By Don Rush

I was looking back at old editions of the paper, in particular back to March 2020. Holy Crap, it has been almost exactly one year since we started reporting on this “new” virus sweeping the globe. And, as the year moved on, the news across the country kept on getting uglier and uglier.
Lockdown, virtual teaching, businesses closed for good, more depression, more anger, more passion (for your own favorite cause), less compassion (for anyone else’s cause that doesn’t match yours). Alcohol sales are up 20 percent in Michigan. This weekend I heard last year despite traffic count being down 18 percent on state roads, traffic deaths were up seven percent. I also heard there are more young people seeking treatment for things like eating disorders than in previous. All of the above was related to COVID-19 isolation. Let me tell you it was hard to find things to laugh about. That said, spring is around the corner and feeling the sun on my face this weekend does give me hope.
The Detroit Tigers won their first Grapefruit League game of the season. There are no mounds of dirt in my backyard as there has been in previous years. Have I won the 20 Years War against the moles? Know what else? This week I have yet to offend anyone!
So, I got that going for me.
And, one person I did whizz off last week, sent me the following to help me smile. Thank you reader Catherine B. I hope these quick one liners make some of you smile, too.

Story of my life
My doctor asked if anyone in my family suffered from mental illness. I said, “No, we all seem to enjoy it.”
I thought the dryer made my clothes shrink. Turns out it was the refrigerator.
I thought growing old would take longer.
My bucket list: Keep breathing.
Camping: Where you spend a small fortune to live like a homeless person.
Just once, I want a username and password prompt to say: “Close enough.”
Being an adult is the dumbest thing I have ever done.
I’m a multi-tasker. I can listen, ignore and forget all at the same time!
At my funeral, take the bouquet from my coffin and throw it into the crowd to see who is next.
Retirement to do list: Wake up. Nailed it!
People who wonder if the glass is half empty or half full miss the point. The glass is refillable.
Retired: Under new management. See spouse for details.
When you can’t find the sunshine…be the sunshine.
I don’t have grey hair. I have wisdom highlights.
Sometimes it takes me all day to get nothing done.
I don’t trip, I do random gravity checks.
* * *
Oh, about three weeks ago I wrote an opinion. In the parlance of a newspaper that can either be an editorial, a letter to the editor or a column. My opinion would be considered the later, a column. Your opinion, as a reader, could be a letter to the editor. The newspaper’s official stand on something is an editorial.
I received a fair bit of responses on that one column, and ran most of them last week. I have too many more to run because newspaper space is super tight these days. Some have remarked on the shrinking page count. For your information, page count is based on ad count. The more ads, the more pages. So, I am not going to run any more on that last column. I thank you all for reading and caring enough to write — whether you agreed with my opinion or just want me to go away . . . forever . . . never to opine again, thank you. Remember, it’s just my opinion and you do not have to agree. I’m not trying to convince you I am right.
If you do not agree with me I am not going to call you naive, soft-minded nor any other term you may not like. I tend to save those descriptions for myself — and, as you know, I use them often.
I do want you to think. A columnist’s job is to get readers emotionally involved — to be happy, sad or mad. I tend to use sarcasm to get my points across. Some readers get it, for others the sarcasm flies straight over their heads. Hey, it’s cool, man. I can’t hit a homerun every time I walk up to the plate to swing the bat. But, I gotta’ swing to be in the game, right?
One more thing, I do like hearing from you — even if I don’t agree with you. Unless you’re just calling me one of the area’s disgusting hillbillies who live on dirt roads, I am gonna’ think about what you wrote. Pam B., thanks for sending me your thoughts — kept me up all weekend thinking about it. Lots of lost sleep.
* * *
Now, to end on a lighter note . . . for funsies I took all the emails to me on the aforementioned column. Then divided them only by gender. It didn’t matter if they wrote to say “spot on, Don,” or “bugger off, Don.” Females were added into one pile, the dudes in another. Then I took the letters in each pile and added up the words written, divided by the number of that pile’s gender. In average it took men 105 words to get to the point. Women, 380.
Dang-it, there I went and did it again!

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