Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current, March 11, 2015, Image 11

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    12A COTTAGE GROVE SENTINEL March 11, 2015
Congress gets recess,
our kids get spring break
— What about US?
News Media Corporation
now on, they’ll have to share those
warm beaches with parents infl at-
ing 8-foot plastic sea mammals for
their young children or, in some
cases, their horrifi ed teenagers.
”We’re too old to ride a plastic
Shamu!” they’ll protest.
But Dad will continue unde-
terred, blowing into an air nodule
located in a highly questionable
area of plastic whale anatomy. This
will of course be embarrassing to
his teens, who are already morti-
fi ed by the fact that Dad wore his
swim fi ns to the beach and sand-
whipped 30 sunbathers en route to
a relatively quiet spot near a keg
draped with bikini tops. That’s
when Mom and Dad will begin
spreading suntan lotion on them-
selves as if creating a protective
layer against the Ebola virus, slath-
ering every crevice before putting
on matching Panama Jack sun hats.
They will then hand the lotion to
their sobbing teens, assuming they
haven’t already run off to drown
themselves in the surf.
What if your kids are already in
college with spring break plans of
their own? No problem! Surprise
them at the beach! Chances are
they used your credit card to secure
their travel plans anyway; how hard
can it be to get a room at the same
hotel? Imagine the laughs you’ll
share when they realize the person
yelling at everyone to stop staring
at his daughter in the bikini contest
is DAD! Or the reason that group
of girls keeps giggling every time
you get near them is because Mom
is showing pictures of you pointing
to your very fi rst armpit hair!
Yes, I think the need to imple-
ment a National Spring Break
Week is something we can all agree
is long overdue.
For those who don’t? I have two
words for you:
Summer school.
photos by Jon Stinnett
Representatives of the Quilts of Valor Foundation presented handmade quilts to local veterans Harry Krull
(above left), Will Parrish (above right) and Andy Watkins (below). Based in Eugene, the "Pieceful Posse"
prefers to make quilts for local veterans and deliver them in person.
Quilts of Valor bestowed
on local veterans
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
ottage Grove basked in unchar-
acteristic sunshine this week-
end, and at Veterans of Foreign Wars
Post 3473, a trio of quilts brought extra
warmth to a touching ceremony to honor
three local veterans.
Members of the “Pieceful Posse,”
a group of local quilters who piece to-
gether fabric to create original, hand-
made quilts for veterans, stopped by the
VFW to present quilts to Harry Krull,
Andy Watkins and Will Parrish. Bob-
bie Sanford, the western coordinator
of the Quilts of Valor Foundation, told
the gathered crowd Saturday afternoon
that the Foundation got its start in 2003,
when Catherine Roberts undertook an
effort to make a quilt for her son, who
was returning from active duty in Iraq.
Over a decade later, Quilts of Valor has
awarded more than 114,000 quilts to vet-
erans, and Sanford said the care involved
in making a quilt helps make the gesture
a special one.
“Quilts take a long time to make, and
they’re made by people like us,” she said.
“We take perfectly good fabric, cut it up
and sew it back together.”
About 10,000 quilters currently make
items for Quilts of Valor, and they’re all
volunteers. Here in Oregon, Sanford said
she and the area’s other quilters like to
make quilts for local veterans and deliv-
er them face-to-face, and they’ve handed
out over 300 such quilts in person over a
three-year span.
“It’s very rewarding for the veterans,
and for a lot of them, it’s a type of clo-
sure,” she said. Sanford instructed each
veteran to use the quilt they’d been given
and not store it away.
“If it ends up in a plastic bag, it will
perish,” she said.
For Krull, who served with the Unit-
ed States Marine Corps in the Korean
Confl ict, receiving his handmade quilt
seemed to double as a way to make
new friends, and he enthusiastically
embraced the members of the “Piece-
ful Posse.” The event brought waves of
emotion for Watkins, an Air Force vet-
eran and fi xture at the VFW who’s lost a
wife and son in recent years. Parrish, an-
other VFW regular, took the occasion to
thank his wife, Jan, for holding down the
homefront while he went away to fi ght.
During the ceremony, Sanford relayed
an anecdote about the Quilts of Valor,
cautioning the crowd not to refer to them
as blankets.
“Blankets warm the body,” she said,
“and quilts warm the soul.”
Ask your
Advertising Representative
how you can advertisise in
Shamrocks & Savings
f you’re a student or educator,
you are probably getting excit-
ed about the approach of SPRING
BREAK! Wee-HOO! For students
of all ages it means a week of crazy
fun with little or no responsibility,
whether you’re a fi fth-grader plan-
ning a Spongebob Squarepants
marathon to Bikini Bottom, or
a college student planning a bi-
kini bottom marathon of a differ-
ent kind. If you’re an educator, it
means a student-free week away
from grading papers requiring so
much red ink your desk looks like
a sacrifi cial altar. Seriously, are
they learning NOTHING between
Tweets in class?!?
Even Congress gets what is re-
ferred to as “recess.” Let’s be hon-
est: If I performed as poorly at my
job as they have, I would get what
is referred to as “fi red.”
That being said, for the rest of
us, spring break holds about as
much anticipation as trash day or a
release date for “Frozen 2.”
This is particularly true for those
of us with teenagers at home, many
of whom will openly mock us each
day by selfi shly sleeping in. Then,
in an added display of thoughtless-
ness, they will still be in their pa-
jamas and deciding on breakfast
when we come home for lunch!
The audacity! Especially since
they misspelled ”audacity” on their
last quiz!
No, the time has come to expand
spring break to include everyone
so we can all enjoy a week of un-
fettered fun. And naturally, when I
say ”everyone,” I realize there are
certain positions that are so impor-
tant to our infrastructure they can’t
shut down without causing the
nation to crumble. So I’m sorry:
cooks and bartenders, you’ll have
to draw straws for President’s Day.
For the rest of us, however, a
week of relaxation during the
nicest time of year is going to be
fantastic! No longer will Cancun,
Panama City and South Padre Is-
land be the exclusive destinations
for drunken college students and
creepy professors offering extra
credit assignments. No way! From
Ned is a syndicated columnist
with News Media Corporation.
His book, “Humor at the Speed
of Life,” is available online at
Port Hole Publications, Ama-
zon Books and Barnes & Noble.
Write to him at nedhickson@
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