• SOUDER: The end of the world, a fiscal cliff and some $80 billion deck chairs

    If the Mayans were correct, this will be my last column. As I’m sure you’ve heard, some say that the ancient Mayans predicted that the world would end on December 21, 2012.

    With the benefit of hindsight, some pundits have noted that it’s now obvious that the world can’t go on without Twinkies.

  • Negotiating a Christmas list

    There was a quiet negotiation going on in the back seat. I caught the words slowly but the meaning very quickly.

     “So,” said the 5-year-old to her 11-year-old brother, “why don’t you ask for a basketball goal, and I’ll ask for crafts?”

    Me to the 5-year-old: “You mean you want your brother to ask Santa for a basketball goal so you can have something else on your list?”

    Her: “Yes, crafts.”

    Me: “Crafts like material to create stuff, like at school?”

  • The season arrives when the lights come on

    The other night, as I was tucking my 5-year-old into bed, I felt a cool draft of air and, being a dutifully protective father, started feeling around to see if her window had been left open or a seal was letting in a breeze. But then the draft hit me (literally) on the head, and I realized what I was feeling was the air conditioner kicking on. In December.

    We interrupt this holiday season for – what – golf season?

  • SOUDER: Christmas shopping brings joy to the world (‘til the bill comes)

    Well, another Thanksgiving Day and another Black Friday is in the books. Unfortunately, this year Black Friday broke its ever-stretching bounds – starting on Thursday evening and continuing through Sunday, as many stores were promoting “Black Friday Weekend” sales.

  • Collins High School has created a moment that will last a lifetime

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Friday Night Lights out at Collins High School.

    The TV cameras are on the sidelines, reporters are sticking notepads and microphones into the faces of guys who barely shave and Coach Jerry Lucas is trying to keep everything in perspective, even if he’s not married to the principal and no auto dealer is looking over his shoulder or whispering into his ear (that we know of).

    Thus is the world of teams playing for state football championships. We may not be Texas, friends, but this is Texas-sized terrific.

  • The moment when Thanksgiving arrives

    When does Thanksgiving arrive at your house? Does it show up with family on your doorstep on Thursday morning, at an airport in a far-off place, in the atrium of a restaurant or in the car as you drive over the river and through the woods to you-know-who’s house?

    Maybe it arrives several times, with a lunch feast at one home and dinner feast at another on Thanksgiving Day, or at a meal with one family on Thursday and another on a different day. Maybe you have three or four feasts.

  • SOUDER: The great ‘Red vs. Blue’ divide

    I probably don’t have to tell you this, but last week a very important thing happened in our country. For some of the most partisan observers, the day couldn’t have come quickly enough, especially considering the disappointments of the last few months.

  • Let’s find the holiday spirit out there somewhere

    Today we pause to shake our heads sadly at the woman in Arizona who, saying she was frustrated by the re-election of Barack Obama, tried to drive over her husband because he had neglected to vote. I’m guessing she was expecting him to vote for someone other than Obama.

    Think about that for a moment. You live in Arizona, where you knew who had won the election before the last bites of early bird specials had been gobbled at your neighborhood Denny’s, and you are so irate at one vote not cast that you are trying to injure your beloved.

  • 3 men and an Election Day

    Election Day means the end of the debate for a couple of men I respect very much. Unfortunately, neither of them was on the ballot.

    To be sure, though, their views are aligned generally with those of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, which is to say the bubbles they filled almost certainly weren’t on the same side of the ballot.

    It’s understandable, really. One of them has worked in the auto industry, and the other is a Marine.

  • SOUDER: Putting politics into the proper perspective

    By this time next week the elections will be over, and as a nation we will again have chosen those who will govern us for the next 2 or 4 years. One side will claim a hard-fought victory; the other will be left trying to figure out what went wrong. But regardless of whether the candidates you vote for win or lose, it is important to keep a proper perspective and realize that no matter who is elected, problems will still exist.