I always appreciated Duane Klose waiting on me at the Lumberyard. He was an extremely likable guy and knew his stuff. When I didn’t know exactly what I needed he could tell me. When son Dan was working construction in Hillsboro a few years back he would always have good things to say about Duane at the Lumberyard.

I don’t think Duane knew any strangers. He will be missed.

It’s a long story, but we had a real Christmas tree this year. I found out later it was my idea. And I guess it really was. Since everyone was coming home it just seemed like the right thing to do.

When the time came to get rid of the tree, I found out it was a bad idea. The thing was dried out a week after we put it up and it quit drinking a couple of days into the season. I was going to drill holes in the trunk so it could drink, but didn’t yet have my Christmas present-my very first cordless drill.

Since it was completely dried out, I knew I couldn’t drag it through the house and down the stairs and down the hall because of the mess it would make. So I drug it on to the roof and threw it off to the ground in the alley. The ice made it very easy to drag.

Through our recent ice storm I saw many things that were beyond the call of duty. One was our post office workers delivering mail when they didn’t have any power at the post office. Another was Mike Klose using a propane blow torch to melt the ice on the sidewalk in front of his restaurant for the safety of his patrons.

The real tree also caused me another big problem. I was told that is why no one has a real tree in the house. You can hardly vacuum up those pesky pine needles. After trying for a while, the machine just quit picking up anything.

So I took it apart and thought I had everything cleaned out of the airways. After putting it back together, it still wouldn’t do the job. So I took it apart again and detected that the hose was plugged because I couldn’t blow any air through it.

Since it wouldn’t blow, I decided to suck some air. That was a big goof. A big wad of pine needles and dirt ended up in my mouth and I almost wheezed myself silly.

I think we’ll be having a fake tree next year.

I had never done it before, but in a moment of weakness I purchased three kitchen utensils advertised on TV for $19.99. It was an egg dipper/combination whisk, soup ladle that had a strainer on one side in case the soup was too soupy and a spatula with a grabber to flip fried eggs without breaking the yoke. And if you ordered right then they would send a second set free.

They arrived about a month later-very big and very flimsy.

If you are in the Sara Amstutz fan club, you can catch her in quite a few scenes of the movie “Fat Albert.” This is not a rumor because I heard her dad talking about it.

We need someone named Will at the Free Press cause where there’s a Will there’s a way.

This week’s edition of the Advocate marks the beginning of the 10th year of publication. Where did the time go?

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