It’s clear now – grandma knew what she was talking about

My grandma used to say, “Life goes faster when you get older.” I always answered in my know-it-all voice, “Everyone’s day has the same amount of minutes, grandma.”

Now that I’ve hit the middle ages, I’m thinking grandma might have been on to something. Case in point, I just agreed to a weekly column and the first month is already done.

Since I spent the first 2,900 words on “writer’s choices,” I decided to wrap up June with comments about your letters as well as a few news items.

First, in regards to POSTAL GATE. They say that every fence has a few weak links. The bad news is that some Gilroyans have found the Post Office’s and the good news is that many of its other parts are holding steady. Let me tell you about one….

Mel-the-mailman has been our carrier for a very long time. Over the years, he’s always been efficient and personable. Quick with his wry smile and comments.

He notices when the kids move back home. He teases us when vandals smash our mail box and we hammer out the crinkles and set it back up. He chats briefly about illnesses and vacations. AND, when a package is too large or appears too precious to slip into our mail box – he always dismounts and brings it to the door… Thanks Mel!

Second, in regards to FIRE GATE. I don’t want to rekindle the public tirade but …

My in-laws are living with us right now and last week mom had a health crisis. We thought about trying to get her to the emergency room ourselves and then decided to call 911.

Just minutes after we called, the fire crew arrived ready to help us in any way they could. Even though it was the middle of the night, they were professional, alert and attentive to mom’s needs and our concerns. In no time, this team had written down all of her meds, taken vitals, interviewed family members, and loaded her into the ambulance for transport. Thanks Mark, Randy, Cliff, and Robert – you’re the best!

I’m wondering if the folks who compare these public servants to ordinary retirees have ever had

to dial 911 and hope that those who respond know how to: fight all types of fires, find and fix chemical or gas leaks, extract a person from a crushed auto, repel down a cliff

to rescue a stranded hiker, use

complicated medical equipment, hold a SIDS baby, or revive a drowning victim …

Third, in regards to HEALING GATE. A huge Garlic thank you to all who sponsored, walked, organized, and served in Gilroy’s Relay for Life. Events like this one make me so proud of Gilroy and its incredible volunteer spirit.

Not that many years ago, a diagnosis of cancer pretty much meant “get ready to die.” Now, thanks to fund raisers and generous donations, the cancer battle can be fought and won.

Last, in regards to NEWSGATE. Seems like so much of the news recently has centered around bad things happening to children.

Three boys died in the trunk of a car. One boy died because the family pet wasn’t properly constrained. Two men molested thousands of boys. A judge is trying to get the Chowchilla kidnappers released because they were “just teenagers” when they kidnapped a bus load of kids and buried them in a gravel pit. Beautiful Natalie Holloway is still missing.

My views on child-centered-crimes are influenced by the fact that our daughter was kidnapped by a man with a history of taking children before he took Melissa and was arrested for another kidnapping after he served time for taking her. But even without that personal experience, I’m adamantly convinced society has a mandate to keep bad folks away from our littlest people.

So. School’s out. Summer’s here. What do you say we all spend time with and enjoy the children in our lives? How about we even look out for and protect the ones we don’t personally know?

And, if you should discover what it is about children that helps them use every second of every minute of every day in such a way as to not miss a single one – let me know. I’d like to slow down my life enough to, once again, pass the time instead of having it pass me.

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