Written by Shannon Siebert
Quote of the Day—Astronaut Scott Kelly’s answer when asked if the International Space Station is worth the expense: “What is it worth to see two former bitter enemies transform weapons into transport for exploration and the pursuit of scientific knowledge? What is it worth to see former enemy nations turn their warriors into crew mates and lifelong friends? This is impossible to put a dollar figure on, but to me it’s one of the things that makes this project worth the expense, even worth risking our lives.”
LIFE WITH A PO BOX
If you live in Henderson, you go to town every day and insert a key in a quaint numbered bronze colored mailbox to receive your mail. Only residents who happen to live on the line of travel of the rural mail carrier can choose whether to put up a curbside mailbox and have their mail delivered. For over 40 years, I’ve enjoyed the excuse to get some exercise walking the short few blocks to town to get the mail. At the mail, you can run into friends, have conversations, and talk to your neighbors that you might not otherwise see. Not so much anymore, but it was a place where the familiar Low German (Plautdietch) language could be overheard spoken by the community elders who gathered in the post office while fetching their mail.
Wednesday afternoons were particularly busy when many folks clustered in the post office waiting for the weekly Henderson News to be distributed to their boxes. I’ve never minded having PO Box 95 until my increased use of online shopping. It’s fresh on my mind just coming off the holiday season when I was busy stimulating the economy taking advantage of free shipping and not having to drive to the malls and fight the festive crowds.
PO Boxes are a “No, No” in the shipping world—
Of course we all have physical addresses to go with our PO Boxes that are to be used if something needs to ship UPS, FedX, or Speedy Air. And for the most part it works, but this year the whole separate billing address versus physical shipping address gave me FITS! I spent an hour wrestling the issue on the phone with a well-known retail chain after discovering they’d declined placing my order via email.
It was a “hush hush” security issue I was informed and could only be resolved if I drove to one of their stores and physically presented two forms of ID before my order could proceed. Really! After pleading my case that I was most certainly geographically distanced from their store, she agreed to send me a verification code via text. When that didn’t work, I went into panic mode. I suggested calling my landline (thank goodness I still have a landline!) and leaving the secret code on my answering machine. She assured me it was against their corporate by-laws to send it twice, but it was late and we were both getting a bit testy. I finally won the battle and breathlessly repeated the verification code to her and my already late Christmas order was processed. Whew!
Raising the RED FLAG—
I don’t know the history of how PO Boxes got such a bad rep but for some reason, just admitting one has a PO Box is a RED FLAG! I had one company spokesperson advise me to fool their system by eliminating the PO and just use Box 95. That’s not foolproof either in my ordering experience. To save time, I’ve tried combining my physical address on the first line and on the second line adding my PO Box. Sorry this doesn’t always fool the system either. My reason for this trick is often I don’t know how something might be shipped to me, and if it does ship via the United States Postal Service, the PO Box is required. Forget getting your mail anymore if it’s addressed to your physical address without the PO Box number. That’s another story.
After my particularly trying holiday season shipping experiences, I’m a bit gun shy when placing online orders. I even got entangled in a discussion with one company who claimed my physical address did not exist. That argument took awhile for me to persuade her that I indeed did have a physical address that had received shipments for years (not without hassles I omitted!). I’ve decided to make living with a PO Box a sort of badge of honor and character builder. One of the sacrifices we make for living in a small town with all its privileges including a downtown post office and PO mailbox.
What’s everyone talking about?
Henderson Health Care Services is offering a great program for all those serious about weight loss—Train Your Brain for Weight Loss. It begins Monday, January 15, and is a 18 week class led by Nebraska native Marty Wolf who was a former “Biggest Loser” season three contestant. This comprehensive training is designed for anyone who wants to lose any amount of weight or for those just seeking to maintain their current weight. This is a great realistic weight management opportunity provided locally by Henderson Health Care Services, so check out the link for all the details.
Big Deep Freeze—
Extreme single digit and below temps are not welcome by all, but it sure makes for good solid ice down at the Lakeview Park. Thanks to Luke and Joanne Haidle for scooping off a nice sized ice skating area on the west end of the lake. This past few weeks the ice has been populated with lots of kids and families trying out their ice skating skills. Finding spots on the lake where the ice is smooth is always a challenge but Luke Haidle has solved that problem. He built his own version of a Zamboni machine that has worked very well on the lake making for smoother skating!
What to say to your friend who has an insatiable sweet tooth—
Girl Scouts to the rescue! Their yummy cookies will be up for sale beginning Feb. 2 – March 4. Last year I bought them from a girl scout from Sutton since I don’t believe Henderson has any girl scouts. Be on the lookout later when they sell them outside of Walmart or other retail store fronts. My favorites is the classic Thin Mints and the always yummy Carmel deLites are still around. Check out their website after their sale start date to find the nearest girl scout your zip code and you can even purchase them online.
What to say to that obnoxious one upper—
Bet you can’t one up the Heartland boys basketball record—10-0. Yeah, that’s undefeated!
What to Read
“Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery” by astronaut Scott Kelly is an eye-opener about the nitty gritty of living on the International Space Station for a year. His memoir is compelling as he describes daily life without gravity on the International Space Station and all the challenges he faces. He intertwines his personal story of growing up in New Jersey with his twin brother Mark and their attraction to taking risks. His story is worth reading and finding out how Kelly as an unfocused teenager and bad student turned his life around to start the difficult journey toward becoming a highly successful astronaut.
Word for the day: irradiate
Definition: 1. expose to radiation, to affect or treat by radiant energy (such as heat)
During his yearlong stint on the International Space Station, astronaut Scott Kelley ate irradiated meat for many of his meals.
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