Caution: Do not step in the exhaust behind Amish PDF E-mail

When we lived in Iowa years ago, I always enjoyed heading to see a cousin in the northeastern part of the state.

Joy came from the fact I passed through some of the Amish communities and delighted in observing the peaceful and simple life of the Amish people. Particularly enjoyable was the Amish horse-powered carriages on the roadways or carriage and horse hitched up in the small town business districts.

Recently my memory of those scenes was jogged by a report of a vacationing family while driving their auto down the road had caught up to a slow moving carriage. The carriage owner obviously had a sense of humor because attached to the back of the carriage was this hand-printed sign. . . “Energy efficient vehicle: Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step in exhaust.”
A while back the betterhalf was having a case of cabin fever and suggested maybe we should head to Texas for a few days to see the grandkids. As we looked at the calendar I pointed out the following week looked “open.” She agreed, but served noticed she couldn’t leave until the afternoon on the day I thought would be ideal to start our travel. When questioned why we had to wait until afternoon before heading out I found out the conflict.

The betterhalf had an appointment at the beauty shop for a haircut. That’s when I realized “going to the beauty shop can challenge even a grandma’s deepest priorities.”
As I stroll around the community I am constantly amazed at the numbers of toys, bikes and sports equipment laying in yards and never put away. Bikes left where a youngster dismounted may remain in that spot for several days. Basketballs and soccer balls are blown from the yards and roll into the street gutter eventually coming to rest at, or in, a storm sewer inlet far from the home. Picking up after oneself apparently is a thing of the past.

I contend if the young users of such equipment had made the initial purchase with their own money the litter scene might be different. In fact, such action might be at the root of today’s throw-away society.

It is “easy come, easy go” for many youngsters whose parents simply hand them the cash for replacements. I imagine there still might be few who’ve used the same basketball for more than a full year at best. For most if a replacement is needed for the lost item, go see mom or dad for a new one.

I would venture to say those youngsters who are conscious of “picking up and taking care of their things” will be the same ones in adulthood who will not be asking for a handout from society or the government.
Have you ever wondered why the United States Mint mints a penny when it costs the mint nearly two cents per coin? Or, why it takes 10 cents to mint each nickel?

In the meantime mint decided to hit the coin collectors’ market by minting 25 cent pieces representing all 50 states, several territories and even national tourist attractions. It would seem logical if you’re losing money minting coins you would “economize” by changing to cheaper metals and fewer coin faces. Of course we mustn’t forget, the government does few things that are logical.

RL Furse is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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