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June 3, 2012

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As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

OpalToney7-24.jpg (37075 bytes)Seasons...
Well, I’m looking forward for spring, but when I woke up this morning and opened the door to go feed the cats and give Son #2’s dog food, whose name is “Bounce a Little,” but it takes quite a lot to feed him. I have to watch, or the cats wouldn’t get a bite!
I enjoy fall and winter when Santa comes, but spring is my favorite.

The Last Word: I enjoy them all! – O.T.

 

honeyandflag.jpg (61206 bytes)The View From Here
By Katherine Veno

Being unplugged might be nice...
It used to be called busy work. Jobs or challenges we took on to fill our time. Now we are constantly too busy because we are addicted to our electronic gadgets.
E-mail, texting, and Twitter make it difficult for people to unplug and get social or actually interact with others. New gadgets like iPhones, Droids, iPads, Kindles, and other fancy new things, take up minutes in our day and night. No wonder we don’t get enough sleep in this country.
Most of us are working longer and living longer, but our quality of life is greatly diminished if we cease to interact with other people.
Being online and using social networking sites may seem like a good way to stay busy and keep from feeling lonely, but they are a poor substitute for face-to-face human contact. I resisted Facebook for so long, then I relented. I enjoyed the first year, but now I find myself anxious if I do not check it, and I feel the same way about my e-mail.
Depression and loneliness sometimes appear to be the same, but actually they are two separate mental states. We are so much more isolated in new ways since we got so much more technologically advanced. Our children would rather play a video game on the computer or television than go outside and play with the neighbor kids.
Confidants are people we know and trust. They offer support and are vital to warding off loneliness and depression. When we have somebody in our lives we can trust with intimate details of our own lives and vice-versa, we are enriched and satisfied even if we live alone. Gadgets do take up a lot of spare time, but they do not replace real people interaction.
When we retire we need to keep in touch with some of our former work-friends. It keeps us connected. If we are fortunate enough to actually retire and get our dream place in the mountains or beside the ocean, it should be a given that we put making new friends at the top of our list.
Although our fancy networking phones are obviously addictive and give us lots of choices, it is important to remember that an e-mail or a text will never replace the sound of someone’s voice, or give you a hug when you need one.
A computer monitor screen can whisk us through cyber-space and we can travel in our pajamas while sitting alone in our home or office or even wireless anywhere, but we are not really going somewhere until we are interacting and sharing an experience with another person.
It may be a social crutch people use to appear constantly busy, talking on their phones in grocery stores, restaurants, and even in the restroom, but as for me, I find something comforting about an afternoon spent walking the sidewalks of a zoo, watching the parrots, or meandering around a fall church bazaar without my crutches called computer and phone.
How can anybody ever make a social connection with a piece of plastic glued to their ear or a set of ear plugs blocking the songs of the birds. People may appear to be constantly busy, but at one point or another it may be that there is nobody on the other end of the line if relationships are not tended and nurtured. Everybody is going to be on “mute” or getting a busy signal.

 

EmilyLundy4-2.jpg (36194 bytes)Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy

In search of answers...
It would be difficult to go a day without asking a question, trivial or vital. My mother could question a friend of mine and have his or her entire life covered. In Mom’s defense, she had a genuine interest in the person, as I do in names, especially last ones. But questions of all types plague me daily. Aren’t they mostly rhetorical? I know some are hypocritical or not considering exceptions, but this column cannot get any longer.
For example, if I am taking a dish to a public dinner, would it be better for my offering to be undercooked or overcooked?
From my brother’s long-ago jokes, I borrow: Why is a place we park our cars called a driveway and a street we ride on labeled parkway? Why is there an expiration date on sour cream and other like substances?
Some questions that could disappear include: “Know what I’m talking about?” and “You know?”
Why do people call some old person like me and make a game out of my recognizing or knowing who the caller is? I may ask “Who am I?” There are the wasted questions: We are told something and ask, “Did he really?” or “Did Jed die?” (after told about the burial) or “Are you leaving?” or “Huh?” when we know exactly what we were told.
Why do we call our own children or grandchildren by another brother or granddaughter’s name, usually the same snafu over and over? Why does fattening food taste so extremely good?
Why do normal seeming people get into tanning booths?
What made priorities with too many families change? When did forgiveness die?
When did Sunday become an ordinary work day for many?
Did you ever think you’d hear a commentator or entertainer, a self -proclaimed genius on everything, say “The Holy Bible is the nastiest book ever written?”
When did famous emcees on television begin to mock Christianity? Does the Christian religion teach cruelty to women?
When did children begin playing computer games about killing a man in different ways and finding it funny?
Why do we tell our children they can be anything they want at maturity? Why don’t we tell our children, instead, “You have a talent for something and we need to find it?”
If immorality is going to stay, can we learn to teach others how to recognize it?
Why do we fight wars we can’t win?
Do wars called “Political” make any difference? Are they worth the lives or ruined lives of so many young fighters?
Why do some people want to do nothing but fight?
Why, in such a short time it seems, did school teachers and military warriors lose status and importance, being used as experimenters with new programs, letting the students and enemies have ludicrous rights, paying the ones doing the important work too little by any standards?
Where is the safest place to live in America to avoid natural disasters?
Why do some people relish being angry?
Why do some have to be mean for no logical reason?
Have guilt and shame died out completely?
When did propaganda in media reporting, even in programs of entertainment, become part of the show?
Is there any major newscast reporting only a fair side of the news? Newscasters exchanging satirical glances or invoking own opinions is not “reporting the news.”
Haven’t we had rich presidents before? Didn’t one not take a salary?
What if the millions of ordinary people who don’t have a public voice were to gather, wheelchairs and all, and march for the wrong in this country that hurts some but not others?
Why can’t Congress take action immediately on medicare fraud, welfare cheating, rules for people getting a free ride in life, letting newcomers who hate America have rights over citizens?
Why don’t all motorcycle riders wear helmets?
Why do we never get the whole story on horrendous acts or even the final outcome?
Why do too many people say “It’s a free country, and I’ll do as I want,” when they do dangerous, brain damaging acts and have no insurance or enough in funding to pay to get treated and let “us?”
Last week an e-mail came across my computer screen showing a younger myriad group of people with raised fists. A question was under the picture:” Why don’t all you old white people die and let us run the country?” I knew the sender wanted me to share this with others like me who have tried to live our lives by following rules and paying our own way and that of our children so they will be employed too. As I prepared to send this e-mail to others, I typed in the subject space in parentheses: (Who will pay the welfare?)

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