Out and About – Week of December 11th

I’d like to start off this week’s column with the “Myth Buster”. When I switch an appliance off, it might still be using electricity. TRUE. Many electronic appliances, such as TVs, DVD players, and microwave ovens, draw a significant amount of “standby power”. In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while they are “off”. Across the US, this equals the annual output of 12 power plants and costs over $1 billion each year. See: Tree Hugger TV.

Being with family and friends is probably the most popular pastime in today’s society. This is especially true during this time of the year. Thanksgiving and Christmas would not be the same if the family unit were not included. Whether you spend time with your own family, or as guests of another, the warm feeling of being with people you care about just can’t be topped.

We spent Thanksgiving Day with members of our family and, of course, the time was precious, but the next day we were invited to join friends as they celebrated their family Thanksgiving. At first, we thought we might feel odd, because we weren’t related to anyone at the gathering. This feeling disappeared the minute we walked through their front door. We were immediately made to feel welcome and appreciated.

With all the family there, the house seemed rather small, but we didn’t feel at all crowded, because we were included in all the activities, so lack of space was not an issue. The several hours were filled with fascinating conversation, great food, and, of course, plenty of laughter. Our hostess loves taking pictures, so there was a time for family pictures. She had the family pose seriously, then had them make funny faces and gestures that encouraged spontaneous laughter. Everyone received a little “goody bag” containing several chocolate treats and a special note.

It was great to be a part of a family gathering reminiscent of gatherings from years ago. Upon leaving, I mentioned to the host that this was probably one of the best Thanksgivings I’ve experienced in quite some time.

The family we shared that day with, to me, is a perfect example of what a healthy family should be. They do things as a family and share common interests. With the fast pace of life these days, this is a rare thing. Too many parents don’t take the time to show an interest in their children’s lives. In many cases, they are too busy with their own lives. As a result, good parenting is almost non-existent.

Thank you, Nikki, for inviting us to join your family in a day of thanksgiving. We are thankful for your friendship.

Hanukkah begins at sundown today. To my Jewish friends, I wish you Shalom. May the next eight days be days of celebration.

To my Christian friends, you have less than two weeks to complete your Christmas shopping. To all my friends, please remember the true reason for the season.

By now everyone should have made their last trip to the post office to send off those gifts to family and friends. This is not the time to procrastinate. There is not a container outside the post office labeled “Please deposit your patience and common sense here.” If you find yourself waiting in a long line in order to see the postal clerk, please remember that you will receive the same courteous service as the person in front of you.

Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success.

There’s no Betty Rubble in the Flintstones Chewables Vitamins.

The world will end when the hot dogs and buns come out even.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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