By the time we get to the tiny cove on the downstream edge of Hammon Grove Park, Susan the border collie/Lab mix has usually picked up a stick and dropped it in front of me a few times until finally we're at the edge of the river and I pick it up and throw it in the water for her.

She takes a running jump and is after it. It's her passion.

We've had to be careful this spring because the somewhat placid river we got used to over the previous few drought years is now running deeper and swifter. At this one spot, she can swim out just a little ways without the current catching her and sending her way downriver.

Except for this time the stick I threw in for her looked a lot like the branches poking up out of the water from the snag just a little farther out than she usually goes. Really it was just a little farther out, but she ended up 50 feet farther downstream than usual.

Just saying … again … be careful out in the rivers. The water is deeper, the current is stronger, the water is colder, and the snags and channels and bottoms have changed around some.


Thumbs Up: Best picture of the week was the photo supplied to us by Jill Clark. She's in a gown and is proudly wearing her fancy tiara as she finished a round of radiation treatment. Clark is a cancer survivor who told us, for a story in the Thursday edition, that she believes there was a purpose in her having cancer — it was so she gained the experience and the insights so she can help other people going through a similar experience.



Thumbs Down: To hungry kids.

Ask a kid from a family near the poverty line about what the worst days are, and you could very well find out it's holidays. While other kids are glad to take time off school, for poor kids it very often means a lot fewer meals per week.

It doesn't matter what their parents are like, what they do or don't do, and it doesn't matter what side of the political aisle we're all on … in this community of ours, there's no reason for children to go hungry.

So kudos to area school districts that coordinate and host summer food programs for youths of the area. Free meals are available for youths 18 and under at many locations. The food is provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

There are several sites in the Yuba City and Marysville districts.

A listing can be found on our website (outside the paywall) near the top of the home page. Click on the header, "Free meals for kids this summer."


Uggh: (You can almost hear Capt. Jerry reciting this one for the club, trying his best to speak with a Scottish brogue …)

There was a Scottish house painter named Smokey Macgregor, who made it a habit of squeezing a few more pennies out of a job, saving on expenses by thinning down the paint to make it go farther.

He'd gotten away with it for quite some time.

He heard there was to be a big restoration project on the parsonage and put in a bid and, because his price was so low, he got the job.

So he set about erecting the scaffolding and such and bought all the paint and, par for the course, thinned it all down with water.

In the middle of the job, Smokey was up on the scaffolding, painting away, when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder, the sky opened, and the rain poured down, washing the thinned paint from all over the church, and knocking Smokey clear off the scaffold.

He landed on the cemetery lawn amongst the gravestones, surrounded by telltale puddles of the thinned and useless paint.

Smokey Macgregor realized that this was a judgment by the Almighty so he took to his knees and cried out: "Oh, Lord, Oh Lord, forgive me; what should I do?"

There was another clap of thunder and then the wind and rain stopped, all got still and quiet, the clouds parted and a ray of light shone down on him, and a booming voice said:

"Repaint! Repaint! And thin no more."

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