Harmony United Methodist Church will again be the distribution point for Toys for Tots. Several gifts and donations came in during the Spaghetti Supper last Friday evening.
I had been running errands all day. It was great to not have to cook supper and to sit with a fun group of friends. Spaghetti was good, too.
Toys for Tots will take place this Saturday. Parents and children participating in the event have already been given an appointment time. These participants should make sure to arrive on schedule. One of the volunteers said that each family had 20 minutes before the next one came in for their appointment. It is such a good program.
Cookie Baker Alert: T for T Volunteers could use some snacks because they are working almost all day at the church. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate, too.
Pastor Terry Jeffers will be in the church office Thursday and Friday morning if anyone would like to donate to this worthwhile program sponsored by the Marines.
This is the season for giving. Help when and where you can. HUMC has several opportunities for sharing and caring for those less fortunate. We will be collecting mittens, gloves, hats, and scarves for needy children.
Don't forget to donate food or money for the Christmas baskets. Give to the Clay County Benevolence Society, too. That is our December mission.
The last Food Share Pick-up is this Saturday morning at the First Christian Church. If any similar programs are operating around the area, let me know. I will be glad to pass that information on to others.
Twenty-three children attended the Happy Birthday Jesus Party at HUMC last Saturday. Thanks to Suzy Morgan and Jane Osborn for all their work in coordinating the event. Thanks to Sidda and Sailor Clark for bring me more animals for the manger scene.
My family has been busy making plans for the holidays. The Roaches will be getting together for Christmas Eve and then attending other events on Christmas Day.
All of us are anxious to see Erin. Her husband Joey won't be able to come home this time. His parents have been in Florida to visit with him. It is tough to coordinate all the schedules.
Erin will be home on Jan. 1, and we will have our official family Christmas on Sunday. I am working on decorating, cleaning up the dust bunnies, and planning the menu: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, dumplings, cranberry salad, green bean casserole, homemade rolls, cakes, pies and all the trimmings. Karen, Eva Kay and brother John-o all have their specialties.
By the time we put all those foods together, we could feed an army. Of course, we are feeding Roaches. I have never heard a Roach say, "Oh, I'm not really hungry." Those words are not in the vocabulary. There are groans, "I was okay until I took that second helping of dressing." We work some of it off by laughing at each other.
Soapbox: I have read about the possible smoking ban in the workplace. It is so overdue in this area. I love Clay County, but smoking is a real problem here.
No one says that people can't smoke but just that it should not be done in a public place. It is okay to set off dynamite in the right restricted area but not in the middle of a crowd. Cigarettes kill many more people than dynamite. Smokers should go to an area where they are away from other people.
Terre Haute has been non-smoking for quite a while. Folks have not stopped going there to shop and eat -- just the opposite. The restaurants smell so much better and cleaner. We used to try to figure out if a new place was smoke free before we would go to try it. Now we know it is okay anywhere in Terre Haute.
Smoking is so pervasive here that people don't get a chance to see what it would be like without inhaling it in every breath. Non-smokers think they just have to suffer through it and then go home to shower off the smoke. I heard one lady say she would like to go to a particular restaurant here in town but then her little grandkids smell like an ashtray.
The last statistic that I heard said that 20 percent of Americans had some form of respiratory disease. I would bet it is higher here in this area. If we want to attract people to the area, we need to keep up with those places that are trying to grow and prosper like Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Terre Haute. Smoke free is good for most business. There is less cleaning and fewer fancy vent systems to buy to exhaust the fumes.
Even more southern states like Tennessee have gone non-smoking. Indiana is really behind on this one. There are some activities that should be done in private and smoking is one of them.
I see no problem with a business being designated as a smoking business. Everyone who works there, everyone who goes there knows it is for smokers over 21. Enter at your own risk. All other businesses should be smoke-free. It just takes a little getting used to it.
Designated smoking areas in a building never work. If there is one smoker in a gymnasium-sized room, everyone is breathing it. Some people think that the smell does not bother them but the toxic chemicals affect everyone.
I support a smokers right to choose cigarettes but they choose something that kills them. That is their right. When they exhale, they are putting the poison in everyone around them. That is the problem.
Some smokers are very polite. They smoke outside. They don't stand near doors and windows that suck the stuff inside. But many light up so automatically that they don't look to see what is around them.
We need to remember that cigarettes aren't just tobacco anymore. They are embedded with addictive, harmful substances. Most drug addicts started with cigarettes. No, not every smoker turns to hard drugs but most addicts started with smokes. We don't want kids doing any of this junk. Adults need to set an example for the kids. Smoking doesn't look as much fun if the smoker is standing in the snow out in the alley somewhere.
It would sure do me some good if I had to stand in an alley to eat chocolate cake. I might loose a few pounds. Maybe the non-smoking ban in the workplace would help those who want to quit. No waitress, no factory worker, no customer should have to endure smoke to make a living or buy a product.
Most smokers agree that it is really hard to stop once you get started. A man, who is an alcoholic, told me that giving up smoking is harder than giving up booze. No one has to give up their vices, a smoking ban just means go outside and away from other people.
Happy Birthday to Ayden Babkowski (19th), Betty Evans & Warren Bell (22nd), Amaya Jones (24th), Mandy Escott, Brad Pell & Chris Pell (25th), and Sandy Jenkins (31st).
Harmony United Methodist Calendar
Dec. 18 -- Toys for Tots
Dec. 19 -- Worship Service 9 a.m., Sunday School 10:30 a.m.
Dec. 21 - Bowling at Brazilian Lanes 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 22 -- Bible Study 9 a.m., Quilting 10 a.m. -3 p.m.; Pastor's small group study 6 p.m.
Dec. 24 -- Open Communion 5-7 p.m.