My first Christmas in Mississippi

For the first time in my life, I will not have a white Christmas.

James and I in the Capitol last year, one of my favorite pictures.

James and I in the Capitol last year, one of my favorite pictures.

Being a Cleveland, Ohio native, I could always count on Old Man Winter blowing through the city after Thanksgiving, blanketing the city with snow through Christmas day. Sometimes, it wouldn’t snow until Christmas Eve and I would wake up and see the sparkling white paradise outside before opening my presents. This year, I must admit I’m a little jealous of my friends and family that are traveling north for the holiday.

A few weeks ago, James and I made the decision to stay in Mississippi because plane tickets are too expensive at this time of year, and I’m not driving 14 + hours through harsh wintry conditions. Nope, not taking that chance. So, what we plan to do is make a nice Christmas meal and watch our favorite Christmas movies such as The Grinch with Jim Carrey, Bad Santa with Billy Bob Thornton and whatever else comes on television. Besides, with the storms expected to hit the metro area late Sunday and last through Tuesday, why not stay inside? We thought of going to the movies on Christmas day to see “Django Unchained” and “This is 40” but the movie theater can wait a little longer.

The important thing is keeping in mind the reason for Christmas, being thankful that God sent His son Jesus and the tremendous love He’s shown us every day. We don’t have any family members here, but at least we have each other to keep company. I’m sure there will be something else to get into on Christmas day, but I will spend all next week on vacation, relaxing and maybe writing a few short stories. James will be working (Custom Cuts and Styles, 2445 Terry Rd. in Jackson–yeah, shameless plug!) and I will visit relatives on my father’s side next weekend in Rockville, Md. So I will get to see family members after all.

In closing, I wish all of you a merry Christmas, happy holidays and a blessed New Year! Enjoy this throwback video of my solo in the 2011 Central Community Church of God’s Christmas Cantata. Sorry about the distance.


2012 in tweets.

Call me a copycat, but I saw a very good blog post by my colleague Alex McDaniel titled, “What Does Twitter Say About Your Life in 2012?”  and read about a free tool named Vizify that allows users to create interactive profiles using information aggregated from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn and Instagram. So, I wanted to see what this year looked like for me and the tweets I put out. Needless to say, this was a busy year full of changes in my life, personally and professionally.

These are the terms I tweeted the most in 2012 — yes, I know there are 19 days left in the year.

STORY-133 uses, 4 responses

I had my first hurricane experience with Isaac and did double duty for the Suburban Digest page that week.

The week I moved from The Madison County Herald to The Clarion-Ledger was busy and stressful.

#SUBURBANDIGEST-75 uses, 2 responses

I tweet using this hashtag almost everyday because this page prints every Thursday. My new beat is rolling along!

The main column carries good news and feature articles from eight communities in the metro area.

CANTON-71 uses, 3 responses

I depend on social networks daily for information from my communities.

Multimedia is something I’ve taken on this year as I strive to have a multifaceted beat. This particular video has over 4,000 views.

JACKSON-49 uses

My first tweet from this twitter account at an assignment in Canton.

My first experience seeing (and smelling) dead bodies.

RIDGELAND-46 uses, 3 responses

I have a soft spot for our military. These are the most selfless people in the world.

It’s nice to see my place of residence get an app!

VIDEO-42 uses, 8 responses

One of the funniest assignments I’ve had.

HOME-32 uses

I use the word “home” a lot as it is my favorite place before and after work.


I like giving positive words on my Twitter account and interacting with followers.

PAGE-29 uses

The growing pains were killing me when I first started the Suburban Digest page.

My tweet for 12/12/12.

CITY-28 uses, 6 responses

On September 11, the city of Jackson presented me with a parking ticket. Never again!

Northpark Mall offers new shopper amenities for holiday season

From the Northpark Mall/Simon media folks:

“This holiday season, Ridgeland shoppers can expect their shopping experience to be even more rewarding and enjoyable.  Northpark Mall is pleased to announce a personal touch guaranteed to surprise and delight holiday shoppers.

Northpark Mall shoppers should be on the lookout for mall management staff that will be eager to introduce themselves and say “thank you” for shopping – and maybe even present a holiday treat. These gifts will vary by mall, but visitors can expect a free coffee, or a special surprise!  These ‘surprise and delights’ will be happening each day throughout the holiday season.

Shoppers at Northpark Mall who need assistance carrying packages to their vehicles will find help readily available at busy mall entrances and during peak times thanks to the mall’s Holiday Helpers.  Security personnel will be more than happy to lighten the load and escort mall visitors to their cars – with packages in tow.

Additionally, Northpark Mall shoppers can find Holiday Greeters near mall directories during weekends and on Christmas Eve who are ready to assist by giving directions, answering questions, and distributing the popular Retailer Showcase with the mall’s best holiday offers and deals.

Shoppers will also want to grab a schedule of the many entertainment offerings on mall during the holiday season. From school choirs singing holiday favorites to dance troupes to local musicians and theater groups, the mall, as it has been for generations, is the perfect place to catch the holiday spirit.

About Northpark Mall

Northpark Mall is a climate controlled indoor mall located in Ridgeland, Mississippi, one mile east of I-55 at the intersection of County Line & Wheatley Roads. Northpark Mall serves the nearby communities of Ridgeland, Madison, Jackson, Flowood, and Pearl. The mall is a one-stop shopping destination with more than 120 retailers ranging from jewelry to women’s apparel to sporting goods.”