There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “You can’t go home again.” If you were to take this literally, you would find it to be absolutely wrong. After all, we can pretty much go anywhere we want to these days. I’m pretty sure that it meant you can never go home and find it the way you left it. I left Three Rivers in 1963 and returned in 1996. Boy, it had really changed while I was away.
John Ed Pearce probably said it best when he said, “Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to go back to.” Since I’ve returned, I’ve come to realize that things have changed, and there’s nothing I can do about that. There still remains the “Hometown Spirit” that I grew up with. This spirit exists only in a town the size of Three Rivers. Here, when you’re Out and About, you are constantly meeting up with people you know, and you always exchange a friendly greeting. Making a normal trip to the post office can sometimes take the better part of an hour. This small town spirit doesn’t happen in the bigger urban areas. That’s just one of many reasons I’ve decided to live out the rest of my life here in Wildcat country. Three Rivers isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we can all work hard to make it a community where everyone has that “Hometown Spirit”.
It’s very difficult to be Out and About without hearing someone comment on the amount of snow we’ve had lately. I’m sure the owners of the local ski resorts are elated, as are their customers. If you own a snowmobile, you couldn’t be happier, and if you are in the snow plowing business, you’re doing quite well financially, but are probably tired of working through the night. The weather is usually the first topic on the five o’clock news, and the weather portion of the broadcast has been getting more attention than the sports segment. I find it fascinating that we are all drawn to news about the weather, knowing that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it, except to complain. Yes, we have had our share of snow this year, but those living in the eastern states have had more than their share. St. Joe County is fortunate most of the time. We’re in sort of a bubble. Bad weather normally stops at the Cass and Kalamazoo County lines. If you’re a Liberal, our Congress is at fault for the weather. If you’re Conservative, President Obama has done something to upset Mother Nature. I wish I had some control over the weather. If I could control it, I’d be very popular and very rich. Then I’d really have problems. I’m sure the only solution is to just deal with it. After all, in five months we’ll be complaining about the heat and lack of rain.
I’m pretty sure that savings bonds are a thing of the past, and are no longer available. If, by chance, you do still have some in your safe deposit box, and want to know their value, just go to treasurydirect.gov/BC/SBCPrice. Enter the series, denomination, serial number, and issue date for the value. You may then cash out at your bank, with proper ID, of course.
As ppromised, here are the final four suggestions from, my pet friend, Mr. Canine:
Never pretend to be something you’re not.
If what you want is buried, dig deep until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these suggestions and will put them to good use. Whether you’re a dog lover, or a cat lover, it has been said that owning such a pet will add years to your life. They give love unconditionally, and ask nothing in return, except for a little food and water, and a warm place to rest.
I’ll close this week with four more of “Life’s Little Instructions”:
Strive for excellence, not perfection.
Plant a tree on your birthday.
Return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full.
Leave everything a little better than you found it.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman
My name is Miss Kitty and I am a black and white female cat. I’m about 1-1/2 years old and am very friendly. I have this cute little black spot on the end of my nose. I’m not super active and would love to be a part of your family. Come in and see how good I am with people. My Docket # 11890, 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, Daytona, is still waiting for a new home, too. Come in and see us. Also, a rabies shot is available free of charge through the Kalamazoo Humane Society by contacting Animal Rescue Fund (269-718-3775). There are 10 shots available on a first come, first served basis. No substitutions are available. The Kalamazoo Human Society is the only location for the offer.
Probably the most popular topic of conversation these days is the weather. If you are a regular reader of this column, then you are aware of my dislike of the winter season. I vent regularly about the frequency of snowfalls, but I do realize that Mother Nature couldn’t care less about how I feel about the cards that I’m dealt in the game of weather. I also realize that no one is forcing me to live here in “Pure Michigan”. I choose to live here, because this is where I was raised, and it is where I’ll spend the rest of my life. I keep telling myself, “It’s winter, and this is Michigan. Pull your big-boy pants up and deal with it.” This winter is like the winters we used to have back in the day. We could be living in Buffalo, New York, where this is considered rather mild, as far as weather is concerned. Keep in mind that, in five months, we’ll be complaining about the heat and humidity.
This happens way too often, and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it. As humans, we are mortal, and because of this, we will all pass on into eternity. Eternity can be what your faith says it will be, and I truly believe that. On Friday, January 24, another person I admired and respected passed away. Charles “Chuck” Daugherty lived a happy life filled with family and friends, and I consider myself fortunate to have known him for over 55 years. I admired him, because he was truly a family man, who enjoyed the same things as his children. He was a musician, engineer, and a lover of aviation. I sort of envied Pat, Penny, Jim, and Larry, because he always took the time to share in their interests, The last time I saw him was at the last concert put on by the Glenn Miller Orchestra at the historic Riviera Theater, here in Three Rivers. He loved the “Big Band” sound, and he shared this event with three of his four kids.
One special fact about Chuck, was that, during World War II, he was a Naval Flight Instructor, and he trained pilots in the T-6 Texan, a vintage aircraft of the day. That, in my mind, made him “cool”. I’ll miss Mr. Daugherty, as will many others. I salute you, Chuck, for your service to our country, and I commend you for being a good father, husband, and friend.
A week from Friday is Valentine’s Day. February 14 is the date, so you gentlemen have just ten days to select that perfect card, or make special plans for that love of your life. Might I suggest an evening at the theatre? The Three Rivers Community Players have scheduled Valentine’s Day for the opening of another hit by local playwright, director, and actor, Shannon Michelle Piper. The title of her latest play is “RSVP: The Most Interesting Dinner Party That Never Really Happened”. If you know Ms. Piper, you know that she loves to laugh, and more than that, she loves to make others laugh. From the title of the play, I think she has succeeded once again.
“RSVP…..” will run February 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 PM, and the two Sunday matinees start at 2 PM. The Players Theatre is located at 15526 Millard Road, directly behind Dairy Queen, in Three Rivers. For ticket purchase information, you may visit the Players’ website at trcommunityplayers.org. Tickets will also be available at the door prior to each performance. As always, advance ticket purchase is advised.
Here are the next four suggestions from my friend, Mr. Canine. If you recall, he’s the dog, who is also a teacher. For a dog, he’s pretty smart, and he has some great ideas on how we, as humans, can get more out of life, and get along better with each other. Here are this week’s four ideas:
On warm days, lie on your back in the grass. On hot days, drink lots of water and find the shade.
Keep your private area clean as much as you can.
When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Enjoy long walks.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman
Hi. My name is Daytona and I am a male, tan, german shepherd mix. I’m about 2 years old and I LOVE to play and I have a very cute black muzzle. I have great potential for someone who wants to spend some time to train me. I learn very quickly and already know how to sit on command. I have a lot of energy and like to run around and play and I am good with other dogs. I would love to come to your house and play with your family. Please come and see me. I’d be a very good addition to your family. My docket # is 11853, 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. 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, Dogee, is still available at A.C. and waiting to play with you. NOTE: Animal Rescue Fund will pay for the spay or neuter of ANY animal adopted at Animal Control for the months of January and February, not just the Pet of the Week. This is through the Kalamazoo Humane Society only, no substitutions during these two months.
Some would say that it’s just a sign of the times, and there really isn’t anything we can do about it. I’m referring to acts of chivalry. I have a feeling that “Ladies” and “Gentlemen” have been replaced by just “Women” and “Guys”. Gentlemen open doors for Ladies, and Ladies prefer to have a Gentleman help them get seated, or hold a coat for them as they put it on. A Gentleman insists that a Lady order first when dining out. I could go on and on.
Manners and respect for our elders can only be found in history books, because it is not taught in our homes or in our schools. This is not true in all homes, which is a good thing. When was the last time, a child asked permission to be excused from the dinner table? Better than that, when was the last time your family had a meal at home together, and not in front of the TV? I mention all of this, because I wonder sometimes if we’ve really progressed, or if we’ve just adjusted our values a bit. Am I the only one who feels that we have slipped, as far as social graces are concerned? When was the last time you took pride in your appearance when going to church or out to see a play? I’ve attended many weddings and funerals lately, where shorts and flip-flops were the accepted attire. That’s progress?
This is the final week of January. It has been a tough month weather-wise, and February will probably continue with more snow and cold. A good way to keep your mind off of the weather is to do something good for your fellow humans. Donating blood is a very thoughtful thing to do, and it’s something that should be done on a regular basis. The American Red Cross will provide that opportunity next Tuesday, February 4, from noon to 5:45 PM, at the Centreville United Methodist Church, on East Main Street, in Centreville. What a fantastic way to get the shortest month of the year started.
There’s nothing like a hot bowl of soup to warm one’s body and soul. The 19th Annual Empty Bowls Community Dinner takes place next Thursday, February 6, from 5 to 7 PM, at the Three Rivers High School Cafeteria, on Sixth Avenue, in Three Rivers. As usual, there will be a raffle and silent auction for everyone to participate in. I’m pretty sure a donation will cover your cost to attend. This fundraiser will benefit the Emergency Care Network (ECN) of Three Rivers. The ECN can always use your donation of food. The next time you are shopping at a store that offers “Buy One, Get One Free” deals, pick up a couple of extra items and drop them off at the ECN.
A week ago, our gas fireplace stopped. My wife thought that I had turned it off, because I sit closer to it, and I get warm faster. I reassured her that I hadn’t turned it off. Our next step was be to call the person who had restarted the pilot light before. He came out, but he had to order a new thermocouple. He eventually returned about four days later and brought the fireplace back to life. I can’t recall the last time I watched TV wearing my knit cap, two pairs of socks, and an extra sweatshirt. Our family room’s only source of heat is from the fireplace, and I never really appreciated it until we didn’t have its use. I also gained a lot more respect for the homeless people in St. Joe County. I complain about having to clear the snow from our driveway, but we are fortunate to have a driveway to clear, and a home to come into to get warm.
Here are four more suggestions from Mr. Canine on how we can get along better with each other, and get more out of life:
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
If you’re confused about the above section, you might want to check last week’s column. I’ll have another four suggestions next week.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman
Hello. My name is Dogee and I am a female, black & tan Heeler/Rott mix. I am about 5 years old and am moderately active. I really like people and love to cuddle and have my belly rubbed. I am sweet and friendly and even good with cats! I’m housebroken but I do like to have a little time to sniff around for a bit. Please come and see me. I’d be a very good addition to your family. My docket # is 11869, 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. 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. The kittens from last week are still available and waiting to play with you. NOTE: Animal Rescue Fund will pay for the spay or neuter of ANY animal adopted at Animal Control for the months of January and February, not just the Pet of the Week. This is through the Kalamazoo Humane Society only, no substitutions during these two months.