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Out and About – Week of June 23rd

The 58th Annual Water Festival is now in the history books, and a few pages have been turned since the last firework was shot into the night skies. After a couple of cool days, the weather cooperated and everyone was able to fully enjoy this yearly event.

During the week of Water Festival, I had the opportunity to visit with some friends from my high school years. It was great to reminisce about those memorable years. We didn’t have I-pods or video games back then. If you wanted to contact a friend, you had to use your home phone or visit a telephone booth. Cell phones hadn’t been thought of yet, so texting while driving was not a hazard. We had other hazards, like keeping both hands on the steering wheel. After all, it was important to have your arm around your girlfriend while driving.

Back to my original topic. It seems you never have enough time to really visit with out-of-town friends. My one buddy lives in Idaho. He usually calls me when he comes to town for a family event. Unfortunately, he calls me the day before he has to leave and go home. This time we did have time for a lunch visit. It lasted about two hours. We did manage to eat something, but it was more of a time to just talk. He had answers to some of my questions. They were quite personal, but he was willing to answer them. I had questions on how he was dealing with the loss of his wife. He’s doing fine and I feel that he helped me a great deal as far as dealing with emotions. We laughed and we cried a bit, but that’s okay to do with a friend. I’m a very lucky guy to have a variety of friends. I also have a box of Kleenex nearby.

I’m feeling a bit depressed. This past Sunday was my mom’s birthday. She would have been 111 years young. Belated Happy Birthday, Mom. This past Sunday was also the first day of summer, which means that the days are now getting shorter, and this is what saddens me the most. I keep reminding myself to get Out and About and enjoy the daylight hours, because they are getting shorter every day.

I received a couple of cards this past Fathers’ Day. They were from our cat Dixie. Dixie never forgets those special occasions, and the cards are very unique. I don’t think she buys them herself, because she never leaves the house. I’m pretty sure my wife buys them for her. Dixie is our “daughter”, even though she’s a cat. Real family pets are a very important part of the family. On that topic, you’ll be interested in knowing that it costs about $235 a year to feed a large dog, according to the ASPCA, and only $55 to feed a small one. That compares to $115 for a cat and $190 for a rabbit. I had rabbits as a kid, but my wife refuses to have anymore “children”. We only have a three bedroom house.

I don’t know how a family of four survives these days. According to statistics, the average American family of four spends about $1600 a year on food it never eats. To save what you pay for: Refrigerate greens in a damp paper towel in an airtight container; blanch fresh vegetables and freeze them in one-meal portions; make overripe fruit into compote; store leftovers in glass containers so you can see them. Another way to save money with a large family is to eat more meals at home. Fast food restaurants can be expensive, and the quality of food is questionable. Can you say “Obesity”? On the other hand, my wife and I find that it is just as costly for us to eat in as it is to dine out. We go out several times a week and let Dixie fend for herself. We rarely visit those expensive places, but prefer the “Mom and Pop” cafes. My wife loves Tater Tots, which are hard to find, but if you are also a lover of those tasty bits of carbohydrates, you’ll be happy to know that Mr. B’s Dairy Bar, here in Three Rivers, does have them, and they are good.

A thought to brighten your spirit: All things in life are temporary. If things are going well, enjoy them, for they will not last forever. If things are not going so well, don’t worry, they won’t last long, either.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman