A milestone is described as a “significant event or stage in the life, progress, development, or the like of a person, nation, etc.”
Last December, I wrote an article regarding my milestone birthday of 39. The age of 39 has been, for lack of a better word, a special age for me. My mom was 39 years old when she passed away from cancer back in 1978.
Many of us use our parent’s age of death as a watermark for our own lives and with my mom passing away at such an early age, my siblings and I had that age in the back of our minds…until we passed it.
In a few short weeks I will turn the BIG 4-0.
My sister-in-law, with whom I share an identical birthday with, sent me a link to an article titled “40 Signs you’re Almost 40”. (And by identical, I mean we were born on the same day, same year and in the same hospital)
Some of the items I could relate too, others made me laugh and some made me think. Lucky for me, some did not apply, but I know that it does not make me any younger, regardless. I picked a few of them to comment on.
“Your favorite bands from high school now play on Classic Rock stations.” For me, the answer is both yes and no. Some of my favorite bands were already on the Classic Rock station back in the day and they still are! But my music varies so many of my favorite bands were not “rock” bands, so they are played on other music stations.
“Your favorite TV shows play on Nick at Nite”. Obviously this is true. But thanks to cable, they just aren’t on Nick at Nite, they are on a variety of stations. Even better is that some shows are on several channels at the same time!
“You still have a CD collection”. You bet I do! For years my wife has asked me trim my collection, and I have, but I still have many CD’s. I do not use an i-pod or purchase music on-line; I am just not that hip. I still listen to the radio or CD’s in my car and do not subscribe to XM or SIRIUS radio.
“You have not purchased a CD by a new artist in years”. That is true. We have purchased a few CD’s for our daughter’s, however, but none for ourselves. I cannot remember the last time I purchased one for myself.
“You bought your first pair of over the counter reading glasses”. NO! I have worn glasses since I was in the sixth grade. I tried contacts once and just didn’t like it. I guess my next obstacle may be bifocals, but for now, my eyes and glasses suit me just fine!
“Your shoe selection has become more and more sensible”. I do not think I am there yet. I do wear my “comfy shoes” around the house and rarely wear tennis shoes anymore. If I find a pair of shoes that I like, I wear them until they are declared a Federal disaster area. I wear what shoe best fits my feet regardless of style or name brand!
“You increasingly enjoy playing the game “remember when”. Now this one is a total YUP! I am told I have a great memory about things that happened years ago, so I play this card all the time. I feel like I am a walking encyclopedia on events that happened long ago.
“You don’t really understand how to watch MTV anymore”. This one is totally true. MTV stands for music television, yet they never play music.
“You’re now older than every player on your favorite baseball team”. All the current Detroit Tigers are younger than me, but the new manager is older, so that helps.
“You go around the house turning off all the lights”. Guilty. I have two young daughters. They always leave the lights on!
“Waitresses and waiters card you to get a good tip and not because you don’t look over 21”. Yea, this never happens. I guess I just look too cheap as I never seem to get carded!
“Sitting has become preferable to basically any other activity in life”. Oh yes, there are days when this is the case. Give me my recliner, remote control and laptop and I am in heaven!
Turning 40 is defiantly not a “mid-life crisis” moment for me, but I do realize that I am getting older and I look forward to whatever adventures I have yet to take! I just may move a little slower as I do them!
My name is Buddy and I am a male black lab mix. I am 2 years old and I know how to sit and walk nicely on a leash. I am housebroken and I like people a lot. I’ve lived with children and take treats very gently. The ladies here say I am a real sweetie and I look very cute when you look at me and I cock my head. I surely would love to be part of a family again. Please come and see me and give me a loving home. My docket # is 11801, at the St. Joseph County Animal Control Shelter located at 652 E. Main St., Centreville, MI. Animal Control is open Monday – Friday, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The first Saturday of each month AC is open for adoptions from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. Their phone number is 269-467-6475. Please visit the Animal Rescue Fund website at www.arfund.org to see more adoptable pets. ARF will pay for the spay/neuter of an adopted Pet of the Week, at the Humane Society in Kalamazoo. If the owner wants to go to a local vet, the same amount will be given to that vet. Up-Cycled Pets needs reliable foster homes so some pets can learn more about living in a safe home before adoption. Go to www.upcycledpets.com for more information about how to help this group. Last week’s Pet of the Week is still at Animal Control, so please come in and see him, too.
Ah, the holiday shopping season is now in full forward motion. With “Black Friday” behind us, we can now venture into the stores without fear of being trampled, stomped on, or being severely scratched. I’d like to give the ladies a few suggestions, so that when they shop for that man in their life, they might have an idea what a real man must have in order to be considered a real man. The list would include a role of duct tape, at least one can of WD-40, power washer, cargo trailer, chain saw, snow blower (a snow plow would be better), tool belt, used pickup truck, and, of course, a reliable hunting dog. Believe it or not, this list came from a lady named Maria. Bless her heart.
Because we are now officially into the holiday shopping season, I’d like to announce the birth of a new tradition. It upsets me a bit that it has become more difficult lately to find merchandise that has been made in America. Why do we need to give gifts with a “Made in China” label on them? Why not give a gift of service? Gift certificates for a car wash, car detailing, hair styling, and dining out are plentiful, and you can pretty much pay what you want for these thoughtful gifts. If you know someone who’s into staying healthy, a year’s membership with a local gym might be just the gift you’re looking for. We should all try to do our shopping locally, if possible. Our hometown merchants need our support. Their financial lives are on the line to keep their doors open. I’ll mention more ideas over the next couple of weeks.
Everyone loves pictures, and a lot of us have pets that are truly members of our family. We have a cat that is spoiled almost as much as I am. She wants for nothing.We have pictures of her, and we are always willing to share them with other animal lovers. The Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) will hold their annual “Pet Pictures With Santa” next Sunday, December 8, at the TSC store just north of the intersection of US-131 and West Michigan Avenue in Three Rivers. Pet pictures will be taken in the afternoon between the hours of 1 and 4 PM. The cost is $10 per picture, per pet, and you may have an additional pet in the picture for $2 per pet. Humans can be in the pet picture at no additional charge.
In case you haven’t noticed, the outside temperatures have dropped considerably since two months ago. The shorts and flip-flops have been put away for the season, and iced tea isn’t at the top of your list of desired beverages. A grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of tomato soup sound pretty comforting right now. When I think of soup, the Soup Pot at Trinity Episcopal Church comes to mind. On these cold, almost-winter, evenings, it might be a great idea to visit the Soup Pot at the Trinity Episcopal Church, 321 North Main Street, in Three Rivers. The Soup Pot is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 4 until 5 PM. The soup is FREE; however, donations are always graciously accepted. Why not make this a weekly gathering with your friends?
Here’s a reminder to everyone that the Three Rivers Emergency Food Site, located behind Lowry’s Books, at 18 Railroad Drive, in Three Rivers is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 AM until noon. This site is available to individuals with a Three Rivers address.
I really enjoy getting Out and About. That’s one of the reasons I do this column every week. I depend on my car to be there when I need it. I try my best to give it the best care I can. Regular oil changes are a must and, when I have time, I take it to the car wash. I’ve been very lucky that I haven’t had to have any major work done on the car, but I’ve heard that there are some auto repair shops will install parts brought in by their customers. You might want to check with your mechanic, because this could save you some money, and we all enjoy doing that.
I sometimes long for the days before credit cards. My parents had, I think, only one, and that was for gasoline. For everything else, they paid cash. They made have had a credit account somewhere, but I don’t think so. Anyway, I’ll close this week’s tidbit of information with a quote from some unknown individual: “Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.”
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman
Hi there. I am a brown and white male hound, about 1-2 years old. As with most hounds, I have a lot of energy and would do best with a fenced in yard or pen. I am very friendly and busy and curious about everything. I walk pretty well on a leash and play nicely with cats and other dogs. I like people, am very sweet and would make a great dog for your family. Please come and see me and make this a perfect Thanksgiving for me by giving me a loving home. My docket # is 11766, at the St. Joseph County Animal Control Shelter located at 652 E. Main St., Centreville, MI. Animal Control is open Monday – Friday, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The first Saturday of each month AC is open for adoptions from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. Their phone number is 269-467-6475. Please visit the Animal Rescue Fund website at www.arfund.org to see more adoptable pets. ARF will pay for the spay/neuter of an adopted Pet of the Week, at the Humane Society in Kalamazoo. If the owner wants to go to a local vet, the same amount will be given to that vet. Up-Cycled Pets needs reliable foster homes so some pets can learn more about living in a safe home before adoption. Go to www.upcycledpets.com for more information about how to help this group. My kitty friend, Ivy, who was Pet of the Week last week is still at Animal Control, so please come in and see her, too.
Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. While the actual holiday may be over, I am still feeling pretty thankful for a number of reasons. I have a great family, beautiful wife and daughters, terrific friends and a job I have always dreamed of. The list could go on and on, but you get the point.
I am still feeling a little bit stuffed from one of the best Thanksgiving dinners I have ever had. Turkey, potatoes, side dishes, salad, rolls and pies, it was a meal to remember. I am not so sure what made it better than previous meals, but it just had the “IT” factor going on, and I enjoyed it. I may have helped myself to a few “second helpings” (guilty as charged) and I am quite sure that I was snacking on leftovers later in the evening too! I love Thanksgiving!
Of course, having the Detroit Lions winning their first game on Thanksgiving Day in many years was also nice, especially since my mother-in-law is a Green Bay Packers fan. Luckily neither of us is a poor winner or loser, so the game was just that, a game, but it was still nice to see the Lions destroy the Packers.
I realize of course, that the “great” Aaron Rodgers was not playing. If your team is built around just one player, you reap what you sow. I honestly do not buy the argument that the Packers just cannot function without Rodgers, but either way, GO LIONS!
Another reason that I am thankful is that neither my wife nor I have the urge to get up SUPER early to stand in line outside stores for a chance at a good deal. And there would be no way in “you know where” that we would camp outside for days to save a few bucks. We pride ourselves on watching our money and cutting corners where we need too, but we agree that being one of those Black Friday shoppers is just not in the cards for us. We did it once and that was enough.
I have no problem with others doing it, however. If that is fun for you, by all means do it. I would rather stay home; hang with the family and putting up the tree and decorating the house, which is what I was told we would be doing over the next few days. I usually venture out later in the afternoon on Black Friday and pick up a few things, but even then, it is not a “must do” for me.
As we were heading down to the in-laws on Thursday morning, our oldest daughter said something that made us proud as parents. Out of nowhere (or maybe it was due to the Christmas music playing in the car), Hannah said, “Do you know why I am excited about Christmas?”
Expecting to hear the typical refrain of presents or some other reason that children love the Christmas holiday, Hannah said that she likes the fact that she gets to spend time with everyone in her family at Christmas.
As a parent, if that doesn’t melt your heart, there is something wrong with you! Living in a society that is focused on “me, me, me” it was heartwarming to hear my daughter say that.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Now I must head to the basement to dig out the Christmas decorations!
Welcome to Thanksgiving week. The day after tomorrow, everyone should take a few minutes to sit back and reflect on the many things that they should be thankful for. This should be done prior to sitting down and stuffing yourself with too much food, then assuming a prone position on the couch and watching your favorite football team lose.
A nice tradition that I feel is worth the effort is to announce several things that you are thankful for this year. I’ll start out with three of mine:
1) I’m thankful for my wife and family. I’m way too spoiled and I’ll be the first to admit it.
2) I’m thankful for my retirement. I don’t have time to work anymore.
3) I’m thankful for the many memories that I have and for those who have helped me make them.
Another tradition that has nothing to do with Thanksgiving is the “Family Sunday Afternoon Drive”. Back in the day, families used to take an hour or two, usually on a Sunday afternoon, and pile into the family car and go for a ride in the country. They didn’t know it then, but this was really quality time. The family unit was different back then. Families sat down and ate together, played together, and got along with each other. Going for a ride in the country was just a normal thing. One might say that the price of gasoline was only thirty cents a gallon back then. That would be a true statement, but the annual earnings were also much lower than they are today, so you’d have to say that everything is relative.
I enjoy driving, and I have been driving for over fifty years. I still enjoy the experience, but I have slowed down considerably. I’ve found myself becoming more like my father as he aged. My patience is slowly fading away, and my level of “Road Rage” is increasing. This is not good. Every time I see some driver using their cell phone while driving, my blood pressure goes up. Every time someone passes me on an expressway, then exits immediately, my blood pressure goes up. My dad had some road rage back when road rage didn’t exist. Perhaps the fast pace of life has something to do with this. No matter what the price of gas might be, I think we should all get Out and About and go for a ride in the country with the family. You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel upon your return. Just stay out of my way when you leave the city limits.
Here’s a fact that many folks didn’t know. This Thursday, November 28 is not only Thanksgiving, but it is also the first day of Hanukkah. The last time this happened was in 1888, and it won’t happen again for another 77,798 years. For those of you who are unaware, Hanukkah is the first full day of the Jewish Festival of Lights, which begins at sundown on Thanksgiving Eve.
As you travel along the pathway of life, here are five things you’ll never be able to recover:
A stone after it’s been thrown.’
A word after it’s been said.
Time after it’s gone.
Trust after it’s lost.
An occasion after it’s missed.
This past Friday was the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Like many of you, I remember what I was doing at the time I learned of the shooting. I’d like to share a quote from JFK, that makes a lot of sense to me. He said, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” I often wonder how history might have changed, had he not been assassinated.
In honor of Thanksgiving, here’s a Native American saying: “Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.”
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and a joyous Hanukkah!
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman