Good day, buenos dias, and loving your neighbor

A few days ago, as I was out for a morning walk, an older lady crossed in front of me on the sidewalk. As I said, “good morning”, she responded with, “good morning”. As I passed, she said, “buenos dias”. I turned and smiled, but I was a little embarrassed, not able to think of the proper response. She said again, smiling, “buenos dias”, then said, “good morning”. I smiled and said, “my Spanish is not good. I’ve tried to learn, but I think I’m too old to learn new things”. She smiled and said, “me too”.

A day or two later on my walk near the same block, I met the lady again on the sidewalk. I said, “good morning”. As she passed, she said, “buenos dias”. I turned and smiled. I must have looked a little confused again. Again, she said, “buenos dias”, then smiling, “good morning”. Then, realizing the appropriate response, I said, “buenos dias”. She smiled and said, “I got my shots”, holding up two fingers, “two”. I said, “me too”, holding up one finger, “one”.

It was a simple one-minute conversation. No thoughts of who we voted for, or our views on immigration or global warming. Just simple friendly conversation. It made my day.

It seems we don’t pay too much attention to our neighbors any more. We rarely even know their names. We tend to make judgements about them by the flags they fly or their political bumper stickers, determining their goodness or evil. We forget that we are all frail human beings, with faults and good within us.

A couple thousand years ago a man was asked which is the greatest commandment. He responded by saying, “’Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind’… And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’”.

It would seem we would all do well to remember these commands and always greet each other with a smile and, “buenos dias”, “buenas noches”, or “good day”; spending a little less time thinking about whether our political views are in sync.

Fredrick Lee

Santa Maria

Thankful for care for dialysis patients

I wanted to bring notice to some overlooked workers during the recent pandemic. The techs and nurses at DaVita Dialysis are not recognized for their care of the high at risk dialysis patients.

People like Brlynn, Natalie and Angel keep the place running smoothly. Nurses Lynette, Loren, David and Whitney to name a few, make sure the patients stay healthy. The techs work long, hard hours to keep us safe.

Lori, Belen, Ana, Vanessa, Lucy, Lanianna, Jackie, Cheryl, Richard and many others can't be thanked enough for their care. Leah and Barbara help with our diets and watch our labs. Dialysis isn't as well known as diabetes, chemo, etc. but is just as important.

These people have to handle all kinds of personalities, disabled people and even autistic patients and the care is so great. I know all health care employees try to do a fantastic job but I feel some are overlooked. Again, I want to thank the workers at DaVita Dialysis for taking care of us no matter what can be happening in their personal lives. They are all angels.

Dennis Berry

Santa Maria

Support providers that host motorsports events

For every race team, it takes over a dozen race-related businesses to support their efforts. We are a race parts manufacturer, with 16 employees that are barley holding on. 

I write to request that Congress create a grant program to support recreation, sports, and amusement venues that provide live entertainment yet were excluded from the "Shuttered Venue Operators Grants" program (Section 324 of Public Law No:116-260).

It is imperative to the future of racetracks in communities across the country that Congress provide a lifeline for live entertainment businesses that have experienced unprecedented declines in revenue as a result of complying with attendance restrictions.

Many small businesses, including family owned and operated racetracks, depend on hosting live events each week. These venues have been devastated by lockdowns and capacity restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing revenue declines of 50% or more.

Ticket buying customers were prohibited from attending races, and race teams were unable to perform or participate in motorsports competition in the months after the start of the pandemic. Ongoing attendance restrictions continue to threaten many racetracks along with other entertainment venues, which provide jobs and are integral to communities across the country.

Please support the nearly 1,000 small local and regional live event providers that host motorsports events in addition to the millions of fans who depend on local racetracks for affordable, family-friendly entertainment.

Brock Robertson

Visalia

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