1811.
The mantles in my home are already adorned with holiday garlands, festive ribbons spilling from underneath branches of twinkling little lights and the Christmas trees dressing up most rooms with fa-la-la. I love the holidays for many reasons, but mostly for the gifts both large and small that I can give to those I adore. Since I trust you can all keep a secret, I will share some splendid things on my shopping list this season.
Most of us take peanut butter for granted, but did you know one jar can provide the protein a Haitian child needs for an entire month?
The thud of a carpenter's hammer and whir of the potter's wheel will meld with other sights, sounds and smells of a re-created Bethlehem village Dec. 2-4, when First Baptist Church in Columbus presents its annual First Christmas each evening from 6-8 p.m.
Penny Burchfield walks to the line and sizes up her task, undistracted by the low, rumbling symphony of bowling balls and staccato knock of falling pins all around her. Cheers and high fives break out from a nearby lane, and when Penny bowls a spare, she gets them, too.
There is a man, who moves fast, but talks slow; who gives much but takes little, a man whose dreams are so small that to most people, they are huge. The man meets a woman alone and afraid.
When Thanksgiving's feast is settled, and kick-off for Egg Bowl is still hours away, a toe-tapping bluegrass show Friday night at the Rosenzweig Arts Center in Columbus will bring three Grand Ole Opry veterans to the stage in "The Road to Bluegrass."
Recently I held a workshop at my salon for two days, kicking off the holiday season, and I learned a few things in the process. Now, I'm no stranger to teaching small audiences everything I know, from lipsticks to lightening hair. The salon was adorned with all the glittery things you would expect, from twinkling white trees to snow globes, as the holidays were our theme for a sparkling weekend of fun.
On Thanksgiving morning 2010, Max, Cameron and Carrington Davis woke up with something a bit different on their minds than most children. They looked forward to the holiday with family, of course, but there was something else.
The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library can now offer its patrons a new microfilm machine that boasts modern conveniences. The Canon Microfilm Scanner 300 II is connected to a computer that allows users to scan documents from the microfilm machine onto the desktop PC and either save the images to a flash drive or email them to another computer at no cost to the researcher.
Three area artists are among the 13 selected by The Mississippi Museum of Art for inclusion in the 2011 Mississippi Invitational biennial exhibition now open.
The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library System invites clubs, businesses, organizations and individuals to decorate a tree for the Columbus Library Annual Festival of Trees. The trees will be seen by hundreds of library visitors during the month of December.
With the help of a philanthropic Golden Triangle, a Strings for Food drive hosted by Backstage Music in Starkville Saturday hopes to collect more than 1,500 pounds of non-perishable food items to boost area food banks for the holidays. And, in this case, giving back may never have sounded so good.
A variety of auction items will be available for purchase Nov. 25 during the second Mississippi KIDS COUNT Egg Ball at Mississippi State's Hunter Henry Center. Based at the university, Mississippi KIDS COUNT is the leading resource for comprehensive research and information on the state's children.
One of my best memories is quite a simple one. The night before Thanksgiving, falling asleep with the sounds of Mama clinking pots around in the kitchen, the smell, how heavenly, of turkey baking slowly in the oven put me right off to dreamland many nights.
Some of country/western music's best-known pioneers will be on stage Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Columbus Arts Council's Rosenzweig Arts Center. Or, at least some of their best-loved songs will be interpreted by local singers paying homage. The old-time "Happy Flower Radio Hour" is a nostalgic trip to an earlier time, when families gathered around the radio for entertainment -- when shows like the "Grand Ole Opry" and "National Barn Dance" aired.
I was fascinated by the news this week about the former British rugby player who claims a stroke turned him gay overnight (The Daily Mail).
It's Christmas Eve in idyllic Mayberry, but old Ben Weaver is feeling like Scrooge. The fictional shop owner is determined that Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife must lock up Sam Muggins for transgressions Weaver takes exception to. Andy, on the other hand, thinks a little human kindness is in order on this special night. What ensues -- enacted by the YMCA Drama Team Nov. 18-19 at Rent Auditorium in Columbus -- is a heartwarming prelude to the season.
"You can draw military maps and say this happened here and that happened there, and the result is 'this' -- but that doesn't tell us what it was like to march 40 miles a day in the dead of winter," Dr. Brandon Beck said thoughtfully. "It doesn't tell us about the pain, the privation, hardship, the worry and agony," he continued, his words coming measured and distinct, as if a picture of the past is vivid in the author's mind.
"We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved ..." So says the enduring poem, "In Flanders Fields," penned by Canadian doctor Lt. Col. John McRae in 1915 to honor the death of a friend and encourage people to never forget the human cost of battle. A few years later, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, Germany signed the Armistice and World War I -- the "war to end all wars" -- drew to a close. But the wars did not end.
4. A Stone's Throw: Beware COLUMNS