If it weren’t for friends on LinkedIn, I would have forgotten that this month marks nine years of doing the “Out and About” column. The column has changed a bit since the first column in April 2006, but my enthusiasm for putting it together has only grown. There never seems to be a lack of things to comment on and share. I thank you for your support and kind words along the way. By doing this column, I am definitely living the dream. As I begin my tenth year, I do so with hopes that the world conditions continue to improve and that I will be able to get Out and About as often as possible, so that I will be able to share my thoughts, memories, and ideas with you.
This past winter, I tried my best to spend time walking at Health TRAC. Three miles a week, spread over three days, was my goal. I tried to stick with it, because once you miss a day or two, it’s hard to get back on track. A week or two ago, my sister and I decided to walk outside for a change. We spent quite a bit of time at Scidmore Park, with particular attention to the scenic River Walk. We are fortunate to have a venue like this available. Unfortunately, there are some walkers who, like some drivers, feel that the outside is their own personal trash bin. My sister, more than I, picked up enough litter to fill a bushel basket. I’ve confronted these “Litter Bugs” in the past about their lack of respect, and was told to mind my own business. Keeping our community litter-free is everyone’s business. If you see people littering, remind them that their mother wouldn’t let them leave a mess at home, so why should they make a mess someplace that belongs to everyone. If you want to prove me wrong on this, take a small trash bag with you the next time you venture out for a leisurely stroll. You’ll be surprised how full that trash bag becomes. I won’t even go into picking up your pooch’s poop along the way. I’ll put a cork in this topic by saying that, if you pick up litter as you’re walking, you’re not only walking, but you’re also bending over numerous times to pick up someone else’s trash. Two forms of exercise right there.
I mentioned the sense of “smell” last week. The sense of “sight” is one that many of us take for granted. Through Lions, I have been fortunate to work with individuals who are without sight. I admire their love of life and their appreciation for all that they do have. If you ever have the opportunity to attend a “Dinner in the Dark”, please take advantage of the opportunity. You’ll experience what it’s like to enjoy a meal without being able to see what’s on your plate. It will give you a true appreciation of what a person without sight experiences 24/7. If you encounter someone using a white cane, offer your assistance. Your offer will be appreciated, but your assistance probably will not be needed. If you see someone using a Leader or Guide Dog, it’s okay to greet the person, but don’t rush up and try to pet or play with the dog. In most cases, the dog is “working”. There’s a notice on the dog’s harness that states that.
Every so often, I’ll close my eyes as I go upstairs to change out of my shoes and into my slippers. I do this more slowly than I would with my eyes open, because I need to feel for the door handle, light switch, and other things, like my slippers. Come to think of it, why should I bother with the light switch?
I know several people who are without sight. It amazes me how they know who I am just by the sound of my voice. They know who I am, even though we haven’t seen each other in six months; I have trouble remembering a person’s name when I see them, and I have sight.
Things you probably don’t know, but should:
A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top.
315 entries in Webster’s 1996 dictionary were misspelled.
The ‘spot’ on 7-Up comes from its inventor, who had red eyes. He was albino.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman