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So here’s the deal, I didn’t make last week’s deadline because I had to attend the funeral of my HP laptop. It seems that Renee was out here at Lake Tschida with three grandkids whilst I was in town exhibiting my construction skills by leaning on a shovel and watching Ben work.

At some point during our daily telephonic interactions, she informed me that my laptop seemed to have entered computer heaven. One has to realize that on any typical day of grandkids, our Wi-Fi system gets rather strained by with four phones, four iPads, laptops, Netflix, three satellite televisions and whatever other cyber tool you can think of. Us adults don’t pay much attention because the kids know more about cyberspace than we do.

Anyways, the laptop croaked so I took it to Awesome 2 Products in Mandan where they pronounced it dead and saved what they could, then found me another laptop. Thanks to them I’m not only back but both my loyal readers can breathe again.

As you may or may not know I’ve gotten $10 a week to write this column. For the record, I’ve grown quite dependent on the money because my math indicates that it’ll only take over 30 columns to pay off the funeral.

Onto other things, as you should know by now the folks who like to start school before Labor Day think summer’s just about over. For those of us who spend most of our days wondering why we don’t live in a climate where it’ s like this year round, I need to once again ask how come you guys kill the last real month of summer?

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I don’t know about you but I feel better every time I ask that question and both my loyal readers think that I should give up. But hey, do you know how nice it is to have grandkids living at the lake with you? Nowadays kids have so many organized things, day care, after school stuff, etc., but when they come out here their days boil down to more important things.

Things like who will blow up the floaties, did anyone fill the jet ski or pontoon with gas, when will grandpa get up from his nap, can I drive the golf cart, jet ski, pontoon, what’s for breakfast, when we going to the beach, what do you mean I have to pick up after myself, – and the next thing you know Grandpa Dan goes to bed before everyone else.

By now you should get that hint that there are in many other things more important in life than all the folderol and political crap that we’ve had to put up with lately. The real important things involve loving others and all the warm fuzzies that go along with others who love you.

Think about those times when your soul was drenched in happiness, when the world and all that’s in it seemed just right. Those moments when you thought it just doesn’t get better than this; all those days that were filled with more smiles than frowns. Any day on the lake seems to define most of those days for me.

Here’s hoping that your life is not only filled with more smiles than frowns, but most importantly that you try to leave smiles on the faces of those around you. May you relish all the hugs and gratitude that goes along with such behavior.

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Dan Ulmer is a parent, grandparent, as well as a retired teacher, counselor, politician, lobbyist, public employee, nonprofit executive and opinionated citizen who believes that we need to do what we can to leave the world better off than we found it.

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