Eagle Pass, Texas – The Ripple Effect

There’s an art to skipping stones. You have to find the perfect rock- thin, smooth, light. The water conditions have to be right, too. And then there’s the technique itself: the appropriate flex. The proper wrist turn. The release. There’s a certain satisfaction as that stone strikes the surface of the water. Each touch– each skip– causes little ripples on the water. Those ripples grow, … Continue reading Eagle Pass, Texas – The Ripple Effect

Lancaster, Texas – Home Sweet Home

There’s simply no place like home.  It’s hard to put your finger on it exactly. It’s a feeling. It’s a place to be yourself. A place to exhale. It’s a nostalgia for days gone by and people you hold dear.  That first hometown love you have is a bit like your first love.  It’s special. There’s a sacredness to it.  A Bledsoe felt that way … Continue reading Lancaster, Texas – Home Sweet Home

Watsonville, California – Leaning In

Last year, when the folks in Watsonville, California, went to the polls, they got to cast a vote for their future.  At stake: a tax increase. The additional funds (a half cent sales tax) were to be spent on the community. Funds to improve, enhance, and develop.  City leaders were advised to not even put it on the ballot. It will never pass, they were … Continue reading Watsonville, California – Leaning In

Wausau, Wisconsin – Opportunity is Knocking

Life is all about seizing opportunities. It’s about knowing when to close some doors. And at other times, it’s about knowing what doors to open. The key, though, is to not be afraid to swing that door wide open when opportunity comes knocking.  There’s been quite a bit of knocking these days in the city of Wausau, located in the Wisconsin River Valley in central … Continue reading Wausau, Wisconsin – Opportunity is Knocking

Bartlett, Tennessee – Playing the Long Game

Abraham Lincoln once quipped, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” Chopping, according to Lincoln, is easy. It’s the exciting, visible part. The focus is always on the tree and how quickly it falls. Rarely, does anyone consider the ax– or the time it took to sharpen it. But without all of the … Continue reading Bartlett, Tennessee – Playing the Long Game

Pacifica, California – Spectacular Sights

It’s beautiful here.  Like stunningly, awe-inspiring, take-your-breath-away beautiful.  There are forested hills, rocky bluffs, picturesque valleys, hiking trails, sandy beaches, and spectacular ocean views.  Pacifica, California, is rugged and majestic. It’s also serene and peaceful.  In 1957, a newly incorporated coastal city formed in San Mateo County, uniting all of the smaller communities in the San Francisco Bay area– from Sweeney Ridge to the east … Continue reading Pacifica, California – Spectacular Sights

Caldwell, Idaho – A New Day is Dawning

It’s a new dawn It’s a new day It’s a new life for me and I’m feeling good. In much the same way as Nina Simone sang in her chart topping hit, the folks in Caldwell, Idaho, are feeling pretty good these days: they’ve become the gateway for the SunnySlope Wine Trail. They’ve reinvented their downtown. Development is on fire. Business is booming. People are … Continue reading Caldwell, Idaho – A New Day is Dawning

New London, Connecticut – Phoenix Rising

A fire starts with just a spark.  Such was the case in 1781 when New London, Connecticut, burned to the ground. It had all the makings of a movie: a traitor (Benedict Arnold), leading a raid, set against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War.  While that fire destroyed nearly all of the town, it didn’t snuff out the spirit here. You see, New London is … Continue reading New London, Connecticut – Phoenix Rising

Newark, Delaware – Raising the Bar

Shakespeare penned the famous line, “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” That’s become a credo for the little guy. It’s a reminder that a smaller stature can still be strong. Newark, Delaware, is small. It’s just nine square miles. But packed in that perfect little square is a perfect combination punch: a city that operates with purpose and passion. They are fierce in … Continue reading Newark, Delaware – Raising the Bar

Apple Spice Chicago – Checking all the Boxes

Never say never. That’s one thing Imran Rahman has learned overthe last few years.  He used to be adamant about a few things.They were non-negotiables, really: I will never own a franchise.  I will never work in food service. I will never get up early for work. Ironically though– and much to his chagrin– Rahman is doing all three of those things. He’s the owner … Continue reading Apple Spice Chicago – Checking all the Boxes