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Warmest Regards

Saturday, July 19, 2014

By PATTIE MIHALIK

newsgirl@comcast.net

Sitting in my husband's yard is a new, sleek kayak.

Well, it's not exactly new. I bought it for his birthday a full year ago.

One of the reasons why David and I were attracted to each other is because we are both passionate about kayaking. We go as often as we can.

For his birthday, I replaced his old, heavy kayak with one of those lightweight, high-performance kayaks that make it much easier to carry and use.

So, with all that for background, how many times do you think he has used his new kayak all year?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

When I was a teenager, my friends had a nickname for my mother.

They called her radar ears.

She did, indeed, seem to have radar ears. She was strict with me and liked it best when I was within eyesight.

So my friends would hang out with me across the street from my house, where we could be seen but not heard.

Every now and then a friend would get the idea we should all go to the local pizza shop. This would be discussed in a low voice so no one could hear.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Kathy Nelson wrestles with hope versus despair almost every week of her life.

Hope keeps winning.

I'm an optimist, but as I watch Kathy and see how she hangs on, I'm not sure I could be as faithful to convictions as she is.

Kathy and her husband, David, are real estate agents. People come to Southwest Florida wanting a piece of this paradise for their very own. The Nelsons are very happy to help them find the perfect place.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The thesaurus on my computer defines a "people person" as someone who enjoys being with other people and easily becomes friends with them.

I am the consummate "people person."

Like a plant needs sunshine to thrive, I thrive best with contact from people.

While some tell me they find it draining to be around strangers, when I'm in that situation I call it being a Stranger in Paradise.

I am invigorated after a little social contact with others.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Father's Day is over but I am still thinking about the man my mother says she picked for me.

That seemed like a strange thing for her to say when she decided to marry the man who became my stepfather.

It was stranger still, considering I loved my own father as much as life itself. I thought he was the sun, the moon and the most fun of any father on the planet.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Today David and I skipped our club kayaking trip and went by ourselves.

We kayaked a new area in a totally relaxed way. While I was leisurely gliding through the water, I noticed David and I had totally different approaches to our kayaking trip.

I kept searching the waterside, looking for alligators hiding in the grass, or I searched the treetops for exotic birds.

David, on the other hand, kept his eyes peeled on the water in front of him. Because he did, he was the first to spot the alligator swimming across the river and the two manatees bobbing in the water.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

I love the Internet with the same kind of support and appreciation I have for a good friend.

After all, the Internet is the best know-it-all friend we can have. I love the way it can spit out the information I need a second after I seek it.

What impresses me is the wide scope of knowledge at your fingertips. Ask the Internet for the most obscure information, and it will come spitting out.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Everyone knows change is a sure-fired constant. It is virtually impossible for everything to remain the same.

People change. Circumstances change. Times change. Most of all, lifestyles change.

Much of the time this change comes so slowly that we don't realize the relentless winds of change have completely changed our landscape. It is only by looking backward that we see how much change has come about.

My husband and I came to this conclusion while we were reminiscing about our parents' lifestyles, contrasting it with today.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

One of the things I like best about doing newspaper features is that I constantly learn something new.

This week I covered a meeting where the civilian crime prevention specialist in our county talked about ways to protect ourselves against fraud.

We hear a lot these days about identity theft. But before I heard that talk I didn't think it was much of a problem. After all, what are the odds someone will steal our identity?

A lot higher than you think, said Dale Phillips, citing the escalating number of people who fall victim to identity thief and credit card fraud.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Last week, when I joined in a small discussion group, the leader's topic was mothers.

Specifically, we were asked to discuss the kind of mothering we experienced and our reaction to it.

There were only six in our group, and five of the six entered into lively conversation about the kind of mothering they had.

I was the only quiet one. The reason is because it's too painful to think about my mother. I am ashamed of how I didn't give her the reverence and the appreciation she deserved.