Out and About – Week of January 27th

Some would say that it’s just a sign of the times, and there really isn’t anything we can do about it. I’m referring to acts of chivalry. I have a feeling that “Ladies” and “Gentlemen” have been replaced by just “Women” and “Guys”. Gentlemen open doors for Ladies, and Ladies prefer to have a Gentleman help them get seated, or hold a coat for them as they put it on. A Gentleman insists that a Lady order first when dining out. I could go on and on.

Manners and respect for our elders can only be found in history books, because it is not taught in our homes or in our schools. This is not true in all homes, which is a good thing. When was the last time, a child asked permission to be excused from the dinner table? Better than that, when was the last time your family had a meal at home together, and not in front of the TV? I mention all of this, because I wonder sometimes if we’ve really progressed, or if we’ve just adjusted our values a bit. Am I the only one who feels that we have slipped, as far as social graces are concerned? When was the last time you took pride in your appearance when going to church or out to see a play? I’ve attended many weddings and funerals lately, where shorts and flip-flops were the accepted attire. That’s progress?

This is the final week of January. It has been a tough month weather-wise, and February will probably continue with more snow and cold. A good way to keep your mind off of the weather is to do something good for your fellow humans. Donating blood is a very thoughtful thing to do, and it’s something that should be done on a regular basis. The American Red Cross will provide that opportunity next Tuesday, February 4, from noon to 5:45 PM, at the Centreville United Methodist Church, on East Main Street, in Centreville. What a fantastic way to get the shortest month of the year started.

There’s nothing like a hot bowl of soup to warm one’s body and soul. The 19th Annual Empty Bowls Community Dinner takes place next Thursday, February 6, from 5 to 7 PM, at the Three Rivers High School Cafeteria, on Sixth Avenue, in Three Rivers. As usual, there will be a raffle and silent auction for everyone to participate in. I’m pretty sure a donation will cover your cost to attend. This fundraiser will benefit the Emergency Care Network (ECN) of Three Rivers. The ECN can always use your donation of food. The next time you are shopping at a store that offers “Buy One, Get One Free” deals, pick up a couple of extra items and drop them off at the ECN.

A week ago, our gas fireplace stopped. My wife thought that I had turned it off, because I sit closer to it, and I get warm faster. I reassured her that I hadn’t turned it off. Our next step was be to call the person who had restarted the pilot light before. He came out, but he had to order a new thermocouple. He eventually returned about four days later and brought the fireplace back to life. I can’t recall the last time I watched TV wearing my knit cap, two pairs of socks, and an extra sweatshirt. Our family room’s only source of heat is from the fireplace, and I never really appreciated it until we didn’t have its use. I also gained a lot more respect for the homeless people in St. Joe County. I complain about having to clear the snow from our driveway, but we are fortunate to have a driveway to clear, and a home to come into to get warm.

Here are four more suggestions from Mr. Canine on how we can get along better with each other, and get more out of life:

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

If you’re confused about the above section, you might want to check last week’s column. I’ll have another four suggestions next week.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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