If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

I don’t know about you, but I am beginning to have it just about up to here with this COVID-19 stuff. Under seeming house arrest, I have seen all of the YouTube videos I can stand, the village has finally picked up all of the leaves left over from November, the explosion of flowers in the ga…

Due to fear from the coronavirus and people’s safety, the government has been shutting down many everyday processes. People become worried and run to the store to stock groceries and it has reminded me of what I experienced growing up in Karachi, Pakistan. I remember my Amee (mother) had a b…

I told my neighbor Traci that I didn’t think I could stretch this out for another week before readers would catch on that I was just being lazy. She laughed, so there was my incentive to try this again.

The coronavirus has brought fears and many unknowns. The impact is definitely everywhere and many people are panicked. I hope and pray for everyone far and near for their safety and good health. This virus doesn’t see skin color, nationality or religion. We Are All In This Together. It’s a g…

Is this the strangest time to be alive or what? I’ve lived a while, but I can’t remember living through anything as strange as this. Some, including me, have called this the Great Isolation but perhaps a better term is the Great Compliance. The Governor has ordered us all to stay home so as …

Junior High is a unique experience because it is a time where your freedoms expand. I no longer have to walk down a hallway with my whole class, I can choose my classes, and I have access to more extracurricular activities.. My school year is full of Scholastic Bowl, Student Council, Cross-C…

When Kofi Cockburn swatted away Iowa star Luka Garza’s last-second shot, the Illini celebrated a 78-76 win on Senior Night. Illinois basketball was back. 21 wins. A No. 4 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. They were an NCAA Tournament lock.

So here we are on Day 2 of the Great Social Isolation, locked in our houses in weather that is just quite not warm enough, worrying about children who live in San Francisco and Seattle, doing our patriotic duty by avoiding contact with others as much as possible. We are almost certainly thro…

A reader sent me a letter this week taking issue with the way I wrote about the recent MAYC Auction that raised over $75,000 in one evening to support the fine work MAYC does with the youth of Mahomet. I appreciate feedback, especially when it finds fault with my writing, because that is the…

On February 18, 2020 the Mahomet-Seymour Board of Education voted to approve bids for the renovation of the Field House at Mahomet-Seymour High School. We are very excited about this project because after 20 years of heavy use by our schools and our community, our beloved Field House is star…

Most of my memories of bedtime reading include fairly short, familiar books. As I mentioned previously, Little Golden Books such as The Little Red Hen and The Poky Little Puppy figured large in our home library.

I am sure I am not the only one who’s noticed that we are increasingly bothered by the busyness of our daily lives. Many of us have one gadget, if not more, that reminds us of all of the important times and dates in our calendar. But then why are we almost always in such a hurry about everyt…

Have you ever heard of the so-called Spanish Flu? I say so-called because it actually began in the heartland of the United States but had such devastating effect in Spain that it unofficially took on that country’s name. This influenza was a pandemic that spread around the world and was part…

What a beautiful word love is. There are many different kinds of love, but in the United States we celebrate lovers’ love. It’s called Valentine’s Day, and it’s always on Feb. 14.

The Lovely Mrs. Matthews (TLMM) and I were the guests of the always generous Debe Williams at the MAYC auction last Saturday night. Once MAYC knew we were coming the week before, they were relentless in making sure we had ample opportunity to review and bid on silent auction items through a …

Carle doctors have always done the right thing for me and my family. I like my Carle doctors, and I like the care we get there. And, like other Carle patients, I pay Carle a heckuva lotta money for it.

The Lovely Mrs. Matthews (TLMM) and I hit the road this past weekend. We stuffed our bags into the back of the van amidst all of the recycling stuff and headed north up I-57 to Ann Arbor, home of rich football tradition and unfulfilled football present. My sister-in-law, Kathy, was giving a …

Fear is rolling across the globe this winter and sometimes swelling into panic and mistrust, fed by the twenty-four-hour news cycle and our own worst selves.

If you live long enough, the revolving circles that are people’s lives will eventually intersect with yours no matter how widely distant grow their orbits. This was the thought that crossed my mind when a former pastor of a church we attended in Bloomington called up two weeks ago to ask a f…

Every Thursday if the creek don’t rise or the snow pile up, I motor over to LeRoy to have lunch with my friend Bob at Jack’s. If I had a friend named Jack I would probably eat at Bob’s. Anyway, Bob is pushing north of 85 and according to the chart I saw yesterday at Mahomet Animal Hospital h…

The Mahomet-Seymour School District is fortunate to have the ongoing support and help from the Mahomet-Seymour Education Foundation. Started over 20 years ago, the MSEF partners with the school district to support our teachers, students and instruction in our schools and classrooms. One way …

Every time I shifted direction to avoid running into him, the young man shifted his to block my path. I had completed my workout and was going back into the YMCA to read a book I had just fetched from the van. I had already checked in before my workout and didn’t think it necessary to check …

High school is coming. Though it felt like the day would never come, I have less than a semester left of eighth grade. Then I will start a new phase of my life. I’ll repeat the process of going to a new school, meeting new teachers, taking new classes, and being at the “bottom of the food chain.”

In this wintry weather, I like to hunker down with good books and warm beverages. This year, that has got me thinking about my history as a reader.

“Jim, we wanted you to know that last week you listed a book infested with bookworms.” Another happy moment in my post-retirement life. In a warehouse filled with up to 40,000 books, this was the nuclear button. An infestation of paper-eating vermin has brought great libraries and book colle…

I’m going out on a limb here to guess you’ve probably missed visiting Elsah, Illinois. Even if you have driven what is arguably the most uniquely beautiful stretch of highway in our state running between Alton and Grafton, you were probably looking west toward the grandiosity of one of the w…

Recently, Matt and I went to Cancun for vacation. I know these days so many people are nervous about going to Mexico. And I understand them. But we feel lucky and blessed. We absolutely have no issue at all. Everything was how it was supposed to be. And we made it back home safely.

Last Wednesday at Orphans Treasure Box they asked me to “declutter”, something I had never done before. Decluttering meant sifting through two boxes and one full garbage bag full of used CD’s and DVD’s to find those a particular company was willing to pay more than 50 cents per item to buy. …

Back from Christmas in Seattle, I stepped into McDonald’s here in Mahomet expecting my usual warm greeting. Instead I heard an angry voice approaching and asking, “What’s your name?” I saw Patricia storming towards me and I smiled and said, “Merry Christmas.”

We all need friends. They help us through tough times and are something to look forward to. I am lucky to have a group of friends to spend time with. We sleepover, play video games together and go out to see a movie. We also have a tradition of going to Monical’s before our school dances.

One of my longest-held practices has been to not travel by any other means than automobile around the holidays. I have violated this rule this year for the first time in a long time and I am here to tell you that if I live to be one hundred, as God is my witness, I will never do this again.

I have wanted to listen to several Christmas tunes this holiday season that will probably get me in trouble but I don’t know if I can control what songs pass through my brain. I seem to wake up every morning humming a different tune. The Lovely Mrs. Matthews (TLMM) prefers to be at the other…

Ready or not, 2020 is here already. For sure, for me, 2019 went really fast, and now we are about to start a brand new year and hopefully with a brand new attitude. Many people make New Year’s resolutions, and some complete their resolutions, and some need more time and more motivation. If y…

Christmas gets harder as you get older. At the risk of sounding like my usual cantankerous self out of tune with any holiday spirit, I have to admit that managing current Christmas activities while rummaging through 67 years of Christmas memories is beginning to wear on the old cerebellum.

The Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October, and sometimes I think they’ve got the right idea.

Annually, December is the month that the Board of Education adopts the tax levy. This is the mechanism by which public schools in Illinois “gather” local property tax revenue. How does the levy work? There are months of preparation prior to the levy being formally voted upon in December of e…

I have to leave our van out at night and this morning it was covered with ice and leaves. The Lovely Mrs. Matthews (TLMM) and I started out at 8:30. I set the defroster on 80. It is as powerful as an industrial hair dryer. I turned left out of Wood Glen onto 150 and headed for Hatcher’s. By …

Thirty years ago, when I moved to the States, Thanksgiving was my first American holiday. And 30 years later, it’s still my favorite American holiday. What I really like about Thanksgiving is that it doesn’t belong to one culture, religion or nationality but belongs to all of us who live in …

As the snow whips parallel to the ground across the prairie this afternoon, I think about the irony of ceasing to publish the local newspaper on Mondays, the first one being Veterans’ Day. Teresa, our instructor in the therapy pool at the YMCA this morning, asked if I was a vet. “No,” I repl…

If most folks in town went to a restaurant but only paid for half of their meals each time, that eatery would go out of business pretty fast.