February 8, 2012

Yearly trip yields fun family times, enlightenment

Our trip to Colorado Springs for the holidays is one of the year's highlights. Meeting people, western landscapes and grandchildren keep us driving 2,000 miles one way.

We meet all types of people from many different backgrounds, opening up a different perspective on life. At an IHOP in Kansas, we had a very nice conversation with the manager that could be a "life lesson."

Mike, whose name was actually Mohammed, talked with us about spending time with his elders and how much he learned from them. He told us he has teenage children who think he's strange when he asks them to shovel off the sidewalk. He invested money into a business and lost it all, so he was starting over again managing a restaurant.

He is a Muslim, and the local folks like him a lot and call him Mike, wanting to protect him from prejudice. He said he'd immigrated here more than 30 years ago, always held a job and paid his taxes. He loves America.

He shared how a 20-year-old harassed him because of his looks. Mike's response wasn't to harass in return. He simply said, "I have been paying taxes here in this country longer than you have been alive, young man. Come back and see me when you can say the same."

Under it all, we are humans who face the same challenges of love, acceptance and respect.


Headed west again, the landscape is flat as a pancake. Dotting the fields are oil pumps working to pull crude oil from the Kansas fields. How can we have a shortage of oil and gas when there are hundreds of these on our route alone?

Gas prices steadily decreased from New York to Colorado. On the New York State Thruway premium gas cost $3.77 a gallon; in Ohio, $3.37; Effingham, Ill., $3.32; Kansas, $3.24. The farther west we traveled, the cheaper the gas, to a low of $2.69 for regular.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time