Letters and Commentary

CLASSIC MEMORIAL WEEKEND… we were blessed with gorgeous weather for the last weekend of May and the beginning of the summer season. Anne and I were able to get out and around all weekend and within a few miles of the homestead, there were good folks out and about everywhere.  Hopefully you were able to attend a local Memorial Day service on Monday to honor our country’s war dead.  Car buffs had the perfect day for the 28th annual Lane Automotive Car Show on Saturday.   Local lakes were busy with boaters and summer residents were hard at it opening up homes and cottages and clearing away the accumulated winter debris.  The nurseries were busy with folks buying up flats of flowers and seeds for the summer planting of gardens. Some local farm stands were open with early offerings and others were sprucing up to open soon.  Local campgrounds and state parks also saw a quick start to the camping season, with hot days and cool nights over the three-day weekend.

GLITCH IN LAST WEEK’S TCR… Thanks for all the nice comments about last week’s special bonus edition of the Tri-City Record. All in all the extra pages and bonus features on the local summer season were well received, although a couple subscribers were confused to get their local newspaper without their usual address label on the front page. More than 13,000 papers went out with “postal patron” printed on the front page where the address label usually goes.  This was to take advantage of a once-a-year opportunity to send out samples to all postal customers in our area.  Even so, out of area subscribers and local newsstand customers got their papers in the usual fashion and on time.  As in all special projects, the more worry and effort expended sometimes creates a unique, unforeseen, problem in another area. Last week’s Record was no exception.  The center fold of the first section of the paper was to have two half pages opposite each other promoting events at the Lane Auto Show on the left and on the right a large map of the special parking arrangements (due to the massive building expansion underway at LA, most parking had to be moved off-site).  As luck would have it, coming off the printing press, the pages were located in the section but not opposite each other.  Judging by the large local turnout and orderly parking, it appears the mis-print did not cause much confusion among our reader or the Lane visitors.  Although, I must observe, judging by the among of organization, planning and hundreds of Lane employees, police, and volunteers, little was left to chance and no visitors were far from any needed assistance.

REHAB WRAPPED UP… Last week saw the last session of my 36-hour cardiac rehab assignment. My Lakeland heart surgeon Dr. Baghelai had prescribed the work out session as part of my heart valve replacement surgery this past January.  Hopefully, thanks to the excellent surgery and care of the Lakeland Heart Center team and then the rehabilitation process under the watchful eyes of Paul and Amanda at the Cardio Rehab Center at Lakeland, I am beyond the recovery process and now look forward to better health. The whole experience was an amazing process and while I don’t wish it on anyone; if you need any heart care, I recommend Lakeland Health Care. My recommendation comes from 6 months of observation and experience as a patient of Lakeland’s well-trained and caring staff, plus the clear and well-documented explanations of the process and goals. I was certainly impressed with all aspects of my surgery, from planning to recovery.

In the stars

Hours passed unnoticed. Laying back on the backyard brick steps, with my hands cupped behind my head, I studied the nighttime sky. Another solitary vigil searching for shooting stars. I was a young teen then, and while I spent many hours searching for some movement among the stars visible over Philadelphia, it wouldn’t be until a Grand Canyon camping trip that I would see my first meteors and realize how few stars I could actually see back home.  The Milky Way, that cloudy band of stars making up our galaxy, is both astoundingly beautiful, and profoundly humbling. To think that the God who made all of those estimated 400 billion Milky Way stars actually cares about me (and you). Awesome!  There are two opposing perspectives considering the vastness of our universe. One is, “Earth is so tiny compared to the rest of the universe; we are so insignificant”. The other perspective is, “The universe is so huge; God is so great!”  When our perspective centers on us, we become insignificant. When our perspective centers on God, He is so great, and we allow ourselves significance because His love assigns us phenomenal value!  Psalm 19 communicates this second perspective. It begins “The heavens are telling of the glory of God, and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands”. The next section honors God’s revealed word, and the last section ends with, “…O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer”. The God who created and named every star (Psalm 147:4) knows my name too! And John 3:16 tells me He loves me! How awesome is that!  God makes the connection. His universe shows His powerful glory. His revealed living word, Jesus Christ, invites us to discipleship. Then the Creator of the stars becomes our rock and our Redeemer.

Question:  My brother had an accident at work last year and is now receiving Social Security disability benefits. His wife and son also receive benefits. Before his accident, he helped support another daughter by a woman he never married. Is the second child entitled to benefits? Answer: The child may qualify for Social Security benefits even though your brother wasn’t married to the second child’s mother. The child’s caretaker should file an application on her behalf. For more information,  read our publication, Benefits for Children, available at. https://www.ssa.gov/

Question:  I was wounded while on military service overseas. What are the benefits for wounded warriors, and how can I apply? Answer: Through the Wounded Warrior program, Social Security expedites processing of disability claims of current military service members or veterans disabled while on active duty on or after October 1, 2001. Also, service members and veterans who have a Veterans Administration compensation rating of 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) may receive expedited processing of applications for Social Security disability benefits. Keep in mind, this expedited process applies to only the application process. To be eligible for benefits, you must meet Social Security’s strict definition of “disability,” which means:

You must be unable to do substantial work because of your medical condition(s); and Your medical condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year or to result in death. You can apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability or call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can find more information for veterans at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/veterans

Question: I am a single mother and I get Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Can my daughter receive SSI benefits based on my SSI? Answer: No. SSI benefits are based on the needs of the individual and are paid only to the qualifying person. There are no spouse’s, children’s, or survivor’s benefits. However, if your daughter is disabled, she might be eligible to receive SSI benefits. To learn more about SSI benefits, read our publication on the subject at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/11000.html.

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