Out and About – Week of December 2nd

Ah, the holiday shopping season is now in full forward motion. With “Black Friday” behind us, we can now venture into the stores without fear of being trampled, stomped on, or being severely scratched. I’d like to give the ladies a few suggestions, so that when they shop for that man in their life, they might have an idea what a real man must have in order to be considered a real man. The list would include a role of duct tape, at least one can of WD-40, power washer, cargo trailer, chain saw, snow blower (a snow plow would be better), tool belt, used pickup truck, and, of course, a reliable hunting dog. Believe it or not, this list came from a lady named Maria. Bless her heart.

Because we are now officially into the holiday shopping season, I’d like to announce the birth of a new tradition. It upsets me a bit that it has become more difficult lately to find merchandise that has been made in America. Why do we need to give gifts with a “Made in China” label on them? Why not give a gift of service? Gift certificates for a car wash, car detailing, hair styling, and dining out are plentiful, and you can pretty much pay what you want for these thoughtful gifts. If you know someone who’s into staying healthy, a year’s membership with a local gym might be just the gift you’re looking for. We should all try to do our shopping locally, if possible. Our hometown merchants need our support. Their financial lives are on the line to keep their doors open. I’ll mention more ideas over the next couple of weeks.

Everyone loves pictures, and a lot of us have pets that are truly members of our family. We have a cat that is spoiled almost as much as I am. She wants for nothing.We have pictures of her, and we are always willing to share them with other animal lovers. The Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) will hold their annual “Pet Pictures With Santa” next Sunday, December 8, at the TSC store just north of the intersection of US-131 and West Michigan Avenue in Three Rivers. Pet pictures will be taken in the afternoon between the hours of 1 and 4 PM. The cost is $10 per picture, per pet, and you may have an additional pet in the picture for $2 per pet. Humans can be in the pet picture at no additional charge.

In case you haven’t noticed, the outside temperatures have dropped considerably since two months ago. The shorts and flip-flops have been put away for the season, and iced tea isn’t at the top of your list of desired beverages. A grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of tomato soup sound pretty comforting right now. When I think of soup, the Soup Pot at Trinity Episcopal Church comes to mind. On these cold, almost-winter, evenings, it might be a great idea to visit the Soup Pot at the Trinity Episcopal Church, 321 North Main Street, in Three Rivers. The Soup Pot is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 4 until 5 PM. The soup is FREE; however, donations are always graciously accepted. Why not make this a weekly gathering with your friends?

Here’s a reminder to everyone that the Three Rivers Emergency Food Site, located behind Lowry’s Books, at 18 Railroad Drive, in Three Rivers is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 AM until noon. This site is available to individuals with a Three Rivers address.

I really enjoy getting Out and About. That’s one of the reasons I do this column every week. I depend on my car to be there when I need it. I try my best to give it the best care I can. Regular oil changes are a must and, when I have time, I take it to the car wash. I’ve been very lucky that I haven’t had to have any major work done on the car, but I’ve heard that there are some auto repair shops will install parts brought in by their customers. You might want to check with your mechanic, because this could save you some money, and we all enjoy doing that.

I sometimes long for the days before credit cards. My parents had, I think, only one, and that was for gasoline. For everything else, they paid cash. They made have had a credit account somewhere, but I don’t think so. Anyway, I’ll close this week’s tidbit of information with a quote from some unknown individual: “Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.”

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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