Before the year gets any older, it’s time to hear again from the readers of this column.
I receive emails primarily from readers who live in Los Banos, but since this column is posted online, I also receive letters from people who live out of town.
DEAR JOHN: I wish I could join you on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. How lucky the folks in Los Banos are to have this opportunity to write their life stories.
DEAR JULIE: I think you would enjoy the class. We try to have fun and enjoy the stories of our lives. With each new session, the group is a nice mix of returning participants and new persons.
I’m looking forward to seeing new people Tuesday when we begin another session at 2 p.m. at the Los Banos Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1826 Center St. What’s nice about the class is that there’s no cost and no obligation to write or read stories. Some people come just to listen to the stories of others.
Those who do write stories say their families appreciate knowing more about the lives of their parents or grandparents – in written form, which will be part of the family legacy for generations to come.
DEAR JOHN: I wish that I lived where there was a venue to contribute in this way. Good idea!
DEAR JULIE: I agree. It would be good to live in a community that provides opportunities for volunteers to visit homebound persons who endure loneliness and simply want the chance to talk with someone once a week or so.
So far, in Los Banos, there isn’t an organized way to do this. I hope in the near future some agency or organization will make this happen.
It’s good to hear there are other tired grandparents out there. Our son has time with his 3-year-old daughter every other weekend. We help him with these visits, which give us a chance to see our granddaughter, but by the end of those weekends we are exhausted!
DEAR FRAN: Grandparenting is rewarding but also exhausting.
DEAR JOHN: I stumbled across your 2009 column on tree dieback. I wonder how your Raywood Ash trees are faring now. If they are doing well, I would like to contact the “expert” that treated them, as we have the same problem with this species in eastern Australia.
DEAR ALAN: I wish I could give you better news. The expert treatment my backyard Raywood Ash received didn’t work. That tree died and has been cut down. I will send you the information about the landscaper who provided the treatment. I fear, though, that no solution has been found, in California or Australia, to cure Raywood Ash dieback.
DEAR JOHN: You recently wrote that you’ve have had four speeding tickets in your life. If I would have been the judge, I would have taken your license away for six months after the third one, and I would have taken it away permanently after the fourth.
Then you had the audacity to suggest we should raise the speed limit. This would only increase the speed of the unsafe drivers out there. Speed limits are not randomly set, but are put there by some very experienced people.
DEAR NORM: You have tough standards for a guy like me, who has averaged one speeding ticket for every 13 years of driving.