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Out and About – Week of September 22nd

We don’t have any trees on our property, but every year I’ve been kept busy raking up leaves and disposing of bushels of walnuts. Our neighbor has trees, and believe it or not, one of them is a walnut tree. The mystery as to where the leaves and walnuts come from is, of course, a no-brainer.

We have terrific neighbors, but our tree-neighbor sort of stands out because he cares about his neighbors and does not want to inconvenience any of them. He approached me several months ago and mentioned that he was going to have the trees that border our driveways trimmed back. Because of our recent storms, tree trimmers have been kept extremely busy working to help restore power to many people in the southwestern part of the state. He had called several trimmers and left messages, but the calls were either never returned or never followed through on.

On September 9, my wife called to say that the “tree guys” were in our driveway and that I should come home ASAP. Upon arriving home, I noticed that the “tree guys” had already trimmed and cut down a couple of trees. The rest of the day, for me, was spent sitting on the deck and watching in awe. These guys were fascinating to watch. The boss was twenty feet up in the air cutting branches and swinging or climbing from branch to branch. When on the ground and felling a tree, he was so precise in his cutting that the tree fell exactly where he wanted it to fall. I’m sure that, if he were a rifleman, he would hit the bull’s eye every time.

I’m easily entertained. I can watch a bricklayer, a welder, a carpenter, or anyone with the gift of a trade. I’m pretty sure this fascinates me, because I don’t have a talent for any of those special trades. We are fortunate to have great doctors and lawyers in our midst, but I dread to think where we would be if we didn’t have any electricians or plumbers. Come to think of it, we wouldn’t have any of these people, if it weren’t for teachers. Now that school is in full session, remember to thank a teacher the next time you see one. Some of them contribute more to a child’s mind than many parents.

The late Johnny Carson had an afternoon show on television prior to hosting “The Tonight Show”. It was called “Who Do You Trust?”. I can’t remember the theme of the show, but I do know it was quite popular. If I were to answer the question, “Who do you trust?”, I’d have to admit that I trust just about anyone, until they do something that changes my opinion of them. I trust my brother, but there was one incident that could have changed my feelings about trusting him. It happened over fifty years ago and we still talk and laugh about it.

I was still in grade school and we lived in a house that had a “Michigan” basement. My brother called out to me from the basement. He said that he needed assistance, and I was honored to think that I could do something to help my big brother. No one else was at home, so he didn’t have much choice in the matter. I scurried down into the damp, dimly lighted cavern to see what I could do. My brother had a long piece of string in his hand and asked me to hold one end of it as he ascended the stairs. I was told to keep the string taught and to not move an inch. My brother was kind enough to leave the light on so that I wouldn’t be left entirely in the dark. I did my duty and kept that string tight, and I didn’t move a muscle. About ten minutes passed, and my curiosity finally got the better of me. While holding that string tight, I slowly climbed those stairs to the upper level. When I reached the top, I noticed the string had been tied carefully to the doorknob. Upon looking for my brother, I finally found him in the living room still chuckling over his cleverness. This is a true story. Trust me.

As you’re getting Out and About, please be aware of the school buses that are transporting our prized possessions. Watch for those flashing yellow lights that warn us to proceed with caution, or for the flashing red lights that warn us to stay back and wait behind or in front of that bus until they are turned off.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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