Out and About – Week of January 2nd

I am sorry to admit that I am not much of a reader and never have been. I’ve always read just enough to get by. If I do read a book, it’s usually a biography. My problem is that I have difficulty concentrating on just one thing at a time. As a student, I could not have any distractions, such as having a radio or television on while trying to read. When it comes to reading instructions on how to assemble something, the only problem I have is that I must read the instructions several times prior to assembling, and then I will constantly refer to the instructions while putting the object together. Perhaps it’s a lack of self-confidence.
My lack of interest in reading doesn’t exist when reading to others. As a matter of fact, I really enjoy doing this. A few days before Christmas, I had the privilege of accompanying two other Lions to Park Elementary School, north of Three Rivers. We are part of a group of volunteers who enjoy reading to local school children. My assignment was to read first to one of the kindergarten classes. I read How the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. I had never read to a group of kindergartners before, so I quickly learned that they are really interested in being shown the pictures that accompany the story.
My second reading assignment involved reading to a group of fourth graders. After informing the students a little about what Lions do for the community and the world, I offered them the choice between The Polar Express and A Visit from St. Nicholas (‘ Twas the Night Before Christmas). The Polar Express won out. I was allowed twenty minutes in each classroom, so I was able to read A Visit From St. Nicholas to the fourth graders also.
I thank Ms. Phillips and Mr. Zabonick for having such well-behaved students. A special “Thank You” to Mrs. Nikki Holtz for arranging for the three of us to spend time with these great students. Barb, Sheree and I look forward to the next time we can give some teachers a break and read to their students. It’s amazing how much enjoyment one can receive by spending time with school children. They are not the only ones who learn something new every day.
2017 is now three days old. I seem to have some difficulty with years ending with an odd number. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been told that I’m a bit odd myself. I haven’t written a check yet, but when I do I’ll try to remember that it’s not 2016 anymore. This can be a problem for many.
New Year’s Resolutions are rarely kept, but most of us try to make an honest effort to do something to better our lives. I will try my best to have more patience with other drivers. I’ll also try to let others know how much I appreciate their friendship. To make my doctor happy, I’ll try to exercise more. This might be difficult. Maintaining good health becomes more difficult as one ages, so it’s important to set up a good routine and stick to it.
On a recent walk around the neighborhood, I met up with my friend Clyde. I mentioned him in a recent column as one of the neighborhood dogs. First of all, I asked him what he was doing running loose around the neighborhood. He reminded me that the question was immaterial, because this event never really happened, and that I only mention him because I needed an excuse to remind everyone about the proper treatment of their pets. Having said that, here are a couple more hints on how to treat those pets, who are really members of your human family. Clyde said,
“Show me that humans can be loving and are not filled with hate. If you treat me well, I’ll be your best friend forever.”
“Give me the freedom to be a bit wild and get a little dirty. Sometimes I see a big puddle, or an inviting lake, and I just can’t help myself.”
Thank you, Clyde, for those helpful hints. I’ll try to remember to have a few extra treats for you the next time I stroll the neighborhood.
HAPPY NEW YEAR and I’ll see you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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