Hi folks! Well, 2017 is almost over and I for one, am happy to see it go. It has not been the best nor the worst, just frustrating.

Any way, as I was looking for something to share with you this last week of 2017, I stumbled across an article written by one of my favorite radio personalities — Paul Harvey. "We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I’d really like them to know about hand-me-down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would. I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated. I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are 16. It will be good if at least time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

"I hope you get a black eye for fighting for something you believe in. I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother. And it’s alright if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he’s scared, I hope you let him. I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.

"On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don’t ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won’t be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom. If you want a sling shot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. I hope you learn to use computers. I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

"I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a girl and, when you talk back to your other, that you learn what soap tastes like. May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole. I don’t care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don’t like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend. I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with Grandpa and go fishing with your uncle.

"May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holiday. I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor’s window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Christmas time when you give her a plaster old of your hand. These things I wish for you — tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it’s the only way to appreciate life."

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Birthdays of important folks for this last week of 2017 include: Dec. 27 – Jill Book, Jody Getz, Evelyn Gallion, Karen Spreng, Ed Blackford, Josh Kline, and Madalyn Sponsler; Dec. 28 – Chuck Stamen, Charles Henwood and Dave Leckrone; Dec. 29 – Ursala Studer, Melinda Henwood and Bill Herman; Dec. 30 – Bob Brown, Darrell Kick, Kim Derr and Becky Debo; Dec. 31 – Missy Portz. Many happy returns of the day!

+++ Wow! Talk about sticker shock. I am trying to find a binder for my mother’s Betty Crocker New Picture Cookbook and I found one online for the mere price of $5,000! I guess I will just keep taping the old one back together again.

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Wedding anniversaries being celebrated this week include: Dec. 31 – Charles and Melinda Henwood and Michael and Karen Sue Smith (their 40th). Congratulations!

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Finally — "We spend Jan. 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives ... not looking for flaws, but for potential." — Ellen Goodman