Friday's Weekend Column
The Holidays Are Almost Here

by James Glaser
November 22, 2002

The local National Guard has received the word that they will be going to Kosovo this April for nine months. Peacekeeping is their charge and most believe America will be there for years to come.

We have had about a foot of snow so far, but it keeps melting and that is fine with me. I cleaned out the greenhouse and found that all the onions that went dormant in the heat of summer are growing just fine in the sun heated soil of November.

I was at the local hardware store this week and everything is Christmas. It seems to me that stores used to wait till after Thanksgiving. All the kids will be here for Xmas, but it will be just Charmaine and me for turkey day.

I have found a real problem with local super markets. What they need is a Man's aisle, where the food for the next holiday is all in one location. A little freezer with turkeys, shelves filled with that holiday's dinner items. Bread cubes, marshmallows, cranberries, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, stuffing, and then they could hook those guys like me with the expensive stuff. Men that shop for a dinner are pretty good at buying "impulse" stuff. I know it is Thanksgiving, but pickled herring would be good and so would a couple of pies because the wife hardly ever thinks of pecan pie anymore and what about real whipping cream. Guys just know that some kipper snacks would go over well.

I always find that a couple of steaks for the night before Thanksgiving are a good fit and I like fresh asparagus and never even notice the $3.29 a pound price. Women bring lists shopping, while guys bring their appetite. That men's aisle would be a hit during hunting season too, along with opening of fishing, and then there are those Sunday football games. Stores should look into that, because if you give me a list, by the third time through every aisle, I just up and quit. Remember no self respecting man will ever ask where the product is he wants. Men just aren't made that way.

We have our annual VFW Christmas Party coming up in early December. We give out an award for the Volunteer of the Year. Every year there are some guys that are sucking up to their wives or mothers and insist that they should get the award. It never seems to work, because we always ask what they had volunteered for? Last year we gave the award to the ladies auxiliary because they really work hard for Veterans in hospitals and local people in the nursing home. Those ladies make a difference in the community.

One year we gave our award to a ninety year old lady that has been a real worker in our community for the last forty years, along with the award we gave her a dozen red roses. She said that she would give one rose to each of the old ladies she visits in the nursing home, they were all much younger than her.

If you look around in a small rural community you will find many people volunteering, from the Fire Department and First Responders, to the library, and the people that come out and decorate the community Christmas tree. People give rides to the elderly so they can go to the clinic or the grocery store. Republicans drive Democrats and vice versa to vote. An old person wants a deer and feels too old to hunt, they get a deer. There are still "firewood bees" and if someone is sick meals are brought and benefits are organized. All of this is volunteer work, but people don't feel like they are volunteering, it is just part of being a member of the community. It is nice that we recognize someone every year, but sometimes I feel the whole community should get an award for they way we treat each other.

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