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A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the alphabet song and how it is a good thing to think about when washing our hands. It really is recommended that we sing the ABCs twice as a length of time to wash our hands thoroughly.

That got my mind to thinking about the ABCs and wondering how the ABCs came about, how they were developed, how the letters were designed, how the sounds were determined, and when.

Robert Bringhurst wrote that writing is the solid form of language. I  learned the origin of writing. The way it is now woven into our civilization is truly a wonderful story. It was interesting to learn that how the letters were designed, developed and determined goes back 5,000 years.

One of the earliest examples of writing was actually done in pictograms. One of advantages of using that form was that a picture or graphic represented a thing or an idea; while people may speak many different languages everyone could understand the pictograms.

Alphabets are usually associated with a standard ordering of letters. The most popular alphabet is the Latin, which was derived from the Greek, and has been modified for many languages. We use 26 letters here in our corner of the world. The Romans use 23. The Chinese have to learn thousands of characters to express themselves.

While most alphabets have letters composed of lines, or linear writing, there are exceptions, such as the alphabets used in Braille, finger spelling, and Morse Code.

Children learn to read long before school age. I remember when my nephew Kade was little and how he was just starting to talk and was able to pick out letters off the side of a box car as we waited for trains.

Finding letters and making words was always a fun game to play with our children when we were traveling to and fro. Of course every kid knows the words “McDonald’s”, “Wal-Mart” or “Lerbergs.” True, it is by association, but they are recognizing letters and words.

And now I know about my ABCs.

It has been so nice to see people out walking on these nice "winter" days. Some have been walking their dogs and others have been walking with their children. Kids love the experience of spending time with Mom and Dad.

But one thought always comes to mind. How difficult it must be for those little legs and feet to keep up with adults. Often during those walks the parents are holding their children’s hands as they walk, often to help protect them. As a result, the young children’s arms are raised up high so they can hold their parents hands. Try it sometime….walking with your hands above your head for any distance.

We don't always remember we are walking with children and their legs are shorter and they can't take as big a steps as we do, and as a result it is harder for them to keep up.

I remember how my mother handled those situations when my sister and I were younger. She put us on a leash. No, she didn’t treat us like dogs, she just put a dog collar on us for a belt. The belt provided her a way to snap on a leash. Some people may find it repulsive I know, but my mother said that taking us for “walks” in that manner allowed us room to move around, and still be protected from getting separated from her, and it worked.

God made parents taller than their children, so the kids would have someone to look up to, not to be afraid of or to be bullied or abused because they are larger. The answer so many parents use is, because I said so. To me that is a poor excuse and needs explanation or clarification. Be mindful that children are most often aware of what you say and do because they are always watching you.

Think before you speak negatively. Things you could/should tell your children and grandchildren:  “Good job.” “You are wonderful.” “That was really great.” “I appreciate all the nice things you do.” “You come first in my life.” “You're not just my child/grandchild, you're my best friend.” “I wanted you.” “I will always love you.” “I love the sparkle in your eyes.” “I like your smile.” “You make me feel good. “I am sorry.” “I was wrong.” “Let me listen.” “You are special.” “I can't imagine life without you.” “What can I do to help?” “Pray with me.” “Play with me.” “You make every day brighter.” “I prize every moment we spend together.” “Thanks for loving me."

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Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented that 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. Read your Star Eagle and you will know why we choose to live here.

If you have birthdays and anniversaries you would like to include, or news to share, please contact me via e-mail, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by postal mail, P. O. Box 192, Geneva, MN 56035; or telephone, 507-256-4405.

Birthdays and anniversaries:

• Thursday, March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day!  Emma Victoria Schember, her first; Mike Cady, Ashley Marie Hagen, Shannon Weckwerth Pacholl, Dakota Ray Janning, Nicole Hanna, Patrick Wobschall, Harvey Zicafoose, Mandy Galbraith, Joel Hill, Jenifer Jensen Pietari, Kevin & Marsha Jensen

• Friday, March 18th: Axel Jameson Ladlie (2011), Ashley Marie Hagen, Lynn Sommer Eaton, Chad Cornelius, Randy Brandt, Michelle Bartness, Dan Enzenauer, Matthew Larson, Wanda Stanley, Kent Toft, Matt & Jennifer Van Hal, Dean & Sue Westrum

• Saturday, March 19th: Samuel Bartness, his 4th; Laverne Klocek, Jill Rye, Jill Neitzell, Tyler Crabtree, Bethany Butler, Tori Lynn Sage, Wyatt Marcus Westergrin

• Sunday, March 20th: Jayda Moon, Tricia Renae Hanson, Nicole Christensen, Neva Lembke,          Gary Reichl, Jim Butler, Tammy Harpel Nielsen, Winfred Bergdale, Shelly Hoeve, Billy Jo Johnson Schwierjohann, Dennis Olson

• Monday, March 21st: Amy Foster, John Krell, Doris Krause, Trent Steven Pence, Kelly Marie Dobberstein, Phillip Ingvaldson, Pam Farr, Kent Paulson, Diane Marlin, Kelly Nelson, Brody Grunwald, Darrell & Cindy Farr

• Tuesday, March 22nd: National Goof Off Day! Gordy Carroll, Brenna Lynn Hagen, Shannon Johnson, Karin Lieberg, Bob Sommers, Leah Elaine Bergerson, Jerry Peterson, Nancy & Jerry Walterman, Dennis & Glenda Blouin

• Wednesday, March 23rd: Chris Newgard, Penny Obermoller, Alan Edwardson, Troy Johnson, Troy Wagner, Jason Dwight, Alexi Jo Kitzer, Alex Dobberstein, Delaney Sue Vander Syde, Alexander James Thompson, Peter Bergerson, Chris Rutheford, Phyllis Anderson, Rick & Liz Wangsness

It is your special day. Get carried away. Enjoy the day!

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