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Dear John,

The Way I See It

February 23, 2014
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Dear John...

Well, I suppose it had to happen some day. I wasn't looking for it but now it's been thrust upon me and there's not much I or anyone can do about it. It's a heavy burden but I have broad shoulders, (plus just about everything else being broad also), and it will be dealt with in a mature, sensible and appropriate fashion. So, what's going on?

Advice! People have been sending letters, emails and the such asking my advice on situations and circumstances going on in their lives. Yep, forget "Dear Abby" and "Dear Ann Landers." It's "Dear John." So today, I will share with you just a few "Dear John" letters, The Way I See It offices have received lately. From the hundreds, perhaps thousands received, here is a short sampling.

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When I go to a restaurant, just how much should I tip? I mean, some say 10%, others tell me it's now at least 15%, while a few have even mentioned 20% of the total bill. Since you are a man of the world and possess such vast knowledge on a variety of subjects, I was wondering if you could shed some light here. Signed, Barney.

Barney, here's the deal. Those waitresses are serving you, your family and maybe even a couple of others. They bring you water, keep it filled, take the orders, (and remember, everyone orders something different), and usually brings it all out at the same time, in a timely fashion. That is no easy task. Try it sometime! All the while, re-filling the glasses of water, cups of coffee, soft drinks and smiling while someone wants to change their order and another one is wondering if they can substitute the corn for some lima beans. And they do it with a smile! Are you getting the picture, Barney? For gosh sake, do a little "pay it forward" and be like Clint Eastwood and really "Make their day." I guarantee you'll feel better.

Dear John,

My husband and I are at our wit's end with our children. Arguing over eating their vegetables, curfew time, cleaning their room, spending too much time on their computers and doing chores around the house. John, we need help and we need it NOW. Signed, Calgon,Take Me Away.

Calgon, first off, don't ever forget that they are your children and you can't send them back, ok? You love 'em to pieces but you don't really want to rip them to pieces. Now realize that while they are in their teens, they are the enemy. And they will be the enemy until they move out, get married and have children. And if you're lucky enough to survive the teen years, you will get to relish in the "What goes around, comes around" stage of life. And if they're still living with you at age 35, I would humbly suggest that they don't need to eat their vegetables any longer. Capeesh?

And here's the final one, Dear John........When is it gonna stop snowing?" Signed, Phil

Phil, so how's the shadow business going? Does anyone really care anymore if you see your shadow or not. But for the sake of so many others, here is this "Fearless prognosticator's Forecast." Listen carefully. It will stop snowing when, and only when, all of the people in this great county and state decide that next summer, THERE WILL BE ABSOLUTELY NO COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE WEATHER. No talk about it not being the temperature but rather the humidity. No telling someone, I can't wait until winter. No grumbling while mowing your lawns. When the dog days of summer come bouncing in wagging its' tail, just enjoy, enjoy, enjoy and pour yourself another glass of sun tea. Got it?????

Well time's up. If you have anything you need advice for or to get off your chest, email me at or if you're brave enough, give me a call at 319-327-4640. My wife just called me and told me this last storm is called "Rex." Are we calling snow storms by name now? I think this may be a big "No-No." Time to shovel.....see ya.



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