Karl’s Kolumn

WHERE ARE THE ORANGE BARRELS?… From all the hoopla on the rotten condition of the roads in Michigan, local and state, one would figure repairs would be underway during this long cool spring.

There’s a few broken down barrels along the freeways and nothing going on the local roads. If it weren’t for a collapsed culvert on Territorial there might not be any work going on in north Berrien County.

I’ve been traveling I-94 frequently the past three months and if anything, the road is getting worse with no help in site.

On one stretch last week just west of the I-96 interchange, my Jeep was hit three times by stones thrown up by big trucks churning up the potholes in the right lanes. Some stretches of I-94 have signage that requires vehicles to “keep right except to pass” but the right lanes are so uneven that cars and trucks crowd to the left lane.

Local roads aren’t any better, broken concrete, frost damaged asphalt, and collapsed curbs make traveling neighborhood streets as tricky as any interstate in poor repair.

There’s a deep manhole cover on a curve on a local road that vehicles cross over to the other side to miss the hazard.

Speaking of dangerous… I heard a discussion about raising the freeway speed limit to 80 mph.  Whenever some bonehead in Lansing needs to put his/her name on a new bill, they come up with some real beauties, like legalizing pot, lowering the drinking age, and raising the speed limit.

You can tell they never drive on a freeway if they think the speed limit on the freeway needs to be raised… everybody is already driving nearly 80 miles an hour!

I’ve tried to drive at 70 miles an hour and the drivers behind me pull right up to the rear bumper until I pull over to the right lane. Traveling at 70 in the right (truck) lane doesn’t work either; most are breaking the 65 mph truck speed limit and will run you down if you don’t get out of the way.

The only time I’ve seen all the vehicles doing the legal speed limit is when there is a Michigan State Police cruiser parked in the median. Then everyone speeds up a mile or so down the road!

EEK. THAT WAS SNOW SUNDAY… it may have been just a few flakes, but there was snow Sunday morning around 10 a.m. At 40 degrees, I guess conditions were just right. Instead of May flowers we have had May howlers, with deluges of rain and cold, it’s a wonder we have any of the pretty blossoms and leaves at all.

Even with all the cold, wind, and rain, the blossoms have been especially gorgeous this year. With the better forecast of “more seasonal” weather, the rest of the month and all of June could be the nicest of the year so far!

SO PROUD OF MY DAUGHTER… We all have demons of some sort; the lucky ones may be just afraid of spiders or snakes. Others may have greater crosses to bear; such as fear of the open spaces and speaking in public.

Then there are those who never know when waves of fear, remorse, and sadness overwhelm them until the only recourse is to cower in a quiet spot, perhaps for days, until the tide of darkens recedes.

Such is the lot of my daughter Gillian. There are times when no amount of love and caring brings “Gilly – Bug” out of her darkness and into the light.

Yet she struggles on, as a loving wife, mother, leader, teacher, public speaker, advocate of special needs kids and their siblings and author.

This past week she was in the Tri-Cities with some open house book signings of her new book “Still Life.”

Her book, of her own struggle with depression, explains “dealing with depression” for her means learning to accept and treat it as a physical illness.

How can she care for her family when she can’t even get out of bed?

As she writes, hope remains as she discovers that living with depression is “Still Life.”

I’m so very proud of her daily courage to share her illness and her victories with us all in print.

Her new book “Still Life” and her first book “Sunshine Down” are both available on Amazon and here at the Record office.

BONUS CIRCULATION ISSUE… The Tri-City Record will publish its annual bonus circulation issue on May 26.

Titled “Welcome Summer to the Tri-Cities”, a copy of the Tri-City Record will be mailed to every postal patron in the Coloma, Hartford and Watervliet area; more than 15,000 copies in all, just in time for Memorial Weekend!

I’m encouraging individuals, businesses, and organizations to take advantage of this special mailing to reach every household and business location in the Tri-Cities by buying space on those pages to accompany many features promoting special events and recreation opportunities in the area.

Call Amy or me at 463-6397 for more information and sample ad sizes and prices.

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