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I have had several weeks of writing columns that have been too serious. So I took my mind out for a walk to see what would pop into it. Well several items did. So here goes.

You know those pan scouring pads that are made out of green nylon? We have some that I use when I clean up after dinner. I am not advertising for them, but ours are Scotch Brite Non-Scratch Scour Pads they seem to work well. But what I never understand is why do I use them until they are floppy green squares that fold up and scour nothing? When I break out a new one out I am pleased with myself beyond all reason.

I have an early June birthday. As far back as I remember the lilac trees or bushes were in bloom and the smell of lilacs filled the house where I grew up. What the scent of a pine tree is for Christmas the lilac is the scent of my birthday. In my family your birthday was your day and was celebrated on your birthday. Not a weekend or some other day that may have been more convenient for adults. I have kept that tradition for our kids even though they are a long way away from home now.

I have very mixed feeling about the sand mines in the area but not about the trains. I am blessed with remembering steam engines going through Marshfield and the sound of their whistles. With the days becoming warmer but the air conditioning is not needed we leave our bedroom windows open at night. Though the trains no longer have steam whistles the two longs, a short, and a long whistle as the train nears a crossing is music to my ears, especially at night.

We tested hose at the fire station the other night. Testing hose is simple — you lay it out on the ground and run up the pressure in it; you then match the size of the hose to the recommended pressure. If it does not blow a hole in the hose then you put it all back on the truck.

This is not fun but we do have an excellent meal at the end of the night. As with anything, the more people who show up the faster we can eat. Sometimes that works, sometimes it does not.

The lawn got it’s first mowing the other night. To me I always seem to do a far better job on the first few lawn mowings than I do later in the summer. As the summer goes on I do a quicker, less creditable job. A few years back I set the blade lower to what I call the “death cut.” The “death cut” does just what it says. Also, from experience, you never put a swimming pool solar cover on a lawn. You suddenly realize that you have a perfect circle of brown grass in your lawn. Not a good deal.

My wife and I have a tradition that after cemetery board meetings we go to Olson’s Ice Cream Parlor for a cone after the meeting. It is a good tradition made easier because we no longer have little kids to take with. I am amused when a family comes in and the kids run in front of the glass cases trying to choose what kind of ice cream they want. It’s fun for me to watch because I don’t have to control them. Olson’s is a great place even if you’re older. Nothing says summer like ice cream.

Also coming to Lake Hallie, it appears that the bike path on 40th Avenue will be connected to the city of Chippewa Falls bike path so people can ride from the city of Eau Claire, through the Village of Lake Hallie and into the city of Chippewa Falls. This has been a long time in coming so it will be great to have the work done.

Finally, if you wish to remove gasoline from your car’s gas tank it is not wise to drill a hole into the bottom of the tank. That does not work well; Darwin is always right. Please never forget that.

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John R. Andersen of Lake Hallie is a former state employee who remains active in the fields of fire prevention, government and education.

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