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Out and About – Week of August 4th

Today, August 5th, is Election Day. This is the day we’ve all been waiting for because of two reasons. Number one is that we have the right to go to the polls and cast our vote on a couple of propositions, plus we are able to vote for that person we’d like to have represent us in government. Secondly, we will no longer be subjected to those ugly yard signs, or those campaign promises that we listen to on the radio, or the mudslinging we see on television. Please don’t believe everything you see or hear. Study the issues and research the candidates, then cast your vote. A dart board sometimes works best when making your decision. Before I cast my vote, I remembered the time that our representatives almost caused the government to shut down. Give your choice in voting some very serious thought. Is the person you vote for going to vote on behalf of hers/his constituents, or for the people who support her/him with money?

Any public place is great for people watching, and I really enjoy doing just that. I’ve gathered a lot of material from people watching and have shared my experiences with you readers via this Out and About column. The next paragraph tells of my latest observation.

A couple of weeks ago we visited a chain restaurant in Oshtemo. We love going there because the food is tasty, the service is great, and there’s a scent in the air as you enter that lets your senses know you are in a friendly place and your mother would be happy to accompany you.

We were seated and enjoying some pre-dinner cornbread and biscuits. While waiting for our entrees to arrive, I noticed a couple seated at the table five feet away. She was busy with her I-pad or tablet, and he was busy on his cell phone. They must have been very bored with each other; otherwise they would have been talking to each other. I found this to be a bit odd, but as we’ve been Out and About, we see this same scenario more and more. My wife and I both have cell phones and we both have a couple of “Techy” devices, but we don’t find it necessary to use them when we’re dining out, and I don’t dare answer my cell phone while driving. Are we odd? Are we not with the program? Just like knowing how to use cursive writing, the art of conversation is dying. I guess I’m just stuck back in the fifties.

One final thing about our dining out experience. After partaking of a delicious meal and discussing our daily happenings, we perused the gift shopping area at the front of the restaurant. This was still July and we saw Halloween stuff displayed. Did they move Halloween to August? Talk about getting ahead of the competition. I’m sure that next month, they’ll have a few Christmas items available for purchase. Can you say “Commercialization”?

I’m very lucky to have many friends and acquaintances. It’s been said that we have more acquaintances than friends. An acquaintance will bail you out of jail. A friend will say, “Sorry we’re here, but didn’t we have a great time prior to getting caught?” Friends will stick by you, no matter what. I have had friends get into a lot of trouble. I’ve done what I could to reassure them that I’ll always be their friend.

I’ve made more than my share of mistakes during my lifetime, and I’ll probably make a few more. During those times when I’ve felt so ashamed of myself for screwing up, my true friends reassured me that everything would be okay. I was not alone in this world, and our friendship would not be affected in any way. We all make mistakes. Losing a friend is probably one of the most difficult experiences to go through. When you lose a friend, it’s great to have another friend that will stand by and comfort you.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s important that I share this once again. Let your family and friends know how much they mean to you. Let them know how much they are appreciated. If you love them, tell them that. I’ve been to too many funerals, where it’s been too late to express one’s feelings.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman