I’ll take earthquakes over hurricanes anytime

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I love it when people hear that I live in California and ask how I can live somewhere with earthquakes? I tell them we have earthquakes but very few that do heavy damage. Watching what is happening to Texas and Louisiana is heart breaking. I wonder how many people have flood insurance, how many are going to lose everything they own, and how many lives will be lost?

In 2005 a group from Winters rode our motorcycles from Houston to Daytona Beach, Florida. It was just before Katrina hit and destroyed New Orleans. Along the way we passed areas that had been devastated by hurricanes. The beach had moved inland a few miles and trees, homes and even cinderblock buildings were blown apart. When I asked when the hurricane had come through, “a couple of years ago,” was the answer. A lot of people from New Orleans moved to Houston after Katrina. Let’s hope they don’t move to Winters next.

It will take years before Houston is rebuilt and even longer for some out of the way areas that no one cares about. I’m sure Congress will eventually vote to send some money down south, but not before adding billions of dollars for their own pet projects. There is the question about whether Congress should be in the disaster control business, but I say yes. It is up to all of us to help our neighbors, even if they live in Texas and Louisiana.

If you want to help, send a check to the American Red Cross. They will get more money to the people that need help, faster, than the government can.

WILL YOU MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE? As the years pass by and I find myself making more mistakes at work, I can see the end of the work tunnel. I have been planning more vacations, more time off and trying to find time to just relax and do nothing on the weekends. I have not been very successful at finding time to relax with grandchildren’s soccer games and other activities that I want to attend every Saturday.

We have a one-year-old grandson in Boise and I would like him to know who his grandparents are when we visit. I set a goal of holding him every 3 months, thinking that would be often enough for him to remember me, but I’m not finding the time to make the trip. Total solar eclipses don’t happen often enough, nor do birthdays.

I have the travel bug and have been trying to see the world, two weeks at a time, since I got a passport when I was 55. My permanent tenant and I have been trying to go somewhere every other year, but there are too many places to see and not enough time keeping with that schedule. We are lucky that we both like to travel and spend extended time together. I often wonder what happens to couples that both retire and are home, together, all day. Maybe that is why a lot of people volunteer or have part time jobs. You can only play so much golf, or ride during nice weather.

My father quit being the publisher of the Express in 1983, but continues to come into his office each day. I’m not sure how many times he has retired, but he must like coming to his office better than staying home watching television. When I bring up the subject of retiring with my siblings, they laugh and tell me I can’t quit until Pop does. They didn’t say that I can’t move away from my desk and closer to my print shop. Did I mention that my three older brothers have retired. My little sister, Lois, doesn’t count. She is too young to even think about calling it a day.

I’ve spent too much time writing this column today, so it’s back to work.

Have a good week.

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