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Complacency easily can creep into our daily lives if we don’t remain vigilant

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 — Not too long ago I failed to notice a rattlesnake next to a trail within the lower elevation of the Lassen National Forest. Hearing a rustling in the leaves, I stopped to look thinking it was a lizard but then heard the rattle as it slithered off to coil beneath a tree.

I was thankful I had avoided an encounter with the poisonous snake so far from medical care. However, I realized I had become complacent when it comes to watching for rattlesnakes, because I now live in an area where they are not common. During that same outing I almost brushed against poison oak as well but was warned by a companion. Again, raised in the foothills of El Dorado County, I should have recognized the leaf.

Community shows support for our wounded warriors

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 — The residents of Lassen County and the city of Susanville enjoy a justly earned reputation for helping those in need. Last week the community’s largess reached far beyond the county line to offer assistance to Marine Cpl. Joshua Hotaling, a warfighter who lost both legs and part of his right hand in an improvised explosive device blast in Sangin, Afghanistan on May 13, 2011.

Several of the more than 100 participants at a Saturday, Oct. 4 fun run for Hotaling at Susanville Ranch Park noted while the wounded warrior is not a member of our local community, as a United States Marine wounded on the battlefield, he is, nonetheless, one of our own.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place April 5, kick-starting the construction of a new home for Hotaling in Loomis, California.

I love the community feel of small towns

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 — Small towns have a magnetic charm to them, and once one becomes accustomed, at least in my case, it is hard to jump to a more fast-paced environment.

I’ve always lived in small-ish towns, first growing up in Paradise, California, then moving to Quincy, and later choosing a college situated in a city of about 30,000 in Oregon.

There is an inviting draw in the activities and the people, despite the fact that I naturally always feel awkward and let my shyness take over.

Newspapers are living, breathing family members

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 — What do you care most about in life?

  Most of us would put family at, or near, the top of such a list. Friends would be there. So would our jobs or businesses, our livelihoods. Our homes. Maybe our pets. Our hobbies and pastimes. Add in those around us: neighbors, the community, etc.

  That’s our world, our sphere of influence. Whatever happens to those who inhabit that place in our hearts and lives means something to us.

Spend a day not complaining — I dare you

Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 — Try not to complain for an entire day. Just try it.

It isn’t easy. I took my own challenge and didn’t realize how many times a day I open my mouth to complain until I tried to stop.

A comedian (I didn’t recognize his name) on Sirius Radio prompted this new self-awareness. He talked about how much Americans complain, especially when compared to people with real problems, such as genocide, war or famine.

He cited airline food as an example. We all complained about how terrible it was, but now that it’s virtually nonexistent, we all complain that there are no free in-flight meals. He was funny, but right, and during the next few hours I noticed how many times I managed to complain or was about to complain about something that I should be grateful for.


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