Out and About – Week of May 21st

I spent an hour or two visiting with a classmate the other day. He doesn’t live locally, so we don’t see each other as often as we’d like. He’s a “snowbird”, which means that he and his wife spend the winter months in Florida. When I think of Florida, I picture several things: senior citizens eating dinner at 4 P.M., slow drivers, humidity, and shuffleboard. I jokingly asked my friend if he had ever played shuffleboard. This opened a whole new conversation, complete with shuffleboard booklets filled with statistics, team standings, individual accomplishments, and even team pictures. The real kicker was when he showed me his trophy, complete with certificate of accomplishment. Now, fifty-six years ago, the two of us would tear up the streets of Three Rivers with our bicycles. We’d take on his brothers in a game of basketball in his driveway. We’d play in the dirt, building roads with our toy tractors. We were even in Cub Scouts together. Now he spends his winters in Florida playing shuffleboard, while I spend the winters here shoveling snow. What I’m leading up to is this: I don’t recall seeing any shuffleboard courts here in Three Rivers. We have senior citizens who must head south to play the game. Every winter, the population in Three Rivers drops substantially, because all the shuffleboard enthusiasts go where the action is, and it’s snow-free. We have a roller rink on North Main Street. There’s an area on the same property where you once could play miniature golf, but that’s been gone for quite some time. If I’m not mistaken, that same area could easily fit several shuffleboard courts. Just think, grandparents could take their grandchildren to the skating rink and, while the youngsters skate, those senior citizens, who fifty years ago would spend Saturday evenings cruising Main Street, would be having a blast knocking their opponents’ discs into the “ten off” part of the diamond. Something to seriously think about.

I have a perfectly good bicycle hanging in our garage. It doesn’t shift gears and even has coaster brakes. I enjoy bike riding, but not by myself. I’m sure there are many bike riders who feel the same way. I might have stumbled on to something that might be the cure for “solo riding”. For the next several Saturdays, May 26, June 2, 9, and 16, a group bike ride will begin from Health TRAC, on the campus of Three Rivers Health, starting at 9 A.M. The ride will last approximately two hours, and will be at an easy pace. Helmets are required, and the cost is FREE. If it’s rainy, the ride will be cancelled. Kids under 18 years of age must ride with a responsible adult. Diane Ruggles, “The Bike Lady”, is the one to contact if you need more information. Phone Diane at (269)816-8473. She is a well-known bike mechanic and has participated in many biking events.

The “Soup Pot” is still hot every Tuesday and Thursday from 4 to 5:30 P.M. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 321 North Main Street, Three Rivers. It’s FREE, but donations are always appreciated.

With spring comes spring cleaning and home repair. Senior homeowners in St. Joe County are in need of help with home repairs and safety modifications. If you are handy with tools and would like to volunteer your skills, here is a great opportunity to give back to your community. If this is something that interests you, give Sherry Swartz a call at 1-800-641-9899 or (269)279-8083. She will make it possible for you to be a part of the Tuesday Toolmen, Inc. of St. Joseph County Commission on Aging. You may also go to www.tuesdaytoolmen.com for more information. If you’ve ever volunteered for a worthwhile project, you can relate to the great feeling received from giving of yourself.

A few more uses for the delicious cucumber, in case you can’t stand to eat them:

If grubs and slugs are ruining your planting beds, place a few slices in a small pie tin and place the tin in your garden. It will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans, but drives garden pests crazy and they “bug” out.

Just finished a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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