“Out and About”

An unusual February

I can’t remember a February when the weather has been this pleasant, or perhaps I should say weird. We’ve had temperatures in the fifties and sixties, along with temperatures in the twenties and thirties. There have been times when we’ve had nicer weather than those Michiganders who have flown south for the winter. Back in the day, December, January, and February were months when the temperatures rarely reached the high thirties, and it seemed there was always at least an inch or two of snow on the ground. This is the way it’s supposed to be. The only ones complaining about our current weather are the owners of ski resorts and snowmobiles.
We should all be a little more concerned about the lack of snow and colder temperatures. We need the snow for the nitrogen it provides. We need the colder temperatures so that Mother Nature doesn’t get confused about the time of the year and the season we should be experiencing. Because we’ve been having temperatures in the fifties and sixties, some of the trees and other vegetation thinks that spring has arrived and the buds have been blossoming. The problem is that when the next frost arrives, those buds will die. Harvesters of our fruit will probably be affected the most. Frost-bitten fruit doesn’t sell very well. I won’t go into detail about how all of this affects the price of grapes and apples. Much like the price of gasoline, there isn’t much we, as consumers, can do about this except to bite the bullet and pay the price.
I hope the banana growers aren’t affected by the weird weather. Speaking of which, here’s probably my final fact on that fruit enjoyed by humans and apes: Bananas can be very calming for the nervous system. They can also help reduce swelling, help fight type II diabetes, aid in weight loss, and help with the production of white blood cells, due to high levels of vitamin B6. Besides, slice a banana length-wise, layer that with several scoops of ice cream, a cherry or two and some whipped cream, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate all-American dessert. If you consume this concoction standing up, it will be considered fat-free. This is a true fact. I read it on Facebook.
I’ve been attending a lot of funerals lately. It seems the older one gets, the more funerals there are to attend. Like weddings, funerals have changed over the years. At one time, everyone would dress up a little when attending both of these events. You don’t see a lot of gentlemen wearing ties anymore, and I can’t remember the last time I saw a lady wearing a hat or dress-up gloves. The times, they are a-changing. Dressing up a little shows respect to those being honored, not to mention how much better we might feel if dressed properly for the occasion.
There are no hard and fast rules that apply to friends attending a funeral, but I’ve listed three suggestions that might help guide your behavior:
•If you’ve prepared some food that will be served at a luncheon after the funeral, you should deliver it early in the day to the site where the meal will be served. It’s just not cool to take it with you to the funeral.
•If you are permitted to say a few words at a funeral, keep in mind that personal reminiscences are both memorable and cherished. Perhaps you might want to read a passage from one of the deceased’s favorite poets.
•Black is not required these days. Even family members may want to wear something with more personal significance. To many, a funeral is more of a celebration of life.
Here’s this week’s fact worth remembering: A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
See you Out and About!
Norm Stutesman resides in Three Rivers with his wife and cat. He receives mail at P.O. Box 103 in Three Rivers.

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