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Here it comes, folks! The Christmas season is upon us and along with all the festive preparations, I am pausing to make time for some personal preparation.

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I always enjoy reading the Courier’s Rants and Raves and Letters to the Editor. Comments range from local traffic problems to thank you’s for found wallets and good medical care. I also enjoy the sincere and mostly well-informed writers who go back and forth about current events, although sometimes they seem like the blind boys and the elephant.

November 13, 2021
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The stages of life are common knowledge: infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, middle age, old age.

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It never fails to amaze me how many hidden gems of neighborhoods there are in Prescott. Even after 15 years, every so often I run into one I’ve never seen before.

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These days, with weather patterns no longer so reliable, it’s hard to know what to expect as the seasons change. The recent rains and those expected next week are certainly welcome and the cooler temperatures are refreshing.

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The equinox marking the official beginning of fall arrives this coming week on Sept. 22. While the warm summer weather may not be ending for a while, piles of Halloween candy have already popped up at the grocery stores, along with spooky decorations.

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Most people who are still working think of retirement as unlimited leisure, every day a Saturday. At least that’s what I thought.

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That sense of relief from being able to meet with others unmasked has slowly seeped out of my happiness balloon.

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My husband and I stood in the pet supply store contemplating the mass of squirming fur in the box in front of us. We had been looking for a calico and immediately noticed there were two in this litter up for adoption.

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I vividly remember the mid-July weekend we moved to Prescott 14 years ago. The cable TV installer was outside putting up the satellite dish in the midst of a fierce storm. Thunder boomed and lightning flashed ...

By ALEXANDRA PIACENZA, Courier Columnist July 24, 2021
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Just two weeks before the country shut down for the pandemic, our son Nick found a new job. Leaving a 5-year stint programming for a river-cruise company, he traded his casual-every-day wardrobe of T-shirts and jeans for shirt and tie as he started with the IT department of a high-powered financial services company.

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The spooky beauty of fire plumes on the horizon is nothing Prescott area folks look forward to seeing. It’s an unwanted reminder of nature’s flip side, the alter-ego to our idyllic setting.

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Since the last time I visited the weekly Prescott Farmers Market, it’s moved to the YRMC overflow parking lot where Miller Valley Elementary School used to be located.

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One of the most beautiful views I ever saw was watching the sun go down over Granite Mountain.

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Driving through downtown last weekend, crowds bustled around the courthouse plaza at an art and chocolate fair.

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As a Sunday School teacher, I taught my three-to-five-year-olds a little song about friendship: “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”

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As a kid I could think of nothing more boring and distant from my life than watching the evening news. I was more interested in who had the edge in my high school’s homecoming elections than who was winning the Cold War.

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Some time ago I had the opportunity to participate in some activities at the Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

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Having had no after-effects from my first Moderna COVID vaccine shot, except a sore shoulder, a month later I blithely walked into the event center in Prescott Valley for the second dose.

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The long year of pandemic is inching into a second year, with peaks of surges, valleys of temporary recovery and new, previously unknown threats of variants peeking around the corner.

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Last Sunday, the Courier’s Senior News Editor Tim Wiederaenders, wrote a column entitled, “Who are your true friends?” In it he recounted a conversation with an HR director who made it clear that working amicably together does not necessarily make you friends.

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Over the past several months of political turmoil, I’ve been grateful to have lived in Prescott for more than a decade. Before I came here...

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I love the Daily Courier. I love it despite dueling letters to the editor and the potpourri of Rants and Raves. Maybe especially because of those things!

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I like to think of a new year as a clean slate.

December 26, 2020
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I recently received an unexpected request to take a look at a friend’s writings. Another friend of hers had suggested that she might want to have them published in book form. ...

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Despite the pandemic and what seems like endless political wrangling, there are good reasons to reflect with hope on this holiday so closely associated with the beginnings of our country.

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One of the great gifts of being human is the ability to imagine something better: a better mousetrap, a better job, a better relationship, a better community.

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I remember the feeling I had when I first entered a polling place to cast my vote. It was like opening the door to a totally new place called “civic responsibility.”

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I’m sure I join many Courier readers in greeting the news of Ron Barnes’ last Sunday column with loving regret.

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When I first moved to Prescott, I was tempted to think I’d found a lovely, out-of-the-way corner of the world that larger problems couldn’t infiltrate.

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The larger outside world has come to quite a pass. Regardless of your politics, financial situation, social status, color or religion, there is bound to be something in current circumstances that chaps your hide, offends your sensibilities, runs a chill up your spine or just exhausts you thinking about it.

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Once upon a time, there was a political climate that discouraged outright lying and behavior that veered away from a politician’s stated principles.

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I count myself among the people in our area who haven’t been seriously impacted by COVID-19: no disease or job loss for myself, loved ones or friends (or at least quick recovery)....

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On the heels of the public outcry to Save the Dells, the Prescott area has produced another local bipartisan effort, “no new jail.”

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The new American pastime: passing the buck.

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