How many kinds of cars are there? The kids used to identify them on road trips but many can't anymore. Cars used to have an individual look for each car company. It was easy to tell a Ford from a Chevy, from a Dodge. Kids used to be able to tell make of a car without looking at the logo — now, they pretty much all look alike; like little jellybeans in so many different colors.
For old times sake, I tried writing down the names of all the cars that passed us on the road one day. I had a page full in no time at all.
Identifying cars was always a fun activity while one was riding someplace. Another was seeing how many people were traveling from other places and reading and identifying where people were from.
It is fun to see where cars come from. On an interstate highway you usually find a great variety of out-of-state license plates. Wouldn't it be fun to know where they are all going? Cold weather traffic heading south is usually a no brainer. A car towing a boat with fish gear is almost a sure bet they are heading for relaxation, likely up north. College kids come from all directions, as do families on vacation. Holidays bring out miscellaneous licensing as folks go home.
Signs along the way was another game we played while we were traveling. Starting with the letter "A" we would see who could find a sign that would contain the next letter we were looking for until we reached the letter "Z." Words from signs were also put together to make silly sayings!
Time went by fast and no one ever asked, "Are we there yet?" The kids learned to be observant, how to spell and create stories.
Sometimes it was look and find — like find a yellow car or a sign that contained the letters in one’s name, or different shapes like rectangles, circles, octagons etc.
They also played guessing games, such as what kind or color of car will pass us?
Of course the dialog that went with it was too personal favorites: things known about the car, why a favorite color was picked, places they liked to go, vocal noise to emphasize going up or down a hill or around a corner, or even a long stretch.
Waiting in a parking lot is interesting too. The parade of people and vehicles never ends.
During the winter months it is interesting to note how few people actually cover their heads, or hands, despite the cold weather. Many don't zip or button up their coats either. It is surprising how adults will dress small children and babies for the various seasons and temperatures.
Just the type of clothing worn is amazing; also not always in keeping with the weather conditions. Shorts in winter, flip-flops right along with some covered to the hilt. I have yet to figure out if the flannel-colored pants, which I thought were pajamas, are actually comfy to wear. They are colorful, to say the least.
T-shirts: what is there about a name or lingo or advertising on a shirt or cap? You can learn a lot from a T-shirt or cap. They can be funny and informative, or dirty and uncalled for. Some support causes like cancer, heart disease, veterans and the like. They announce events, advertise products and places and attract attention. Isn't it funny that we will pay to promote a product or an athletic team like the Twins or Vikings? Well, no — we also pay to watch advertisements with TV entrainment, computer information and the daily newspaper.
Advertising is positive to selling a product, but one wonders if the added cost of the advertising were removed, what would the product really cost the consumer? Admittedly, some ads are better than the TV programming. There are also the repeat ads that are enough to drive one crazy. Budweiser ads are always in good taste and a joy to look forward to; this is one company that consistently promotes the quality of its products by paying attention to the emotions of the viewers. They are consistently recognized as the best advertisements during the Super Bowl. The advertisement is remembered because it is so good; how many other Super Bowl ads can you name?
You don't really need to go around the world to experience new things. There is so much to see and do right here in plain sight — you just need to take advantage of it.
They say, "Variety is the spice of life." There are lots of spices out there. You just have to look for them and use your imagination. Stories, fact or fiction, aren't always just in books. They are there in everyday living. Observing what is contained in shopping carts can tell you something about a person as well. The amount of soft drinks is phenomenal along with the boxes or bags of chips and other crunchy treats. It makes one wonder how much good money is spent on non-nutritional foods. It is surprising how many have large packages of toilet paper.
Size and shapes of people are varied too, from round and robust to twiggy skinny with jeans that look like they were put on with a shoehorn. Jeans are jeans, no matter what the price or style. They all look the same to me, but the more fashion-savvy folks know what is in and what is out.
Surprising how many men shop with their children. With today's working mothers, dads have taken on some responsibilities once considered "women's work.” Why was it? It is good to see children more involved with both parents, as well as see the closeness of family living.
On a side note, remember to wave the flag this Fourth of July. It gives you a mood boost! Old Glory not only stokes your patriotic pride, it makes you feel full of joy; it reminds us that we are part of something special.
Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements. In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us. Also if you have an idea for a story that you think would be of interest to our readers, please contact me.
Birthdays and anniversaries:
• Thursday, June 26th: Michelle Marie & Marissa Ann Leeman, Brock Nelson, Tony Muri, Richard Holmes, Michelle Davidson, Tiffany Olson, Ray Jepson, Pennie Ladlie, Tristan & Michael Ingvaldson, Chuck & Ann Southworth and Tom & Wilma Arbogast
• Friday, June 27th: Eugene & Phyllis Hagen, Carlyle and Judy Hagen, Jamie & Kim (Weckwerth) Farr, Stormi Hagen, Mary Groth, Karrie (Newgard) Moen, Marge Trandem, Michelle Vangen, Milton Nelson and Sandi Serdahl
• Saturday, June 28th: Warren & Bonnie Nelson, Jenny (Broskoff) & Chris Dutton, Danielle (Wagner) & LuVerne Zacharis, Amanda (Reese) Beavens, Shane Reese, Margaret Dobberstein, Zack Kromminga, Sara Hoyt, Sara Jensen and Noah Peterson
• Sunday, June 29th: Nate VerHey, Courtney Haugen, Jacob Peterson, Brenda (Janka) Tschann, Jane (Jensen) Bratten, Berniece Whelan, Barb & Dale Mrotz, Brent & Valerie Christensen, Brent & Michelle Meiners, Wally & Marge Wobschall
• Monday, June 30th: Tammy & Jeff Busho, Susan (Schmidt) & Jon Anderson, Ann & Brent Wiersma, Nate & Kristine VerHey, Julie Vanden Heuvel Horiban, (spelling) Robin Eder, Nathan Robertson, Donna Reichl, Steve Jensen, Barb Wright, Lorrie Kelly, Roger Shaunce and Makenzie Lynn Vreeman
• Tuesday, July 1st: Keralyn (Paulsen) Powers, Eugene Hagen, Mary Edwardson, Linda O'Neil, Joanna Ruth Vermedahl, Jill Hanson, Chris Ihrke, Jason Churchill, Marjorie Otterson, Deb Schimek, Rachel (Eaker) Lee, Gary Carlson, Tristan Bangert, Robert Christensen, Roger & Joyce Wayne, Heather (Krause) & Dion Quiram and Frank & Marilyn Cuden
With each passing year, grow stronger, grow wiser, and grow richer in spirit. May the year be filled with new discoveries, and God bless America!