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The Irish have an eloquent way about them and their blessings are almost like poetry. It seems they have a blessing or toast for every occasion and every celebration including those that hallmark the milestones in life.
From greetings to marriage and even death, a well-expressed verse in the form of a proverb or an anecdotal saying is sure to be had.
For decades, the Messenger had a fantastic Irish lad who was instrumental in the newspaper’s publication. The lad passed away last week at the age of 83 years old.

If gratitude can seep into your blood, my February blood donations are brimming with it.
My daughter Anna required multiple blood transfusions during her open heart surgery, a a procedure she underwent when she was just seven months old.
So, if my blood donation day happens to fall in February (the month her surgery took place), I dedicate my donation to my now 12-year-old daughter, her skilled surgeon, and those amazing anonymous people who donated the blood that saved her life.
I became a regular blood donor last year.

I’ll admit it. I struggled to find something to write about in this week’s column space.
This wouldn’t be problem if I had a life.
For this soon-to-be 58-year-old, living in the winter has become very routine.
The simplified weekly schedule goes something like this: work Monday through Friday. Grocery shop and clean the house Saturday. Prepare for the week and see family on Sunday. For fun, sometimes we switch up Saturday and Sunday’s routines.

What can I saw about 2021? I’m an optimist, so I’ll search for something positive about the year we close out on Friday.
It was less awful than 2020.
With the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, life in 2021 returned to something resembling normal. Gymnasiums were full again. Kids in the public school attended school in person instead of in their pajamas. Lockdowns eased and businesses reopened. TCU High School returned its Commencement Exercises to an in-person format, which again filled the high school gymnasium.

The great gift dilemma. We’ve all gone through it.
Especially at this time of year, a common quandary is what to give someone who has everything. If you don’t get a list of suggestions from the recipient, how do you choose something that allows you to communicate your feelings and appreciation for them?
You talk to people close to the recipient to get ideas.
You can guess what they’d like and attach a gift receipt with the present.
Or you buy the last resort - a gift card.

Maybe you didn’t notice, but according to the U.S. Postal Service mail delivery for many Americans is beginning to slow down.
Is it possible snail for mail to get slower?
Starting October 1, the Postal Service implemented “new service standards for First Class Mail and Periodicals,” meaning an increased time-in-transit for mail traveling long distances, such as from New York to California. The USPS said “most first class mail (61%) and periodicals (93%, these are your third-class-mailed newspapers) will be unaffected” by the changes.

Schools in the Tri-City United School District are celebrating Homecoming this week. In the schools, fun events and dress-up days are planned to make the annual tradition a fun one.
At the high school there’s Hidden Volleyball and Sports Lip Sync, among other things for the kids to do safely. I like the events the kids will be able to participate in during the week.
However we know kids have minds of their own and come up with their own ways to have fun during this week, some of which may not be smart.

After a whirlwind of events—a family wedding “up north,” John’s grandpa’s funeral (north, but not so far north), our 16th wedding anniversary, our girls starting separate sports, and the groove of a new school schedule—my family of four opted to stay home all Labor Day weekend.
You can probably guess what that means…
Saturday and Sunday were spent cleaning.
Our home—and yard--had paid the price of our crazy busy August schedule, and it was time to address the mess.

For years, I have written an editorial/opinion column that is on this page.
This week, I need to write another one, but I have a severe case of writer’s block.
Oh! I don’t have a problem covering a meeting, sporting event, or a story about an event at the Arts & Heritage Center. That’s easy. I take notes, follow-up with questions, create an outline, and voilà - a story!
No, the block comes up when I have to write about something personal, or something interesting that I’ve done. The problem is, I never do interesting things.
I’m boring.

It seems like this year’s Kolacky Days was two years in the making. After last year, it was nice to see people getting together and coming to our town for our fantastic festival.
Yes, it was hot, but not oppressively so. I applaud the Montgomery Area Community Club (MACC) and its list of volunteers for putting on another great multi-day event. A festival like ours does not happen over night, nor, does it happen from the work of one person. In my opinion, they did a great job throughout the year, not knowing exactly what kind of festival they would eventually be able to put on.

The last couple of months have been like a breath of fresh air.
Life after the pandemic seems like it’s getting back to normal. We have had some events with face-maskless (is that a word?) people and more are coming up!

My husband gave me a pump for my 40th birthday.
I am now the proud owner of a green, shallow-well pump. (No, I don’t know the horsepower, etc.)
At first, I thought he had just used a pump box, so I tore into the package expecting something else, but... It really was a pump.
Confused, I smiled and told him “thank you.”
“What is it?!” demanded our 9-year-old Ellen.
John informed her.
Then, our 11-year-old Anna, “Why’d you get her a pump?”
I was thinking the same darn thing.

I don’t know when it was, but somewhere between a day old and 33 years old, I learned to appreciate my dad for who he is; not for who I thought he should be. He was a great man, I always knew that. He was a hard-worker, volunteer, and faithful, and devoted husband to my mother.
But the truth is, God knew long before we showed up on this earth that we’d be a family. He knew my dad’s strengths and struggles would one day coalesce to create the man he became until he left the earth at 58-years-old in 1997. It was too short a journey, but one I reflect on every day.

Friday was a big day for the TCU seniors and their families.
They transitioned from high school students to Tri-City United alumni.
The youth might not realize it, but that’s a big transition. It marks the end of one part of their life and the beginning of another.
I’m sure their journey to graduation was a bumpy one. Being a senior during a global pandemic that brought hybrid learning, to distance learning, to hybrid learning then all-in learning made it unforgettable.

My kids are ready, but this momma is still marking up the color-coded calendar and trying to figure out the logistics of getting everyone everywhere they need to be.
I’m excited for my girls to participate in swimming, soccer, tennis, and volleyball, plus a babysitting clinic and a few other activities—all good things.
But, what working parent can get their kids to a 10 a.m. event every day for an entire week and then be back two hours later to shuttle them home?
I get it.
It’s summer. Kids don’t have a schedule per se.

Last week Thursday was Earth Day!
Earth Day is an annual global event, observed on April 22, that celebrates the environmental movement and raises awareness about pollution and ways to maintain a clean habitat. It started in 1970.
Whether you agree with the notion of a climate crisis or not, we should all choose to be better and more respectful inhabitants of Earth. We can support environmental conservation for ourselves and for living things with whom we share the planet.

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