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Milli Gilbaugh

Unusual friendships

Food For Thought

I caught part of a recent television program dealing with inter-species friendships in the animal kingdom. When I tuned in, they were discussing an unusual relationship between a Labrador pup and a young lion. They did a lot of racing around and playing just about the same as animal siblings do, and I thought about the kitten we had at one time. She came into a household that already had two female dogs, who got along peacefully, and she was soon adopted by the youngest (and smallest) of the two, who tended to mother her.

Sending Valentines

food for thought

Valentine’s Day is still 10 days away, but it’s not too soon to start thinking about ways to observe it. Maybe you haven’t sent any valentines to anyone, except your spouse or your grandkids, for years. Maybe not since grade school when it was a welcome break from winter routines and somebody’s mother brought heart-shaped cookies to school for you and your classmates.

The making of a book worm

Food For Thought

I pulled a volume of an old set of encyclopedias off my library shelf not long ago and discovered some tiny, neat holes appeared to have been drilled through some of the pages with a drill bit not much bigger than a needle. Oh-oh. Did I have an infestation of bookworms? I’d heard about them but had never before encountered one in person. My dictionary defines bookworm as an insect whose larvae feed on the paper and paste of books.

What’s that you say?

Food For Thought

Someone on television keeps telling me they have warned me about the dangers of smoke detectors and sleeping children. Really? I didn’t realize smoke detectors were dangerous. And, I’ve never in my entire life seen a sleeping child who posed a threat of any kind. Someone most certainly wasn’t paying attention in eighth grade English class when Mrs. Cotter pointed out the careful choice of words and proper punctuation are essential to clarity in both speech and the written word, and the sort of sloppiness used in announcements leads to ambiguity, confusion and misunderstanding.

So why do I feel guilty?

There he stood, with his red kettle and cheery brass bell, and I realized I no longer make three trips to the grocery store every week. Nor do I spend a month or six weeks shopping for gifts for Christmas. I probably wasn’t tossing nearly as much into that red kettle every year as I once did. In the past, it had been my habit to just clean out my loose change and add a dollar bill, if it looked too meager, every time I encountered one of those hearty Salvation Army volunteers.

A lesson in mob psychology

Food For Thought

All the fuss about perhaps banning Muslims from entering the United States reminds me far too much of the prejudices against Germans, Japanese and Italians during WWII. As it turned out, it was the Japanese who suffered the most, being more or less ostracized and confined in detention camps. There were probably a number of reasons for this, including the fact most Americans blamed the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor for America getting involved in the war in the first place. After the Allies had pretty much settled things in Europe, the Japanese still persisted.

Wanted; sometime next year

Food For Thought

I try not to make New Year’s resolutions, or any other type of resolution, if I can possibly avoid it. The reason: I know I won’t keep them, so why set myself up to feel guilty? I’ve come up with a better idea; make resolutions I’d like to see other people make. I must confess most of these “by proxy” resolutions arise from things that annoy me, but that’s as good a reason as any. One of the biggies, that has been bugging me in recent months, is the increasing use of initials everywhere.

Last minute packages

Food For Thought

All the grandiose promises the big-box stores and the Internet shopping sites make regarding guaranteed delivery right up to Christmas day remind me of the packages that used to come to our house just before Christmas when I was a kid. In those days, the mail was delivered twice a day, Monday through Friday, and once on Saturday. The Parcel Post began delivering packages as soon as they had arrived on the train, been sorted and loaded onto the van.

Re-viewing the reruns

Food For Thought

For anyone who is not a dedicated spectator-sports fan, weekend television is rapidly becoming a numbing ordeal. There is little to choose from unless you’re an avid football fan and not necessarily fussy about what teams, college or professional, are being broadcast on any particular Saturday or Sunday.

Holidays

Food For Thought

We generally refer to this time of year, roughly the period including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, as “the holidays.” My dictionary defines the word itself as: absence, celebration, day off, interim, pause and vacation. My thesaurus gives a mind-boggling list of well over a hundred official holidays worldwide, many of which are unknown to most people. Some of those are regional or state holidays which, I suppose, are or were, at one time, important to the people who live there, but I wonder just how many of them are still significant enough to be celebrated annually.

Thoughts about Christmas

Food For Thought

Sometimes, I revisit an opinion or observation in a column to revise or bring it more up to date. This week, however, I am pretty much repeating a column from 10 years ago, because it says something nearly all of us need to be reminded of. I’m not doing this because I’m too lazy to write a new column, but because I truly feel it’s important and I’m doing it far enough ahead of Christmas so, just maybe, you will have time to think about it and, I hope, do something about it.

Insanity or obsession?

Food For Thought

It’s been said that insanity is repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting a different result. Albert Einstein, who probably didn’t do a lot of housework, without a doubt was referring to some complicated mathematical theory that didn’t work out, but I believe that statement to be true of a lot of the futile things people do– including most of the chores involved in keeping a house clean and orderly.