Out and About – Week of April 19th.

This is my favorite time of the year. The chances of a snowstorm are slim. We shouldn’t hear anything about wind chill factors for a while, and basically, as far as the weather is concerned, it’s great to be in Michigan. If we could do something about the unemployment rate, the price of gasoline, and the pothole-infected roads, this would be as close to paradise as you could possibly get.

On the subject of weather, the temperatures are almost perfect, but they are going to continue to rise over the next several months. Please keep this in mind as you head off to the store and decide to take Fido along for the ride. While in the “Big Box” store, the interior of your car or truck can get mighty warm and uncomfortable. I don’t know of any dog, cat, infant, or small child who is gifted enough to roll down a window, or start a vehicle so that the air conditioning can make the interior bearable. Finding a living creature locked in a vehicle without enough ventilation can make more than a few people very upset. They might not be upset enough to call the authorities, but upset just enough to wait for you to return to the scene of gross neglect. Given a choice, I’d rather leave my pet at home.

Over the next several months, many communities in St. Joseph County will be having parades. I love parades, and I try to attend or be a part of as many as I possibly can. I’d like to offer a word or two about parade etiquette, if I may. When the American flag passes by, it’s proper for men to remove their hats and for everyone to stand and either place their right hand over their hearts or offer a military salute. When I see someone who ignores this act of respect, I think of him or her as either ignorant or not very proud of the United States of America. Too many men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can all live as free Americans. This act of respect should be highly regarded.

A final word about parades and I’ll then put my soapbox away for a while. The first parade of the season for the Three Rivers area is the Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 31. This parade is still more than a month away, but please remember that it is a solemn parade. It is a time we remember those who have given their lives for our country. Because it is a solemn and memorable parade, the police units, ambulances, and fire trucks in the parade will only have their lights flashing. They will not be sounding their sirens or air horns. Please remember this as they pass by and you yell at them and wave your arms, wanting them to sound the sirens. Show your respect, not your ignorance. The season of celebration and getting Out and About is now upon us. Let’s all have fun and respect each other’s rights as we do so.

Saturday is the last Saturday of the month. This means that the Spirit Rhythms Coffee House will be alive with the sound of Dixieland music. The Three Rivers Dixieland Band will grace the stage of the coffee house Saturday evening, April 24, beginning at 7. This band was formed about two years ago and is lead by Arnold Alexander on clarinet and alto sax. Other members include Irene Sprang on piano, Casey McCarthy on drums, George Forrester on tuba, Randy Kline on trombone, Maynard Schuur on trumpet, Judy Schuur on clarinet and alto sax, and making the band complete, Duane Quake on tenor sax. If Dixieland music is your cup of tea, then the Spirit Rhythms Coffee House is the place to be this Saturday night. As always, there will be plenty of fair trade coffees and teas available for purchase and if your sweet tooth is calling out, Mark Kinney will create some delicious desserts that will definitely satisfy that craving. This is a perfect opportunity to get out with your friends and enjoy some of the talent that abounds here in the Three Rivers area. Please remember that the concert is always free and open to the public, but donations toward this and future events are always appreciated. Spirit Rhythms Coffee House is located inside St. John’s Lutheran Church on Buckhorn Road, just north of Three Rivers.

Here’s something to think about this week:. Why is abbreviated such a long word?

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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