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— The July heat almost got to me this year. I have seriously thought of giving up bathing since the sweat probably has washed me completely. Okay, I am not serious!

So much happened in July that I may have to have part two next month.

I want to thank Janelle Jessen for the wonderfully written piece on my son Benton and his trip to the Philippines. It was interesting, and when you have a good subject to write about, the article turns out just that way. No pride here, of course.

So many people died last month I can't mention them all. I was sorry to hear that Betsy Babcock Nunn's mom died. Virginia was a nice lady, and I only met her in her later years, but she was very friendly.

Janet Shepherd, who struggled with cancer four times, lay down her struggles and is now resting, but what a brave, wonderful lady. She was always so happy, and I wondered if I would I be that happy if I were in her condition?

I hope so but am not sure.

Leo Shook also died. I used to work with Leo when I would occasionally help at the voting booth in Decatur.

He was the "sheriff " and always took care of the ballots.

I hope all these families know they are in our thoughts. And to Jeff and Tracy Hornberger, we give our condolences in the death of Jeff 's dad. He will be missed.

It's so cool to see that Pete and Irene Tevebaugh have celebrated 74 years of marriage.

Wow, if that is not wonderful, I don't know what is! A lot of people don't live to be 74, let alone be married to the same person that long. You have my salute for the month.

So, Gentry has decided to stop noise pollution and silence the trains. Is this for real? I thought that was what trains were for - to blow their whistles. I lived by the railroad tracks in Decatur for 23 years - for three of those years, a train blew its whistles near our first house, and I always thought it was wonderful. When we went camping with the Pathfinders a couple years ago, to Mena, a train blew its whistle 4-5 times during the night, and our camping companions complained how they could not sleep. Of course, being used to that noise, I had slept right through it. It was a comforting noise, and I miss it.

I believe the only way to quiet the trains is to have crossing rails on both sides - four at every crossing - because there will always besomeone who wants to drive around them and beat the train. It's not a good idea to do away with the train noise if even one person dies because of it - that's the end of my soapbox speech.

Happy Birthday to Irene Tevebaugh. Happy birthday to my daughter Jessica, who turned 22 his year, and to Donna Stacy, who also had a birthday. Happy Birthday to Dale Crowley and Carl Krueger, both men turned 80.

Our niece Stefanie had a birthday, as did my sister Darla. I love July because it is my birthday month. Yes, this is the year I turned 48. Wow, I feel only half that, but then sometimes, I feel twice that. My husband brought me cup cakes so I could share my birthday with friends at work, and someone was brave enough to change the numbers from 48 to 84. I only feel 84 on occasions, like at the end of the week and when I don't get enough sleep - which, I guess, is always.

I appreciate Dr. Desiree Self's help in doctoring my little Moonbeam, our puppy, back to health. She has had some severe issues, and Dr.

Self has been an angel. I sure am glad she was available to help us.

It's time to get ready for school to start. I hope that all the children out there who have enjoyed summer will enjoy school as much. I know that there are a lot of teachers, who will be so glad to see you. And shopping is so much fun; it's the season when as much or more is sold than at Christmas.

Opinion, Pages 5 on 08/05/2009

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