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Family Friendly

A famous philosopher once said “If you only have one child, you don’t have children.” More than a grammatically clever way of stating an obvious fact, to parents this seemingly simple declaration summarizes a vast wealth of wisdom. To my wife and I, parents of an only child, it has meant having a daughter who is as socialized to adults as she is other children. Consequently at age ten she is perfectly comfortable in most any social environment. However whether or not a family contains one child or ten, they all still confront the same seemingly never-ending challenge – finding family friendly restaurants.

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“From Under My Hat” is a general opinion column produced on a weekly basis and available for one-time print publication purchase. Each column below, for which the title and opening paragraph are reproduced here, runs between 500-600 words each. Permission for print publication of a single installment (please see the disclaimer below) of any of the columns listed here can be purchased for $25.00 per publication; simply follow the link at the end of each introductory paragraph.

The name From Under My Hat is a trademark of J. Riutta Enterprises LLC. Copyright is also asserted to all content of the essays referenced above with all rights reserved. Purchase of permission to publish any of these essays in print is for a single appearance of the essay in one print publication per purchase. No rights of ownership are transferred with the purchase nor is duplication in any other media allowed.

Open Lives Lead to Open Hearts

Every time I travel abroad, I find that I return having learned something new. Such is the case with my recently concluded visit to the Central American nation of Panama for a photographic expedition. By not staying in the luxury coastal resotrs that cater primarily to American and European holiday-makers, but rather going “off the beaten path” and into the heart of the country, I had the opportunity to discover how that country’s people live. It was an experience I will never forget.

Purchase the rest of this column for one-time use in your newspaper, magazine, newsletter, or other publication.

“From Under My Hat” is a general opinion column produced on a weekly basis and available for one-time print publication purchase. Each column below, for which the title and opening paragraph are reproduced here, runs between 500-600 words each. Permission for print publication of a single installment (please see the disclaimer below) of any of the columns listed here can be purchased for $25.00 per publication; simply follow the link at the end of each introductory paragraph.

The name From Under My Hat is a trademark of J. Riutta Enterprises LLC. Copyright is also asserted to all content of the essays referenced above with all rights reserved. Purchase of permission to publish any of these essays in print is for a single appearance of the essay in one print publication per purchase. No rights of ownership are transferred with the purchase nor is duplication in any other media allowed.

A Capital Improvement

Let’s face it, once the good and decent men and women we elect to national office find themselves “inside the beltway” among the grand marble buildings that line the wide well-manicured avenues of our nation’s capital, the intoxicating effects of power and influence begin to take hold. Some can resist it for a time, others – few and far between to be sure – even seem to manage to keep it at bay indefinitely; however for most, the pleasures to be found within the beltway bubble are simply too strong to resist. Before they know it, they have forgotten what it is to be an average American. We need to remind them, and the best way I can think of to do so is to move the nation’s capital to Omaha, Nebraska.

Purchase the rest of this column for one-time use in your newspaper, magazine, newsletter, or other publication.

“From Under My Hat” is a general opinion column produced on a weekly basis and available for one-time print publication purchase. Each column below, for which the title and opening paragraph are reproduced here, runs between 500-600 words each. Permission for print publication of a single installment (please see the disclaimer below) of any of the columns listed here can be purchased for $25.00 per ; simply follow the link at the end of each introductory paragraph.

The name From Under My Hat is a trademark of J. Riutta Enterprises LLC. Copyright is also asserted to all content of the essays referenced above with all rights reserved. Purchase of permission to publish any of these essays in print is for a single appearance of the essay in one print publication per purchase. No rights of ownership are transferred with the purchase nor is duplication in any other media allowed.

What is Now Mundane is Truly Remarkable

On the way home from running a few errands the other day, I stopped and bought a new computer. I had been thinking about it for some weeks prior and had not intended to make the purchase that particular afternoon; it just seemed like a good time to do it. The entire time required for the transaction – from the time I entered the store to the time I walked out with it tucked under my arm – was less than twenty minutes. It was only a few hours later as I was sitting at our dining room table with this little electronic device roughly the size of an average book in front of me, typing onto its keyboard the various bits of information needed to set-up my e-mail and installing the software I use for my writing and photographic work that it suddenly dawned upon me what a truly remarkable thing I had just done.

Purchase the rest of this column for one-time use in your newspaper, magazine, newsletter, or other publication.

“From Under My Hat” is a general opinion column produced on a weekly basis and available for one-time print publication purchase. Each column below, for which the title and opening paragraph are reproduced here, runs between 500-600 words each. Permission for print publication of a single installment (please see the disclaimer below) of any of the columns listed here can be purchased for $25.00 per ; simply follow the link at the end of each introductory paragraph.

The name From Under My Hat is a trademark of J. Riutta Enterprises LLC. Copyright is also asserted to all content of the essays referenced above with all rights reserved. Purchase of permission to publish any of these essays in print is for a single appearance of the essay in one print publication per purchase. No rights of ownership are transferred with the purchase nor is duplication in any other media allowed.

Summertime Should Be for Stretching Not Sitting

Back when I was a boy, summer days meant rambling though fields and woods, riding bikes over to friends’ houses or down to the city park, and doing everything possible to seem busy so the adults didn’t begin to get ideas about something “constructive” that they thought we ought to be doing instead. Despite periodic indulgences, when cash on hand allowed, in Dairy Queen burgers and shakes, most of us were fit and trim – even skinny. We walked or rode bicycles most everyplace we went and we did our best to go everyplace we could, stretching our young wings as far as they would stretch. Sadly, things have changed – and definitely not for the better.

Purchase the rest of this column for one-time use in your newspaper, magazine, newsletter, or other publication.

“From Under My Hat” is a general opinion column produced on a weekly basis and available for one-time print publication purchase. Each column below, for which the title and opening paragraph are reproduced here, runs between 500-600 words each. Permission for print publication of a single installment (please see the disclaimer below) of any of the columns listed here can be purchased for $25.00 per ; simply follow the link at the end of each introductory paragraph.

The name From Under My Hat is a trademark of J. Riutta Enterprises LLC. Copyright is also asserted to all content of the essays referenced above with all rights reserved. Purchase of permission to publish any of these essays in print is for a single appearance of the essay in one print publication per purchase. No rights of ownership are transferred with the purchase nor is duplication in any other media allowed.

Not Normal – Not Then, Not Now

You’ve probably heard the phrase tossed casually about by political commentators or business news reporters – “we need a new normal,” “families began experiencing a new normal in housing over the last year,” “this could turn a bad recession into the new normal” – but when, if ever, have you heard the phrase actually explained; not as some abstract idea but in terms of what it means to everyday working people? I hadn’t. So I did a little research and was disgusted by what I found. To you and I, this “new normal” to which the televised talking heads so glibly refer apparently means that our nation’s economy won’t get any better, lots of us will always be unemployed, and we’d just better get used to it.

Purchase the rest of this column for one-time use in your newspaper, magazine, newsletter, or other publication.

“From Under My Hat” is a general opinion column produced on a weekly basis and available for one-time print publication purchase. Each column below, for which the title and opening paragraph are reproduced here, runs between 500-600 words each. Permission for print publication of a single installment (please see the disclaimer below) of any of the columns listed here can be purchased for $25.00 per ; simply follow the link at the end of each introductory paragraph.

The name From Under My Hat is a trademark of J. Riutta Enterprises LLC. Copyright is also asserted to all content of the essays referenced above with all rights reserved. Purchase of permission to publish any of these essays in print is for a single appearance of the essay in one print publication per purchase. No rights of ownership are transferred with the purchase nor is duplication in any other media allowed.