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Last summer, I was announcing a Legion baseball tournament in New Richland. Between innings and at other stoppages, I had my iPod plugged into the sound system at Reese Field and played music. During a pitching change, I pulled up the Motley Crue hit, “Time for Change.” The lyrics begin: “Change. Now it’s time for change. Nothing stays the same. Now it’s time for change.” I heard a few chuckles from the crowd as they recognized the rationale behind the song choice.

And the song is so true in many ways. We’ve all heard the saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” But is that true? Let’s take a look, shall we?

Prior to last June, we had repeated problems with our cable and DVR service. I can’t even count how many times we had technicians out to our place after something had failed to record or simply had been erased off our DVR. I’m sure the customer service folks at that company saw my number come up on caller ID and cringed.

Finally, enough was enough. We switched companies and went with Midco. At the least, we figured they used a Tivo for a DVR, and that was a reliable brand. So far, so good. There have been a few glitches, as would be expected with anything related to technology, but they have been able to handle those things over the phone. Now I am paying a little more than I did with the old company, but sometimes it’s true that you get what you pay for.

Change is difficult. You get in such a routine that making even the slightest change can throw you off. When you go wholesale change, it can be seismic. In the last couple of months, I decided to change where I did the bulk of my grocery shopping. My previous store had been pretty good. I saved money on many items I bought through coupons and sales. The selection was varied. So why change?

There were a couple reasons. One was that I was having repeated problems with outdated items in different areas. I don’t feel like I should have to check the dates on my bagels or yogurt too closely when I purchase them. They shouldn’t expire the day I buy them or, worse yet, be expired already. I had tried pointing this out to employees a number of times, but not much changed.

The store also stopped carrying one of my family’s favorite items, Mrs. T’s Pierogis, in the frozen foods section. We love these tasty pasta filled with mashed potatoes. That became the impetus for trying other locations. At the very least, I wanted to find out where else I might be able to stop in and pick those treats up occasionally.

After trying different stores, I discovered Hy-Vee had them and even in multiple varieties! I also found some other items that I had not seen at the previous store that looked interesting. So I made the switch. I signed up for my fuel saver card and have been happy with that, especially since I can use it here in Ellendale at Casey’s, where I prefer to fill up when possible. Plus, I get credit for using my own bags at Hy-Vee; it’s not much, but every little bit helps. It’s been difficult to wander up and down aisles that I’m not intimately familiar with, but that will come with time.

I’m sure many of you have spent part of the current Lenten season making some changes in your lives. It’s traditional for many people to give something up for Lent in an effort to become a better person. It might be pop or candy, or it can be a major life change like quitting smoking or some other habit that is detrimental to one’s health. The funny thing is that these tend to last longer than New Year’s resolutions, though I wonder how many last beyond Easter. Some people also use Lent to create good habits instead of just focusing on giving something up; either way, it’s a change.

So let’s return to that adage: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Is it true? My DVR is much more reliable, but has my life really changed because of it? Well, other than watching a bit more TV, not much. Grocery shopping change? I still buy many of the same types of food I did before. I still use coupons. Once I get used to where items are, life will resume normalcy in that area.

Thus, despite a couple of big changes, life is still pretty much the same in those areas. As for that pitcher that got replaced last summer? The kid that came in to replace him didn’t fare much better, so things stayed the same there too.

Happy Easter to all of you! May the blessings of the Risen Lord be on you – Alleluia!


Word of the Week: This week’s word is hegira, which means a journey meant to escape an undesirable situation, as in, “The walk from the pitcher’s mound to the dugout was quite the hegira for the player who had just given up five runs on only two hits.” Impress your friends and confuse your enemies!

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