So much to learn, so many ways to learn it

If you want a new experience, watch a plumber fix your toilet flushing thingy.

My plumber is Brian. He doesn’t mind sticking his hand inside the tank. I’d add and getting dirty, but that doesn’t happen when you’re playing in water. Brian says the tank water is clean enough to drink, but I’m saying that can’t be true. Have you ever looked inside that tank. It’s the hard water, he said, that builds the lime and interferes with proper flushing, so he hooked the toilet to the softened water line. No more lime deposits, he said. He better be telling the truth.

Lime, I just learned last week, is one of five minerals found in Webster County. This might be in the category of things you know but never thought to care about. That’s where I sat on the subject until my friends Mike and Annette Goater came to Dodge to look around for old times sake. She used to live here when she taught at the Otho school, so they stopped at the Webster County Museum for a chat with Phyllis Stewart and a look around.

Anyway, Michael – ever the academic – noted that Webster County has five minerals to its credit. Gypsum, limestone, clay, coal, and sand and gravel. Also, he said, there are the everlasting Gobstoppers, whatever those may be. I’ve known him to make stuff up, you understand.

They fed me, which keeps them high on my list of good friends. Of course, I have friends who don’t actually lie to me, too. My plumber Brian better be in that group; that’s all I can say. Sometimes my friends just send fun emails. Fritz Wooster, out in California, often forgets communication goes both ways, but he makes up for it with good emails. Like this list of thoughts to live by.

Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon and some days you’re the statue.

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

If you can’t be kind, have the decency to be vague.

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

It may be your sole purpose in life to simply serve as a warning to others.

Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.

Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

And maybe most importantly:

Save the earth. It’s the only planet with chocolate.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at