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Opinions

Friendship is no big thing

Food for Thought

Mari Jo, one of my high school classmates, added that little thought at the end of a recent letter. She’s known for sounding like a Hallmark card from time to time, and I don’t know where she gets all her little gems of wisdom. She’s an educator (owns and operates a private education center in Texas) so maybe it’s just one of those teacher things– meaningful mottoes to help kids remember stuff they’ll probably forget anyway.
What she wrote was, “friendship is no big thing; it’s a million little things.”

If I ruled the world

Food for Thought

While sorting through one of my many archaeological piles of stuff recently, I came across a years-old magazine that I had saved (for no reason that I can discern.) As I leafed through its pages, I came across an item that consisted of readers telling the one thing they’d change about Christmas. Most of their responses were pretty predictable; allow no Christmas merchandise in stores before Halloween, destroy all recordings of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” put limits on outdoor lighting displays, more family and less commercialism.

Roughing it in Mesa

Walkin'

Sabra and I are nearing the end of our two-week getaway to Mesa, Az., today, and the feeling is bittersweet.
We’ve had a marvelous time here visiting old friends, hiking up mountain, playing golf, taking in a couple of Cubs games and simply soaking up some sun and heat while folks back home endure a cold spring to follow the cold winter.
Sometimes I feel sorry for the people back home, but then I lay in the sun until the feeling goes away.

Are we all wet?

Food for Thought

I remember being told I was “all wet” when I was completely mistaken about something– as when I was positive that there was, somewhere down there around Tennessee or Arkansas, a state named Dixie. People talked about it as if it were a state; there were even songs about it. It took a lot of proof to convince me that I was totally wrong. I’m not sure where the expression “all wet” came from, but my dictionary includes “badly mistaken” as a distinct and specific use of the term.

Sunny Arizona

Walkin'

Sabra and I are spending a couple of weeks in sunny Arizona. Before her stroke, we planned to go on a Habitat For Humanity build in El Salvador followed be a week in Belize. Best laid plans often go astray, however, and we spent the time in a hospital instead.
Sabra is well on the road to recovery although her energy and strength are diminished. Like always, warm, sunny weather invigorates her (and me) so we decided a trip here was in order.
Thank God for the ghost money.

Paying forward; paying back

Food for Thought

Not long ago, anchorwoman Diane Sawyer described a program in a small southern town where people of all ages can “pay forward” with three hours of their services and later receive three hours of free help from someone else. This sounds like a sort of barter system similar to one that operated in the Iowa City area 15 or 20-some years ago.

Kismet, karma and clues

Walkin'

Three potholders mysteriously disappeared while Sabra was in the hospital recovering from a stroke. The one and only clue that bears on the case is that over the same time period and in very much the same area of the kitchen I broke three wine glasses.

Why North Liberty needs 1105

As a North Liberty resident, I find it easy to feel insulated from big city problems. I don’t think my neighbors are hungry. I don’t worry that they are abused, unable to pay their bills, or struggling with mental illness
Local statistics shatter those illusions:

Define ‘elderly’

Food for Thought

Elderly; past middle age, (and middle age is defined as between the ages of 40 and 60). My dictionary informs me that the term elderly is sometimes considered offensive. Just sometimes? I’ve news for them. In my book the term is definitely and always offensive– as is nearly every label that groups people into rigid categories and attributes the same characteristics to all of them.

Power of prayer

Walkin'

Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the siren turns the minutes to hours?
As detailed last week, Sabra suffered a stroke completely out of the blue on a recent Saturday afternoon. She called 911 and the emergency dispatchers called me. I arrived at the house just in time to see her being wheeled out and followed the ambulance to the hospital. At first the van with the big red crosses and “emergency vehicle” stenciled on all sides drove at the speed limit but suddenly the sirens and lights came on and it took off at full speed.

Mailboxes and pink snow

Food for Thought

You know how things seem to come in threes? Things like good luck, minor catastrophes, disappointments, and unexpected visitors? Well, I am presently waiting for the third thing to happen regarding mailboxes. I’m hoping this isn’t a three-part run of bad luck involving mailboxes– just something to do with mailboxes in general.

One stroke for Sabra

Walkin'

A few weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon, Sabra swept snow off the deck and suddenly joined a group that draws nearly 800,000 new members in the U.S. each year: people suffering a stroke.
I was running errands in Iowa City at the time but from what I’ve learned since she had several of the classic signs: a sudden and severe headache, neck pain and nausea.