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Advice in a couple of paragraphs

I have a friend from high school who is a Catholic priest in North Dakota. He has lived there for decades and apparently likes it. Periodically he posts messages for us on his Facebook page. Sometimes they are humorous and often they are sage and quietly comforting, as one would expect from a priest. Now and then I wonder about his good sense. Sunday night he noted that he was grilling marinated chicken on his deck and the wind chill in his fair city was minus 58 degrees. He said he didn’t plan to use tanning lotion and he admonished us all to “think spring.” I can do that, Father Jerry, and thanks for reminding us that winter is only a part-time gig.

After recently mentioning community giving in this space and admonishing my six regular readers to try to make gift donations to local non-profits and worthy hometown projects, I am proud to announce that my own children took me at my word this holiday season. I am a woman with so much “stuff” piled on the dining room table that no one has seen its surface in years. Most other horizontal surfaces in my house feature the same look. I do not need more things in my life. I am now the recipient of several certificates indicating that donations have been made in my name to Peabody Main Street, the Kansas Sampler Foundation, Peabody Girl Scouts, and the Peabody Fourth Fest Celebration. These organizations all mean something to me, and I am glad to be part of their future. You should try this; I think you would enjoy it! Thank you, Morgan and Shane and Lindsey and Jerod.

However, I also will admit to being on the receiving end of a Kindle. A Kindle is a book that is really not a book but a small portable screen on which one can read a book that one has ordered and downloaded from….oh say, an online book store…and had transferred to the Kindle screen for more complicated reading. I expect this thing can hold tons of books, although I don’t know that for sure. I can see that it is the wave of the future. I do not hate it, but it just isn’t the same as actually turning a page, or skipping to the end if to see who is alive on the last page, or just shoving a bookmark in it and doing something else for a while (there are off and on things that need to be addressed when one quits reading the Kindle.)

However, this will fit in with the “no more stuff” plan for my life, right? One Kindle and charger, all compact and tidy, and suddenly those stacks of used paperbacks no longer have a place in my home. Well, except that, like everything else that passes into obscurity, eventually those paperbacks will be collectible items and having an attic full might be profitable. I will let you know how this works out.

The New Year has started, and I wish you all a wonderful 2014.

— SUSAN MARSHALL

Last modified Jan. 9, 2014

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