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Out and About – Week of December 16th

With Christmas just a week away, your time to mail your parcels, has just about run out. If you’re a procrastinator, you still have seven days. If you still need to make that trip to the post office, please note that you may have to wait in line for a few minutes. It may seem longer than that, but I have yet to hear of someone waiting for a half-hour, as they might state, when they finally make it to the clerk’s window. Also keep in mind that the postal clerks don’t have a stool to sit on, as they handle each customer, so their feet and backs might ache. Yet they seem to be always attentive and concerned to your needs. Finally, before you start complaining to the clerks about the high cost of postage, you might want to know that the postage here in the United States is about the lowest in the world.

I’ve dedicated the first paragraph to the postal clerks, so I feel it’s only fair that I write a few words, and dedicate some time to those postal carriers out there. Every day they walk the same route and deliver the same mail to the same people. They must do this in a timely fashion. They have several check points along their route, where they must check in. They shouldn’t be late or early, because that might upset you, the customer. Working for the US Postal Service is a great job, with decent pay, but I don’t think I could handle the walking, even though it would do me some good. When it comes time to thank the garbage man and the paper boy, please don’t forget your postal carrier. A cookie can taste pretty good about mid-morning.

A special thank you to those public service people who installed the Christmas lights downtown and along Michigan Avenue. They really help spread the Christmas spirit.

On Friday, December 6, we had the pleasure to attend a Christmas concert at Miller Auditorium, in Kalamazoo. It featured the Kalamazoo Concert Band, with special guest Tom Wopat. The first half of the evening’s performance featured the KCB. Members of the band, include many musicians from the Three Rivers area. The assistant conductor is Brian Shetterly, who also knows how to work a slide trombone. Band members don’t receive any money. The only pay they receive is the applause you give them after a performance. They do what they do for the love of music. The second act featured Tom Wopat, one who knows his way around a stage, whether it’s on Broadway, or the Barn Theater, in Augusta. He loves to sing, with his favorite style being that of Frank Sinatra and Mel Torme. If you’ve never experienced Miller Auditorium, you have no idea how much talent can be seen just twenty some miles north.

Several more ideas for gifts not made in China:

A round of golf at a local golf course.

An oil change for someone’s car, truck, or motorcycle.

A house cleaning for some lucky homemaker.

My final ideas next week.

With the days left for your holiday shopping dwindling down, you might want to make note of a few suggestions on how to protect your wallet. I mentioned this topic a couple of weeks ago, and received some very positive feedback. T1hus, a few more suggestions, thanks to my friend Anna:

Make photos of the front and back of every card you keep in your wallet or purse. These might include your driver’s license, credit and insurance cards, and even your library card. Yes, there are crooks who like to read, and would think nothing of using your library card, and running up some high fines. This might seriously affect your credit score. Keep these copies in a secure place in your home.

If your credit cards are stolen, along with your wallet, call your credit card issuers and request an account number change. Don’t say you want to cancel the account; that may be understood as meaning you want to close it, which could inconvenience you, plus hurt your credit score.

More information coming your way soon.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman