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Life lessons can be gleaned from the comic strips

December 10, 2011
Messenger News

Reading the Sunday comics will give you more than a laugh, I'm sure of that now.

Not that I wasn't always certain reading the comics was a good thing, but now I've got proof. By reading the comics, I've learned the answer to a question I've pondered for years but wasn't able to answer by normal means. Well, the answer likely was possible, I just never took the time to look, and now here the answer is, sitting right in front of me, and all I had to do is continue my penchant for Sunday comics.

Odd thing is, I seldom read the Mark Trail comic, jumping instead from Beetle Bailey to the Lockhorns.

By the way, on Sunday Loretta Lockhorn said whatever she was making would be either soup or chili, depending on how thick it turned out. I know how that goes. For years whenever I tried making stew, it turned out to be vegetable soup instead. Can't decide if I like soup better than stew, was afraid to go for stew or was too lazy to try. Maybe we were just too hungry to wait.

But, that wasn't my lesson. My lesson sat on a tree branch, all puffed up. A bird, it was, all puffed up and waiting for the snow to stop.

In my mind, birds had to find a thick pine tree and burrow among the branches to have a chance at staying warm in winter - not all birds go south, you know - but that bird just sat on the branch. The information read:

"A single feather has more than a million individual units, and they interlock to form an extremely strong and flexible plane. A bird's coat is among the best insulating material in the world. By flapping its feathers, the bird can form dead air spaces to prevent loss of body warmth. And when pressed tightly against the body, the feathers help throw off excessive heat."

I might have to get myself feather jammies.

There's a long story behind this, but the shortened version is I turn off the heat at night because I like to sleep in a cold room. About a week ago I woke up with my quilt over my face, and when I tossed the quilt off, a blast of arctic air smacked me. I crawled out of my nice, warm bed, shuffled to the thermostat and got some heat started.

I'm basically blind without my glasses, but I'm pretty sure the thermostat read 41 degrees. That's refrigerator cold. It was so cold, in fact, the furnace kicked in immediately when I turned the button. I hurried back to bed and burrowed in, as I'd always thought birds had to do, and slept soundly until 9 a.m. When I woke, sweat dripped from my forehead.

The house was at 72 degrees and suffocating me. If I'd been wearing feather jammies, I could have pulled the feathers tight to throw off excessive heat.

Instead, I just turned off the heat.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Sandy Mickelson is the former lifestyle editor of The Messenger. She is retired. She may be reached at mcsalt@frontiernet.net.

 
 

 

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