Out and About – Week of December 6th

Tuesday, December 7th,  marks the 69th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. I can’t tell you the date of my father’s birth, but every year, I stop and reflect on how December 7, 1941 made a huge mark in the history of the United States. I salute any of you who might have been serving in the Armed Forces during this historic time. You would probably not consider yourselves heroes, but would probably feel that the real heroes of that day in December were the ones who gave their lives defending Pearl Harbor and also the ones who are still entombed in the USS Arizona.

We residents of St. Joseph County are very fortunate, especially if we are not lovers of snow. It seems that every year we are blessed with having a “weather bubble” over us. The storms normally stop at the Cass County and Kalamazoo County lines. Don’t ask me why. I’m just happy that my hometown is Three Rivers and not Dowagiac. I’m sure we’ll get our share of the white stuff, because it is winter and this is Michigan. I try my best to get Out and About while the weather stays mild.

The Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) is conducting a pet food drive during the entire month of December. The drive is being held at the TSC store in Three Rivers. While you’re shopping at TSC, you can fill out a coupon to purchase an 8 lb. bag of pet food to donate to ARF’s Pet Food Bank. As you may already know, there is a constant need for pet food, because there are many pets going hungry right here in St. Joseph County. ARF dispenses pet at local food banks, COA meal sites, and to those animals in emergency situations. The food drive is held to help keep up with the demand, which continues to grow due to current economic times. In conjunction with the food drive, on Saturday, December 12, ARF will sponsor Pet Pictures with Santa at the TSC store in Three Rivers. Hours are from 1 to 4 P.M. Cost is $10 per picture of one pet, $2 for each additional pet in the picture. Family members can be in the picture at no additional cost. ARF was founded for the purpose of providing animal welfare. To date, over $130,000 has been raised and re-invested back into St. Joseph County for this purpose. For more information, please visit ARF’s website at www.ARFund.org.

Tis’ the season for Christmas music and, in keeping with the festive spirit, Gray’s Community Band, under the direction of Andrew Hagenbuch, will present their annual Christmas concert Sunday, December 12, at 1 P.M., at the First Church of God, 17398 M-86 in Three Rivers. This is just east of the American Legion on M-86. The musical selections will include some of the traditional songs you are familiar with, plus some not so traditional, but still in the Christmas style. The concert, as always, is FREE; however, donations are always graciously accepted. Of course, there will be refreshments available after the concert. Perhaps you’re interested in joining the band, or maybe you just need more information. In either case, just call (269)244-1014.

It’s almost time to put up that Christmas tree. Most are used to using an artificial tree, but there are still some of you who insist on the real thing. Picking a tree, decorating, and caring for the “real thing” can be a memorable family activity. Take your time in selecting a tree, making sure that it looks good no matter which way you are looking at it. Make sure that you keep plenty of water in the stand, because even after a tree is cut, it still gets thirsty. You want to be especially watchful with the lights you use on a real tree. Never leave them on if no one is home, and make sure your wiring is in good working order. With all the lights you may be using, you’ll want to make sure you don’t overload those electrical outlets. Many a Merry Christmas has been ruined because of someone being careless and causing a fire. If you’ve been watching the news lately, you’ll notice that there are more house fires during this time of the year.

Firefighters for Santa are working hard getting together food and gifts for Christmas Eve distribution. Please help them out by dropping off non-perishable food items, some new toys, and, of course, money, at City Hall in Three Rivers. Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated.

Enjoy the season, and I’ll see you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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