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Opinions

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.

Alligators and chicken wings

Walkin'

On our recent trip to Florida, it was too cold to see any snakes or alligators.
As reported last year, I ran into a lot of snakes on a bike ride on the Cape Haze Pioneer Trail. It was a little later in the year and a lot warmer. Totaled, I passed two-dozen serpents on the 30-mile round trip including one extra big one that coiled and took a strike at my rear wheel as I passed. At the end of the ride I talked with a local and mentioned the last encounter.
“Did the snake have a white mouth?” he asked.
“Yes,” I replied.

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.

Chiggers in the moss

walkin'

Inverness proved to be a good choice for headquarters for exploring the Withlacooche Trail.
The name of the town comes from a homesick European settler; the name of the trail comes from native Americans which should mean “dig here for sand.” No joke, the Sunshine State appears to be nothing more than a giant sand bar with funny sounding names producing Republican presidential candidates.

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.

Watching the temperature rise

Walkin'

The first stop on my drive to Florida was Indianapolis. My daughter and grandson moved there a couple years ago and it was only a little off the fastest route, so it was a compelling place to rest.
The next morning, I headed out at 5:30 a.m. and began heading south. I have an outside temperature gauge in the car so I took comfort in watching the Mercury rise from 5 degrees. My goal was to make Macon, Ga., or 45 degrees, whichever came first.

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.

Sweating in Florida

As you read this, we should be in Florida.

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.

Not so much

Tanner Wymer’s visitation was scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and we planned to be at St. Mary Catholic Church in Solon right when it started.
We’ve known Brad and Marcy Wymer since about the same time we moved to Solon almost 20 years ago. Their son, Jordan, and our son, Kale, were buddies when they were much younger, not much more than preschoolers.
So we got to know the family a little, and over time you would see the parents of your kids’ friends on a regular basis, because your kids weren’t old enough to drive on their own.

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.

Swerving to the right

My first car was a very used Ford Falcon.
The year was 1968. Vietnam was in full swing; Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy had both been shot and killed; bras and college buildings were burning; and Apollo 8 orbited the moon. Rising in my near future was the dream of so many: my first set of wheels.