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
My name is Ivy and I am a female white and grey tiger and am about one year old. I have short hair and a beautiful face with huge green eyes and a really cute grey spot on the top of my nose – perfect place to plant a little kiss. I am very gentle and a friendly little girl and would love to have a family to love. Come in and see how good I am with people. My Docket # 11742, 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, the rat terrier, was adopted. Thank you for giving him a home.
My office is a mess. I consider it my den, or it may also be considered my “Man Cave”. I use the office for several different things. I, of course, prepare my column here; I also handle a lot of Lions Club business, do a quarterly high school class newsletter, and have recently taken over preparing the monthly Lions Club newsletter. This was previously handled by Lion Bruce Snook, so I have some very big shoes to fill. Back to the topic of this paragraph. Over the years, I have accumulated a lot of stuff. I’m a bit of a pack rat, and it’s very difficult for me to throw stuff away. The late George Carlin did a bit on “stuff”, and he really made some valid points. I have more than I need of paper with printing on one side. I use this for printing things that will not be shared with anyone else. I also have quite a few perfectly good items that I don’t really have a use for right now, but the minute I get rid of an item, I’ll discover a need for it. I realize that I’m not the only one with this characteristic, or problem, but I am trying to do something about it.
I’m very fortunate to have some very nice friends. I’ve mentioned Anna before, and she is really well organized. I asked her to stop by and possibly give me some advice. I even offered to buy her a cup of coffee. She did stop by, and after I helped her back to her feet, she agreed that I suffered from “Packratidness”. She offered some very helpful hints, and I’m trying my best to follow through on the free advice. I’m expecting a very large dumpster to arrive within the next couple of days. If you’d like to meet Anna, let me know.
This is one of the favorite seasons for the bad guys. Quite a few of you have already started your holiday shopping. Once again, I’d like to share some tips that might save you a lot of money, not to mention your reputation. Here are three things you’ll want to remember about identity theft:
Goofy can acquire your data without breaking into your home. He is watching you as you punch in your credit card number, and he has a very good memory.
Goofy loves to “dumpster dive”. Make sure your credit card and bank statements are shredded, rather than just thrown out in the trash. Your social security number is a hot item.
Watch what information you put in your computer profile. Your full name, date of birth, home town, relationship status, school locations, and even graduation dates are valuable to Goofy. Goofy also loves to know when you’ll be away on vacation.
With Thanksgiving next week, you’ve probably already done your grocery shopping for that annual feast. Did you remember to pick up a few extra items for that neighbor who might need some help? Are you going away for Thanksgiving, or are you planning to have family and friends gather at your home? If the latter is true, perhaps you might set an extra place setting for the elderly lady next door. The local senior citizen facilities will prepare a fine meal, I’m sure, but if you have a chance, you might consider visiting one of these homes and spending a few minutes just talking with several of the residents. Your kind deed would not go unnoticed.
Not everyone has Thanksgiving Day off. Your Public Safety personnel work 24/7. Instead of saving those leftovers for yourself, wrap up some turkey and dressing and take them down to the fire department. There are always at least four guys at Station Two who would be very appreciative.
A final word this time about Thanksgiving. If your garbage is normally picked up on Thursday, it will be picked up on Friday next week. Friday’s trash will be taken away on Saturday. Even your Sanitation Engineer gets a day off now and then.
I will now try to get Out and About to the post office, if I can find my way to the door of my office. It was there when I came in.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman
If you have any doubt as to whether the Grinch is real, I can attest that he is and he looks nothing like the green creature with the heart three-sizes- too-small that we see on TV.
For my family, the Grinch was a middle aged man (I might be a little too generous with that comment) who tried to dampen our spirits at the annual Holiday Parade in downtown Kalamazoo this past Saturday.
Arriving at the parade at least 30 minutes before kick-off, we, along with my sister-in-law, staked out a spot that seemed pretty nice. We were on a corner “island” that fit the five of us pretty comfortably. What I failed to realize was that, when the police closed off the streets, people would surround us. But even then, we had a spot right on the street, so the people around us were not going to be a problem.
Well, not a problem, that is, until they began to inch closer and closer toward the street, rather than staying even with the curb. The crowd kept moving forward to the point where we could no longer see the parade route to our right and our visibility was shrinking in front of us right before our eyes.
While we were irritated that people, both children and adults, were moving in front of us to watch the parade, we hoped that it was temporary and they would move by the time the parade started. Most of them did.
As my girls sat on the curb anxiously waiting to see the parade, a woman with a stroller and a few other children parked herself right in front of my girls. After we asked if they could please move out of the way of our girls, they grudgingly moved over, enough so that my girls could see at least right in front of them.
A few minutes later, the Grinch walked over from the spot where he had been standing for at least 20 minutes and stood in front of the girls. This ticked me off. We were the first ones in that area, and I know for a fact that he saw us all there, including my children.
I was about to ask him if he could kindly move because he was blocking the view of my children from the parade. Before I could say a word, he yelled out to some of his friends and said “come up here, you can see great here,” or something along those lines.
I was fed up by this point and said, “No, you are standing right in front of my children and they can’t see. Can you go stand somewhere else?” The Grinch shot me a look and mumbled a few things to me as he moved back into the crowd.
I was so fired up that I kept talking. I told him that we had been sitting in these spots for nearly 45 minutes and I found it rather rude that he thought it would be a good idea to stand in front of my children who were trying to watch the parade.
I never swore or raised my voice, but rather made my points in a “matter of fact” kind of way. The last thing I wanted to do was to start a brawl at a parade, especially with my children there.
I thought the entire situation had died down when I heard the Grinch say, rather loudly, that people needed to be careful because the “parade police” were around.
I looked over and he said to me, “You are a bad parent.”
At first I just smiled and continued watching the parade. The Grinch said again, “You are a bad parent.” I looked back and said that, if my asking a grown man to move out of the way of my daughters’ view so they could enjoy the parade made me a bad parent, then yes, I am a bad parent.
The Grinch faded back into the crowd and then disappeared from our area. Did I mention that those around us were not as kind to him as I was?
I guess I was not sure what to make of the whole situation, but in this instance, I will gladly take the “bad parent” title if it means my children came out as the winners and a grown man who should have known better was put in his place.
Hi there. I am an adult black and white male rat terrier with very cute black spots all over me. I walk very nicely on a leash and I am good with cats and dogs and I like to be with people. I am housebroken and a very sweet guy. Being at Animal Control is quite stressful for me so I surely would like to have someone come and adopt me. I have a lot of energy but don’t take up a lot of space. Please come to see me and take me home with you. My docket # is 11743, 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 friends who were Pet of the Week last week are still at Animal Control, so please come in and see them, too.