Thursday, August 28, 2014

Love letters (and a few other noteworthy notes)

What's the best thing about writing this column?
It's when people write back.
Every once in awhile, my mailbox is blessed with a little something that's downright wonderful. Sometimes it's a card, note or letter from a friend. And sometimes it's a message from a total stranger.
Either way, it's wonderful to hear what you think about the things I have to say.
And it's even better when you add your ideas regarding what I should have said.
And, most of all, it's even more wonderful to receive those missives in the mail.
You see, letter writing has become sort of a lost art nowadays. In between email, texting, blogs, and all the other super-duper, faster-than-the-speed-of-light ways we have to communicate, it's a rare thing, indeed, when someone sits down and actually crafts a personal letter. Because the act of putting pen to paper and sticking on a stamp has pretty much gone south.
Take a look at your mail today. I'm willing to bet it's mostly business mail, junk mail and bills.
I know mine is, too, except on those bright, halcyon days when someone sends me something special; when someone sends me a love letter.
Then it's pretty darn exciting...and all worthwhile.
Well, we all knew it was going to happen. After a summer filled with the kind of weather we all dream about, the other shoe dropped.
It's hot.
Darned hot.
Just in time for school, volleyball games, football practice and all the other stuff that feels a whole lot better when the weather is reasonable.
Here's hoping it breaks soon...and fall falls fast.
Here's something amazing from my hometown.
The Galva Freedom Fest Committee gave $16,000 (yes, one-six-zero-zero-zero) to the City of Galva at their most recent city council meeting. The committee raised this amount through various fundraisers and activities for this year's fireworks.
So, just remember next year, when you're saying "oooh" and "aaaah" at what are thought by many to be the finest fireworks in the area, they just didn't happen.
It takes a lot of work.
They're a kind of plump, furry little critter, stuck with the scientific name Cavia porcellus, which is, I guess, the Latin translation for guinea pig. Despite the name, they are not from Guinea, nor are they a pig.
Go figure.
My interest in the rotund rodent is simple.
I are one.
Well, not exactly. But for just over a week now, I've been playing the part often filled by one of these winsome creatures, as I have been a test subject for a new anti-cancer drug. Biological experimentation on guinea pigs has been carried out since the 17th century, and the animals were frequently used in scientific experiments in the 19th and 20th centuries, resulting in the epithet "guinea pig" for a test subject. They are still used in research, primarily as models for human medical conditions such as juvenile diabetes, tuberculosis, scurvy, and pregnancy complications.
Well, in any case, I'm taking two suspicious-looking big green capsules every morning, then writing about how I feel in a log supplied to me by the nice, smart lady who is coordinating the clinical trial.
So, how do I feel, anyway?
Pretty well, I think. There seems to be less pain than a few days ago, and while I feel a little puny from time to time, I think it's within reasonable bounds.
Meanwhile, I'm thinking I should start getting some more exercise.
Do guinea pigs run in those little hamster wheel thingees or in those round, plastic balls?
My grandsons saw a most magnificent sight the other day in downtown Kewanee. It was a carnival ride, waiting to be unloaded and put into use.
"What's that, grandpa?"
"You'll find out, little buddy. You'll find out."
Happy Hog Days to all, and to all a good night.

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