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February 18, 2003

I recently invested three hours in a prime-time TV showing of the "Shackleton” docudrama, telling the epic story of the brave band of Englishmen who survived despite unbelievable odds in their unplanned trek across the bottom of the world. Despite their victory over hideous weather conditions, most of the intrepid little band of stouthearted men came to tragic ends as troops in World War I. As for me, I am just now beginning to thaw out after watching simulations of what those men endured. Makes me realize that our broken water mains and damaged trees are not the worst that can happen to mere mortals when Mother Nature unleashes her full fury.

Former Perry high school drama teacher Steve Smallwood has acquired another honor. He was one of five finalists for the National Education Association's award for teaching excellence. Steve, one of the founders of Perry's Stagecoach Community Theatre and the director of some of that group's biggest hits, now teaches drama, speech and debate at Broken Bow high school. Winner of the NEA award was a 10th grade teacher in Little Rock, Arkansas. Steve was the 1996 Oklahoma teacher of the year. He has been at Broken Bow since 1991. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. He taught in Lawton after leaving Perry. Congratulations are in order.

A loyal reader passes along these notes on "How Things Change With Time." Maybe you can identify with some of them. The subject is: "New Concerns for the Boomer Generation'."

Then: Long hair. Now: Longing for hair.
Then: Acid Rock. Now: Acid Reflux.
Then: Moving to California because it's cool. Now: Moving to California because it's warm.
Then: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor. Now: Trying not to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor.
Then: Paar. Now: AARP.
Then: Worrying about no one coming to your party. Now: Worrying about no one coming to your funeral.
Then: Rolling Stones. Now: Kidney Stones.
Then: Obsessing over PSATs. Now: Obsessing over PSAs.
Then: Passing the driving test. Now: Passing the vision test.
Then: Parents begging you to get your hair cut. Now: Children begging you to get their heads shaved.
Then: Getting out to a new hip joint. Now: Getting a new hip joint.

Most things change with time. We grow old, gain wrinkles and lose hair. People around us move away and die. You may change jobs, and move from city to city every few years. Ever gone back to the place where you grew up to see what it looks like now? Things change. And life can be very unsettling if it is not grounded on something that does not change through the years. Fortunately we have this assurance: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." (Heb. 13:8).